Kudos Employee Recognition in 2022 [Guide]

Cody
October 28, 2021
7 Min Read
Photo by
Moyo. for Offy Creative Tribe

Table of Contents:

What is Kudos employee recognition? 

Kudos employee recognition is a simple way of saying "thanks". It's giving Kudos to employees for their hard work and achievements. Kudos are specific, timely recognitions that can be given by anyone in the workplace. Their purpose is to acknowledge an achievement or service performed by an individual or team.

At its core, Kudos is a simple, yet effective way to motivate your employees, increase employee engagement and build camaraderie within your office.

Benefits of Kudos employee recognition 

There are several benefits to Kudos employee recognition. They include:

  • Improved Communication - Kudos is a quick and simple way to communicate with employees throughout the workplace, whether they're working on the same team or not. It breaks down barriers between coworkers and encourages communication across departments.
  • Improved Morale - When employees feel like their work is valued, they're happier. Peer recognition can inspire your employees to strive for excellent work and can encourage them to help others succeed.
  • Success - Success breeds success; the more Kudos an employee receives, the more Kudos they'll want to give out. A Kudos workplace is a place where employees can recognize each other's achievements and are acknowledged for the work they do.
  • Boosts in Bottom Line - Happy employees mean little to no turnover, which results in saved costs. A Kudos recognition program also allows you to track Kudos given, so when an employee needs a kudo it's easy to find out who has kudo'd them in the past. An employee Kudos management system is a great way to track and reward Kudos given.

Implementing Kudos employee recognition 

A Kudos employee recognition system can be simple to implement and doesn't require much time or resources. It's as easy as:

  1. Introducing Kudos to your team, and defining kudo-able events
  2. Providing kudo cards or kudo software for use of everyone
  3. Influencing employees to kudo each other

Once you have your Kudos employee recognition system in place, kudo content should be easy for your team to come up with. When employees are continually being recognized for their hard work and achievements, they feel appreciated, valued, and cared about.

Kudo-able events:

  • A job well done on a project
  • Demonstrating company values 
  • Going the extra mile, above and beyond the call of duty 
  • Going out of one’s comfort zone to help someone

Sometimes, an employee may deserve a Kudos simply for contributing to a positive workplace culture by their sunny attitude and encouraging demeanor. Other times, you might want to send a Kudos to someone who hasn't seen much success lately but has kept working steadily in spite of discouragement. Employee morale and employee satisfaction can both be brought up by a simple recognition message, so don't be stingy!

Kudos employee recognition strategies 

Here are some employee recognition ideas that can empower your organization's Kudos employee recognition program:

Introduce kudo cards

Kudo cards are small, handwritten notes that Kudos recipients can display on desks or bulletin boards. They can be collected in a Kudos-box and given out during Kudos ceremonies to show appreciation for the kudo giver.

Celebrate Kudos events with your Kudos audience

Taking the time to celebrate Kudos at team meetings or kudo ceremonies not only boosts morale and makes everyone feel loved, it also helps others see who their Kudos heroes are. It's a good way to inspire employees to keep kudoing each other and show appreciation for peers.

Pledge Kudos for kudo events

When pledging Kudos, you're asking others to kudo someone else who's kudo-able. It's a good way to actively encourage your employees and show your support of their Kudos efforts.

Introduce themes and traditions around Kudos

Traditions and themes can be incorporated into your employee recognition program to make kudo events more fun. For example, you could celebrate Kudos week every quarter or have a kudo moment every afternoon, fifteen minutes before closing, when everyone finds someone else to kudo.

Utilize employee recognition software to make a Kudos culture real in your organization

Implementing Kudos software like the free Slack app Matter makes it easy for employees to Kudos each other all day, every day. Maybe intrinsic motivation and a culture of appreciation isn't such a pipe dream, after all!

Create kudo campaign goals and report back on them

Set goals for your team to meet at regular intervals such as quarterly or yearly. This will help Kudos kudo-givers see how they are doing and everyone to see what has been accomplished.

Final tips for Kudos employee recognition 

Here are some final tips to keep in mind when designing your company’s Kudos employee recognition program:

Keep Kudos messages concise

Your kudo messages should be short enough to quickly read, but long enough to get your kudo across. A kudo message that's too long will not only look like spam, it might get ignored.

Keep Kudos messages positive 

Even social recognition messages that are meant to be constructive can come off as negative if worded poorly. If you need to criticize or point out mistakes in kudo messages, consider using phrases like "what could be improved" instead of "what went wrong." In general, though, it's best to keep Kudos for the praise and appreciation they're meant to be about!

Keep it simple

You don't need to make kudo cards or messages complicated; Kudos should contain meaningful recognition that is inspiring, but not overwhelming. These employee appreciation messages aren't meant to replace more formal recognition, just add to it!

Make Kudos fun!

Kudo card messages don't have to be serious all the time. You can kudo people for their Kudos-worthy talents or traits in fun ways. For example, you could kudo someone for their Kudos-worthy sense of kudo or Kudos kudo-able dancing skills.

Consider investing in kudo cards and software

When you're looking for a Kudos recognition platform that works, it's important to choose the right tools. For example, buying pre-made kudo cards can be convenient but lacks customization. If you've got hybrid teams, you'll want to implement an employee recognition app like Matter.

Start small

Kudos doesn't need to be complicated or time-consuming in order to be effective for employee recognition. Rather than roll out an organization-wide Kudos event, start by introducing the concept to one team as a pilot program.

Don't be afraid to ask for Kudos

Kudos are important to the employee experience, but if it's a new thing for your company culture, your employees may be hesitant to begin. If none of your team members are kudoing each other or no one's sending kudo cards, you'll need to kudo them first! Then tell them to follow suit. There are hundreds of kudo-able moments all around us, so don't be afraid to ask for Kudos.

Remember, don't sweat the small stuff! A Kudos employee recognition program is an easy-to-implement, highly effective way to increase morale at your organization. Micro-managing isn't necessary -- let your employees enjoy taking charge of the program, and sit back and enjoy the results!

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