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Recognize & Reward Coworkers with Kudos Recognition [2023 Guide]

November 2, 2021
7 Min Read
Photo by
Algirdas Jasaitis

Table of Contents:

What is Kudos recognition?

Appreciation comes naturally to some people. For others, it's like an extraterrestrial language. That's why Kudos recognition is important. it enables us all to show appreciation, no matter where we fall in the gratitude spectrum, and so enables us all to reap the rewards that come with an appreciated, recognized, high morale workforce.

Kudos recognition is an appreciation practice that happens in real-time whenever someone does something good. It's a way to recognize the work people are doing every day right then and there, not once or twice a year. It doesn't require any financial outlay, just a little bit of time and attention. The idea is to use your words to express thanks for what's been done, and use those same words to say why. If you can't get yourself to say thank you, don't worry, you can always use kudo cards or kudo candy, or, even better, use Kudos software to get your point across.

Benefits of Kudos recognition

The No. 1 reason Kudos recognition is so effective is that it's so immensely powerful! It gives meaning to the efforts of your people, enabling them to feel more engaged and motivated at work. Which, in turn, makes your whole business more successful.

Here are just a few other benefits Kudos employee recognition can provide:

  • Increases employee innovation -- Kudos recognition provides psychological safety to enable people to take risks, which leads to innovation.
  • Increases employee retention -- when people are appreciated, they want to stay!
  • Increases productivity -- Kudos feedback boosts creativity and reduces turnover, leading to higher profits.
  • Builds trust -- Kudos recognition is an example of meaningful recognition that doesn't reinforce power imbalances. It’s self-esteem boosting and collaborative.

Kudos recognition for small businesses

Many small businesses think Kudos recognition is a function best relegated to larger companies with a bigger budget, kudo managers, and Kudos programs in place. But Kudos employee recognition can be done by anyone for any reason. Only requirement: at least one employee or staff member.

By introducing peer-to-peer Kudos you can overcome the obstacles of limited staff and budget, enabling everyone in your organization to take time out of their day to recognize one another's contributions. In fact, Kudos recognition is a great way to boost employee engagement in a small business setting.

If you're on Slack, you'll want to implement the free app Matter so that your team can send each other constructive feedback and Kudos right from their computers. If you're not, this might be a good excuse to try out the platform! But you can also do old-school kudo-giving, and leave a stack of Kudos cards where everyone can reach them. Encourage them to keep an eye out for good things happening in the office, and write at least two Kudos cards a day! A budget-friendly alt to cards is sticky notes and it's super fun to cover someone's computer with notes from the team when they've done something that makes everyone glad.

Kudos recognition for large businesses

One of Kudos recognition's biggest benefits is that, once kudo software is in place, everyone can give Kudos, not just those with kudo manager titles. So why limit the Kudos to managers and supervisors? If you're a large business looking to increase employee engagement and boost productivity, a Kudos app makes it easy for Kudos to be delivered on a large scale.

Kudos recognition software can send kudo cards to single recipients or multiple Kudos cards to everyone, keeping Kudos anonymous. That's important because you don't want kudo mismanagement causing hurt feelings! Kudo cards are also archived so that Kudos reports can be used to spot trends in peer recognition and the corporate culture. Kudo apps are typically designed to mesh with the corporate social network to make things easy for the company.

Wondering who'd benefit most from Kudos recognition? Well, an employee recognition system is generally the domain of managers and supervisors, but everyone can give Kudos in the Slack app Matter. In fact, giving social recognition to a fellow employee has never been easier! Encourage everyone to highlight great work with peer recognition and give positive feedback where it is due.

A Kudos recognition platform makes Kudos giving infinitely scalable, from a small team to your entire workforce. You may be surprised at the changes you see in your workplace culture when gratitude and praise become an everyday thing and recognizing a colleague or team member for work well done is as natural as restarting a sluggish computer.

Kudos recognition and employee engagement

What Kudos recognition does is complement, not replace, more formal recognition programs. It enables Kudos managers to do their job on the cheap, while empowering others to kudo good work themselves. In this way Kudos recognizes employees’ mission-driven accomplishments individually and together, rather than according to the whims of an employee experience manager or employee appreciation program's algorithm. This can increase employee happiness and employee satisfaction, as everyone feels appreciated and valued. 

In fact, many businesses find it to be one of the easiest ways to boost morale at work. Kudos is accessible and empowering, and that makes it an integral part of every organization's recognition strategy.

So try it out today. The beauty of a Kudos recognition strategy is that it doesn't only work for people who pass compliments out as effortlessly as they breathe. It's a strategy that works for all of us, and it makes even a run-of-the-mill day at the office that much more rewarding and fun!

Kudos recognition software

Because kudo cards, kudo candy, and kudo journals all have their limitations, Kudos software has become increasingly popular for organizations that are looking to increase employee engagement.

Kudos software enables users to deliver Kudos in real-time and see kudo reports, so they can narrow down Kudos categories to ensure Kudos aren't missed.

But Kudos software doesn't have to be either complicated or expensive. An all-time favorite Kudos program is the free Slack app Matter. It's easy to use, intuitive, and it makes the giving and getting of Kudos almost automatic!

Kudos employee recognition software is especially useful for non-profits and small businesses that don't have the resources for a dedicated Kudos/recognition manager or who need help scaling Kudos recognition beyond their current capacity. But that doesn't mean Kudos software isn't helpful for large businesses. In fact, Kudos software can help Kudos scale across an entire organization, reducing duplication and waste.

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