What is a Kudo? As told by Management 3.0:
- “A Kudo is not just given from the top down, but peer-to-peer and bottom-up. Across departments and organizations, anyone can recognize someone else’s work. It’s a way to break down hierarchical limitations and to encourage everyone to offer instant positive feedback.”
Sometimes waiting for a production release to finish to give a reward is not sustainable, maybe the employee doesn’t get motivated to live by the time the release goes out. Traditional managers often use this type of extrinsic motivation (money, grades) when they want people to work harder, longer or more effectively. This is dangerous and often kills intrinsic motivation. While failing to pay your employees on time is a sure demotivation, today’s workers are more motivated by internal motivators. This means that when they do good, they want to be motivated then, they can’t wait for the outcome to get the reward.
A kudo wall is a public wall which is visible to everyone where people can walk up, take KUDO card (of the 8 types of card: “Great Job”, “Thank You!”, “Many Thanks!”, “Well Done”, “Very Happy”, “Proud!”, “Totally awesome”, “Congratulations” ) write a note, and then stick the Card on the wall. Now anyone walking by can see the card. So, the person whose name is on the card gets the motivated. It creates a proudness factor, and it is an immediate recognition for the work done. I’ve seen teams getting Kudo for Excellent Demo. I’ve seen people get Kudo when they gave KT which was good. I’ve seen people still give appreciations on outcomes like a release. But then the best part being that anyone and everyone can give a Kudo.
While the concept is very simple and straight forward, some people do feel afraid at times to appreciate people and for that we need to ensure that an environment of psychological safety is maintained in the team and people are free to appreciate others at free will.
KUDOS as a concept has been very beneficial when it comes from a senior person, I’ve seen people feel happy and satisfied to read their names on the wall. Sometimes putting that on the board is like announcing in public, which is so good for the intrinsic motivation of employees.
My experience with KUDOS also involved convincing the management to approve this, since I wanted this to be common for my whole portfolio, and the challenge I faced was that: “is this really going to help?” or “what if people start giving kudos to each other and dilute the concept?”. Often public recognition is what employees needs but is rare. I had to explain them about the need of intrinsic motivation and how the wall helps the management to give a tool for instant appreciation for employees even for the smaller things which they feel should happen. Something like a technical session given, something like a person solving a typical production issue, we need those people to be known of the good things.
KUDOS concept at my company spread to some other teams. Whoever saw the wall was like wow, and then I saw some people talking to me to help them create the wall as well. And I felt the motivation factor is a big win for anyone and everyone, because after all it’s all employees feeling happy, engaged and motivated, and everyone around wants that.
I also saw teams submitting the KUDOS cards on emails to the global audience, at some point of time I even saw some people giving it for our Global TV telecast, making the kudos visible globally. Who doesn’t like their name on the Kudo, everyone does!
I started this with my team and 3 other teams got motivated, and I’m sure this will grow as I move along in life, because every manager wants to make teams happy and happier and make the motivation factor always high.
If you want to start this in your team, the kudos card pdf is available for free at the management 3.0 site here. And in advance a big KUDOS from me to start this at your office 😊
If you want to learn more about KUDOS cards, you can look at the management 3.0 page here on the same.