Discover insights on employee recognition and engagement, workplace culture, performance management, people analytics, and more.
Step aside Millennials and Gen Z – there's a new generation entering the workforce.
Meet Gen Alpha, the generation after Gen Z that is expected to shake up the working world in a big way.
Defined by the digital world, this tech-savvy generation is very familiar with smartphones, AI technology and social media. They will soon begin to trickle into the workforce, and it's time for employers and colleagues to take notice of this fascinating generation and prepare for the unique dynamics they bring to the workplace.
The children of millennials, Gen Alpha is anyone born between 2010 and 2025. Millennials make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, and experts are paying attention to their children, how they’re being raised, and what this generation will value when they start their career journeys.
Millennials are generally very caring and supportive parents, which means their children will most likely seek that out later in life. This means mental health, work-life balance and financial security will be crucial to Gen Alpha. In a recent study, 75% of 8–10-year-olds are already thinking about their mental health.
“Gen Z had a profound impact on how brands approached their consumer experiences, but companies need to brace themselves even more for the changes Gen Alpha will infuse,” says Dani Mariano, President at Razorfish.
This generation is rewriting the rules of engagement. While Millennials and Gen Z experienced the tech revolution, for Gen Alpha, technology has been seamlessly integrated into their worlds from the beginning – it's an extension of themselves. Many distinctions will undoubtedly influence their approach to work and collaboration.
Gen Alpha's relationship with technology is a whole new level of intimacy. While learning to tie their shoelaces, they’re also learning to master complex apps, code, and any digital device. McCrindle Research is calling this generation the “Great Screen Age”, due to their extreme savviness with navigating the fast-paced evolutions in tech. More colloquially, these are iPad kids.
Gen Alpha has the ability to juggle multiple screens, tasks, and conversations simultaneously. They’re able to learn faster, and their capacity for maintaining information is much greater than the generations before them.
Technology has allowed access to more information to Gen Alpha than any other generation before them. If they’re looking for a solution, they have Google at their fingertips to figure it out. This is also contributing to a new concept called kid-powered entrepreneurship - with technology readily available, they are learning how to problem solve, and be innovative and creative much earlier.
As HR leaders, understanding the core values of upcoming generations is essential for building a cohesive and thriving workforce. Being attuned to these values will be instrumental in creating an environment where Gen Alpha can thrive.
Download our free Recognizing Generational Diversity Culture Guide to learn more about the meaningful differences between generations, and what they each need to help you build a more vibrant company culture.
Gen Alpha's values reflect their upbringing in a digitally connected and diverse world:
Gen Alpha will not know social media without professional content creators – they are growing up in a world saturated with influencers and vloggers. Some may even have parents who are heavily present on social media. This may lead Gen Alpha to a more privatized social media life, and an increase in more personalized, one-on-one communication preferences like email or phone. This won’t take away from their talents in understanding the complexities with social media, but it will play a role in what they value when deciding on a career path.
Gen Alpha's worldview is naturally diverse and inclusive. Growing up in an era of increasing social awareness, they are more accepting of differences and strive for equality. Employers who celebrate and embrace diversity will be more attractive to this generation. Moreover, Gen Alpha's openness to new ideas makes them receptive to experimentation and change.
Say goodbye to the rigid boundaries between work and personal life. Gen Alpha's approach to work is all about integration. They are not confined to the traditional 9-to-5 schedule and are more likely to embrace flexible work arrangements that cater to their lifestyle preferences.
With fresh perspectives, boundless enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn – Gen Alpha will bring many unique skills to the workplace.
Gen Alpha will come with several expectations. though. With meaningful work in mind, they won’t be interested in an organization that is working towards a better culture – they will want an organization that has already established firm roots in their employee experience.
Experts are predicting that Gen Alpha will see remote-first work as very normal, and value more work-life balance and social issues. This means they will most likely seek organizations who have already established robust company culture and are placing extreme emphasis on their employee experience.
“When they talk about what their goals are and the kind of workplaces they want to be in, they want flexibility and are looking for more meaningful work.” - Abdaal Mazhar Shafi, Co-Founder of UpstartED.
Gen Alpha isn't just chasing paychecks; they want purpose. They're driven by a desire to make a difference in the world. It’s important that organizations align their company's values with meaningful causes to attract and retain their socially conscious spirits.
They will thrive in flexible work environments that adapt to their preferences. HR leaders will need to consider remote work options, flexible hours, and gig-based projects to keep them excited and productive.
Regular performance reviews won't suffice; they crave ongoing feedback. Implementing real-time feedback mechanisms to keep them motivated and on track will be crucial.
Gen Alpha is expected to value employee recognition, but the way they perceive and respond to recognition might differ from previous generations. Growing up in a digital and highly connected world, Gen Alpha is likely to have certain expectations when it comes to recognition in the workplace:
Employee recognition is here to stay and is growing more and more important. HR leaders and managers should be mindful of their recognition strategies and take note of Gen Alpha's preferences, emphasizing personalized and integrated approaches that align with their digital upbringing and individualistic mindset.
As Gen Alpha starts to make their mark in the professional world, embracing their technological prowess, collaborative spirit, and entrepreneurial mindset will be key to unlocking their full potential.
They may be small now, but their impact on the world will be mighty. By preparing for these next generations to enter the workforce, organizations can be ahead of the game with a future-ready workplace that is years ahead of its competition.
It’s easy to feel stuck in the office, whether remote or shared, looking out the window and envying everyone spending their summer outside. But, being in the office doesn’t have to mean you’re missing out on making other memories. It should be the opposite. So, we put together a handful of summer office activities and injected some personality into them.
It’s one thing to plan a group outing, but to make sure employees feel their summertime is well spent, add some small, personalized touches, and make it a true team-building experience. With that said, here are our ideas for a memory-filled summer at the office.
Zines, pronounced zeens, are beginner-friendly, handmade magazines or comics. But really, your zine can be whatever you make it. You could brainstorm a theme, or have each team member fill a page with a collage of their summer. Put everyone’s artwork together on one printable document and publish your zine to the whole company. To get started, search Google or Pinterest for downloadable templates, or create your own. Zines don’t have to be complicated; you can even make a mini zine with just one piece of printer paper.
Zines are a great way to share memories and create traditions. Every summer, your team can look forward to making the next edition or volume.
Picnics already make for a wholesome summer day, but throw in a blanket canvas and some fabric paint to really bring everyone together. Team members can paint one square each, quilt-style, or paint all over the blanket, abstract-style. Hold onto it for future team picnics, or hang it up in the office as a conversation piece.
If one blanket is too small for everyone’s illustrations, cover your lunch tables in some brown kraft paper and leave out a pack of rainbow crayons or markers. Who said coloring is just for kids?
Paint nights are great for bonding with your co-workers and decorating the office for the season. Not to mention, a great opportunity for creative team members to share their ideas. Hopefully, everyone leaves with a sense of pride for what they created, but even better, a sense of belonging. Teams can paint frames to fill with their own photos, or canvases to bring home.
Maybe bring a big blender to the office and sip on a batch of (virgin) frozen margaritas while you’re at it?
Terrariums bring a little more life to the office and showcase everyone’s imagination. Plus, they’re pretty low maintenance, so team members who aren’t plant lovers will have no issue keeping them alive. Terrariums are super customizable, but here are some supplies you might need:
You can bring terrarium kits to the office for people to make on their own time, or bring all the supplies in bulk and lead them through the experience.
People want to step away from the screen and be outside while the sun’s shining. These ideas don’t need too much pre or post-amble, rewarding your team with some healthy summer sun is a great way to make the most of the season.
Of course, pick a sport or activity you know your whole team would be excited for and that’s inclusive to everyone’s mobility. Lean toward options that give employees more time outdoors with their families. These are just a few ideas, low and high intensity, for a sporty summer:
Refresh with some lemonade or ice cream to round out the day. Don’t forget to take lots of photos along the way so you can reminisce once the cooler months hit.
We didn’t forget about your remote team members of course. There are endless options for online team building throughout the summer.
You could hold oracle card readings throughout the year, but in the summer, people might have more time to reflect on their readings during vacation. And if you love a theme, there are many oracle decks with nature and floral illustrations you can use to tie in the season.
In one team fortune-telling session, for example, the manager could pull a card for each team member and help them find the meaning behind it. Team members can ask their fortune teller questions like, “Am I on the right track with this idea?” or “Where should I get ideas for my next project?” Readings don’t set anything in stone, but they are a fun way to keep your team sharing ideas.
From finding the best summer recipe to snapping the coolest landscape, give your team the opportunity for some friendly competition. Though these ideas make online participation easy, they’re also meant to give remote workers time away from the screen first. Here are just a few ideas for virtual contests that keep everyone engaged no matter where they’re working from:
And remember, Kudos can help you bring all these ideas to reality, with features such as Albums to hold all of your virtual contests and safe-keep your favourite summer memories. It’s now time to let the sun set on this article, but hopefully we gave you some ideas worth considering.
A few years ago, Harvard Business Review met with a Fortune 500 company, and the word “culture” came up 27 times in 90 minutes. Culture is critical. A healthy culture is the cornerstone of any successful organization, which underlines the importance of building culture with intention.
Gratitude is a powerful tool that can foster a stronger, more positive culture in your organization. In today's ever-evolving corporate landscape, organizations across the globe are recognizing the immense value of fostering a culture rooted in gratitude, thanks, and recognition.
And it's no surprise why. As workplaces embrace the power of appreciation, they witness a multitude of benefits. Extensive research in positive psychology consistently reaffirms that gratitude lays the foundation for a more productive, positive, and engaged workforce. The shift towards a culture of gratitude is not just a trend but a strategic move that can revolutionize how organizations thrive in today’s world - and this starts with you!
A strong culture sets the workplace tone and influences every element of an organization’s success. It can help build the identity of a brand or business, and can directly influence a sense of purpose, mission, and belonging across employees. We know that strong culture motivates employees to do better work, but it also:
High-performance cultures focus on unearthing the potential and purpose of each individual and celebrates them as a contributor to a team. Gratitude is the perfect tool to ensure your organization can do exactly that.
Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for fostering a positive and thriving workplace. Gratitude creates a sense of appreciation, recognition, and value among employees. Gratitude and recognition helps them feel motivated to give their best in their roles . Gratitude also can help employees:
As HR leaders, it's critical to implement strategies that cultivate a culture of gratitude in your organization. So, how can you do this in your organization? Here are 10 ways you can use gratitude to build your culture.
Your employees are your greatest asset! Showing gratitude in the workplace is truly a win-win for both employees and the overall success of the organization. Use it to increase productivity and performance and ultimately create a culture that cannot be broken or replicated
Kudos is a recognition platform that allows you to share your gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work your employees do. Celebrate your team with:
It’s June 28, 1969, in New York City.
Homosexuality is still illegal, and most gay bars are run by the Mafia in exchange for protection from the police. Raids were quite common at the time, but the Mafia-run bars were almost always tipped off beforehand.
On the first day of the Stonewall Uprising, police raided the Stonewall Inn with a warrant, but without any warning. They arrested 13 people for bootlegged alcohol, and for violating the state’s gender appropriate clothing statute. The Stonewall Uprising continued violently for six days, while bar patrons and neighbourhood residents protested law enforcement’s brutality and discrimination. Drag queens and trans women of colour were some of the first to stand up against the police.
On the one-year anniversary of the riots, people were shouting, “say it loud, gay is proud” in America’s first Pride parade.
It’s February 5, 1981, in Toronto.
200 police officers set out on a series of coordinated raids, called “Operation Soap.” By the end of the night, 286 patrons of four downtown bathhouses were arrested.
The Toronto Bath Raids, and the demonstrations to follow marked a significant transition for the city, rooting it firmly in protest, he first Toronto Pride parade in June of 2021.
“As long as society continues to demand us as its victims and its human sacrifices, that anger is going to be there, waiting to get into us, again and again. It’s not going to go away for a long, long time,” – Excerpt from Ken Popert in The Body Politic, in Jamie Bradburn
On this 2023 Pride celebration, we put together a spectrum of resources, activities, charities, and learning opportunities to help you carry on the legacy paved by LGBTQ+ activists.
Tip: Encourage your internal experts and allies to participate as speakers in Pride Month celebrations or programs. To ensure inclusivity, extend an open invitation to all members of your organization, inviting anyone interested to step forward.
One universal way to connect is through music; this Pride, don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.
Within teams or company-wide, introduce a song or album of the week highlighting queer artists from your country. Start your meeting listening to the lyrics, then work together to decode them; research the artists’ inspirations, careers, and impact; learn more about the political environment during the time the song was released.
For example, one meeting could start to the tune of ‘Any Other Way,’ an album by Toronto Soul pioneer, Jackie Shane. Share how Shane’s words are emblematic of her time – hopeful, and meaningful to many people under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. Encourage your employees to listen more to the artist’s work and invite them to pitch their own song or album of the week.
If technology and community are key characteristics for your brand, take your playlist to the next level and host a radio-style live stream, inserting quick and informational voice-overs between each song. Or, pre-record short podcast-like segments and post them to Slack or Teams.
For a less performance-involved approach, utilize Spotify’s collaborative playlist function and curated Pride playlists; suggest Pride-themed radio segments for the whole team to tune into, like iHeart Radio’s Can’t Cancel Pride event, which raised $11.3 million in charity since its inception in 2020.
There are many non-profit Pride Film Festivals, some running all year round. These events are thoughtfully curated, socially driven, artful commentary only made more appropriate during this Pride season. Buy your team tickets to an LGBTQIA+ themed film screening and filmmaker Q&A to make memories with one another and learn in the process.
If a screening time doesn’t fit with your schedule, or you just want a more flexible option, suggest queer-made films already available on your employee’s streaming services. For example, you could offer your team a one-month subscription to watch Cheryl Dunye's ‘The Watermelon Woman’ the first feature film directed by a Black lesbian.
Book clubs are a close-knit way to create change. Starting a LGBTQ+ themed book club can promote inclusion and improve your company culture in the process. History and knowledge sharing are the backbone of Pride; now is the time to get people together and read for a purpose.
Consider finalizing the book club with a donation to Lamba Literary, an organization providing scholarships to emerging LGBTQ+ writers.
There are many authors for all types of readers:
Depending on the book, it’s important to provide employees with content warnings upfront. Screen your book club selections for trauma-triggering content, so that everyone can feel included without having to confront sudden emotions at work.
For more recommendations, check out Egale’s summer Pride reading list.
Tip: Having a digital hub to house the details for initiatives like the examples in this guide is critical to getting your team to participate. This could be a folder on your intranet, a channel on Teams/Slack, or Kudos Spaces.
Whether you walk in the parade or watch from the sidelines, pride parades are a welcoming rite of passage for allies and LGBTQ+ community members.
Start searching for “pride parade near me,” and ask what your team is up for. Check out this Pride 101 article by them, a diverse source for LGBTQ+ journalism. Within the article, you can find some virtual pride parade options for your remote team.
Companies have a great opportunity to utilize their platforms for good during Pride month; from finding group volunteer activities that get your team involved hands-on in their communities, to donating to local LGBTQ+ charities and supports.
Impact is best achieved with the right intentions, so it’s important to choose a cause that resonates with your brand. Here are a couple charities to choose from, and a hub detailing even more options:
On one note, it’s important for companies to publicly take a stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. On the other hand, it’s equally important for companies to turn inward during Pride and make sure their policies align with the values they promote.
“30% of LGBTQ employees in Canada report experiencing discrimination in the workplace compared to only 3% of non-LGBTQ employees,” – Egale
Beyond updating your diversity policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity, consider offering company-wide training to make your workplace a safe space.
Bain & Company offers a few more specific suggestions when it comes to policies and procedures:
Tip: if you are choosing to produce your own Pride content, the team at Copacino+Fujikado put together this guide, called Rainbow with a Cause to help brands create more thoughtful, purposeful, and inclusive Pride content.
Celebrating Pride in the workplace is not just a symbolic gesture, but a meaningful commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all employees. HR leaders have a vital role in driving this change by updating policies, providing diversity training, and promoting initiatives that amplify LGBTQ+ voices. Let us seize this opportunity to stand in solidarity, honor the history of Pride, and actively work toward a future where everyone can bring their authentic selves to work without fear of discrimination. Together, we can create workplaces that truly embody the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Rage applying is the latest trend in the job market - it's like a mad dash to the finish line, except the finish line is a new job.
Employee retention is more critical than ever and with one trend after the next, leaders are going to HR for advice on how to navigate these trends that put their teams at risk.
Here's a guide on how to navigate this latest one – rage applying.
Unlike quiet quitting, where employees distance themselves from their work and become less motivated, rage applying is when an employee starts applying for any role, even if it’s not well suited for them, just to get out of their current situation.
Rage applying isn’t the result of one bad workday – it's the result of general disengagement due to a number of factors. When workers are consistently underpaid, overworked and left hopeless, they begin asking themselves, “is this worth it?”
A whopping 67% of Canadian professionals have rage applied in 2023. According to this study, more than half of this group stated they left their organization due to toxic work relationships. That’s a lot of angry job seekers!
But why should leaders care about this new trend?
People don't leave their workplace; they leave their managers.
When a company is losing its best talent due to poor management, that means there are some serious adjustments that need to be made. It's time to start investing in your managers and providing them with the training they need to support their teams. Leaders are often the key agents to change and if they’re not aware of their team's needs, they will unfortunately lose their best performers.
Turnover is not a term any business likes to hear. It’s predicted that turnover costs about one third of a person’s annual salary. Recruitment, onboarding, and training all cost businesses a lot of money when they are constantly turning over employees.
Younger generations are seeking opportunities that give them fulfillment. They also can easily recognize the signs of a toxic workplace and are more inclined to walk away than to fight for what they want in their current role. In a job where they feel powerless, rage applying might give them a small sense of power, even if it results in a new, mediocre job.
Learn more about the needs of today’s multigenerational workforce in our Recognizing Generational Diversity culture guide.
Even though rage applying may only seem like a trend, it could be a sign of deeper issues going on within the workplace. Leaders need to pay careful attention and invest in solutions that will help build a better culture, so their employees can thrive in this new era of work.
Demonstrating to your employees that you care, and their work is valued through meaningful recognition will have tremendous impact on your team. Using an employee recognition solution, like Kudos, you can recognize every moment of excellence and foster a culture of appreciation to improve overall job satisfaction, leading to a more committed and loyal workforce.
Sometimes it’s time to say goodbye and embrace new opportunities. But if we’ve learned anything over the last few years – losing top talent due to poor management and lousy culture is a costly mistake. In today’s competitive job market, trends like rage applying will only continue and it’s up to leaders to take notice and make the necessary changes.
Investing in your employees is investing in the success of your business.
Mental health related illnesses cost the global economy one trillion US dollars every year. If you still don’t think mental health affects your business – think again.
“Mental health is health. And it’s time we took it seriously,” says Avni Jain, M. Ed, Registered Psychotherapist and Workplace Mental Health Consultant. A South Asian woman who immigrated from the UK to Canada, Avni entered the mental health field to deepen her understanding of herself, and now has a decade of experience helping organizations develop authentic and sustainable mental health solutions.
“This field of work has been really interesting. I'm always curious about how HR leaders are being proactive about workplace mental health. Burnout is on the rise, and everyone manages it differently. I work with many people who often present well on the outside but tend to be struggling in overdrive on the inside,” says Avni.
Experiencing many unhealthy workplace cultures and environments firsthand led her to play an integral role in developing and implementing a hospital wide mental health program, COPEline, for Canada’s leading mental health hospital: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). You can find research-informed workplace recommendations in CAMH’s Workplace Mental Health Playbook for Business Leaders.
We sat down with Avni to discuss her thoughts on mental health in the workplace and what HR leaders can do to support their employees.
A workplace culture is created by its people. If your people aren't doing well, your culture will be directly impacted. Supporting your employees better will ultimately trickle down and have tremendous impact on your business.
The challenging part is making workplace mental health more sustainable. Bringing back office pizzas every Friday is not going to change your culture. Leaders need to think more strategically about evaluating employee struggles and, instead of putting a band-aid over it, invest in solutions that will help sustain culture.
Thinking more sustainably is “how can we make our employees thrive?” versus “what can I do to support this right now?”. Even if your culture is doing great, it’s always important to think long-term when it comes to improving culture. Organizations that manage workplace mental health well are constantly reflecting on their practices and evaluating what is supportive and what’s not. I think the pandemic is proof of that – no one thought working from home would be sustainable, and we discovered it can actually be better than going into an office every day for many employees.
YES. If we're creating solutions to a problem our employees are struggling with, why wouldn't we go directly to the source? Giving your employees autonomy to voice their feedback – whether it be through engagement surveys or eNPS – is key. As much as data is so important, so is action. Many organizations collect, collect, collect, but then don’t follow through or know what to do with the data. Your employees are telling you what they need, they’re giving you the answer, but for them to feel heard, employers need to hold themselves accountable to implementing actionable steps.
Absenteeism. Are your employees showing up, and if so, are they engaged? Do they seem present at work, or more withdrawn?
As a leader, or direct manager, it’s important to know these signs and ask yourself how well you know your team. Check in with your employees regularly to ensure their needs are being met. We have entire lives outside of work, and our personal lives play a huge role in how we perform at work. Encourage your employees to take time off when they need it – providing paid personal time, or unlimited sick days ensures your employees will actually take the time to rest, instead of worrying about limited time off.
This all contributes to your workplace culture – are your employees feeling guilty or worried because there’s no one to cover or assist with the workload? As a leader, you need to be hyperaware of this and know when to lessen the workload or bring in more support.
Leaders are the key agents of change, and they need to practice what they preach. A workplace culture that talks about mental health, but then has leaders who are not reinforcing the resources available doesn’t help reduce the stigma.
People are more likely to reach out for support if it's encouraged and demonstrated throughout all levels of the organization. This includes things like flexibility – encouraging employee wellbeing is pointless if employees aren’t given the flexibility to attend doctor’s appointments or manage their personal responsibilities.
Employees have full lives outside of work, and companies that support their team's needs with compassion and flexibility are more likely to create a positive and healthy work environment. Effective leadership and compassion go hand in hand. Compassionate leadership is consistent communication, regular check-ins, transparency, and keeping those practices consistent beyond periods of change.
Mental health issues are the leading cause of long-term disability claims in Canada. The research is there, and the numbers don’t lie. HR teams need to remember they have the data: retention rates, absenteeism, turnover, disability claims – all of which cost the business a lot of money. Leverage that data to drive forward better strategies.
Investing in mental health training for leaders can be incredibly effective. Are your leaders building teams that foster relationships and team building? Have they built teams that support a culture of work-life balance? Train your managers in these areas so they can lead by example and are better equipped to respond to their team’s needs. You put the numbers together plus some good research, and you have the formula for a pitch that will get results.
Employees thrive when their employers care – they can show up to work as their whole authentic selves because they know they’re valued and supported. With that in mind, developing a mental health strategy that’s sustainable, thoughtful, intentional and tailored to your team’s unique needs doesn't need to cost a lot. It doesn’t need to be at a large scale either, you can take small steps to get to the bigger picture if you stay committed to it.
Reach out to people who are fostering the best workplace cultures, continue to share information, and understand what’s working and what isn’t. Fundamental basics like expressing empathy and kindness and actively listening to your employees can go a long way. There’s plenty of resources out there to get you started, but in the meantime – just be human.
Thank you, Avni for your time and insights.
Better culture starts with Kudos – our platform offers resources that can help employee wellbeing, and contribute to a healthier workplace culture:
Don’t wait for your culture to crash – book a demo today to get started with Kudos.
For mental health support in the U.S. call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center, or text MHA to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line.
For mental health support in Canada call 1-888-668-6810 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 for adults.
2023 is off to a great start! In the first quarter of 2023, here at Kudos we worked hard to provide you with a range of insightful articles, guides, and resources to support you in creating a better culture, fostering employee engagement, and driving business growth.
The included articles share and explore trends and ideas, insights from HR leaders, and downloadable resources such as culture guides and celebration calendars. Topics covered included the use of AI in HR, the five languages of recognition (what's yours?), the link between employee recognition and business growth, the employee net promoter score, and the impact of employee recognition in different industries.
These resources share practical tips, real-life examples, and expert advice to help HR leaders navigate the ever-changing landscape of HR and create workplaces where employees feel valued, engaged, and motivated.
Here's your Q1 2023 round up:
“On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company as a workplace?”
This one simple question offers huge insights into your organization. Your Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) calculates employee loyalty, and can also be a key indicator for measuring your employee experience. HR leaders are using eNPS as a starting point to improve their company culture – let's take a deeper look at what this number means.
An Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a scoring system designed to help employers measure employee satisfaction and loyalty within their organization. It comes from the Net Promoter Score (NPS)®, published by Fred Reichheld, which measures product and brand loyalty with customers. If NPS® is a successful way to measure customer loyalty, then why not use the same method to measure employee loyalty?
eNPS is determined by how your employees answer a variation of the question, “how likely are you to recommend working at [your organization] to a friend,” with answers based on a number scale from 1-10.
Employees who answer in the 0-6 range are considered Detractors, 7-8 are Neutrals, and 9-10 are Promoters.
It’s well known that employee engagement contributes to performance – organizations with a highly engaged workforce are 23% more profitable. Measuring your employee engagement through eNPS is a great start, and your results will help you design initiatives to turn your Neutrals and Detractors into Promoters.
An eNPS score reflects an organization’s employee experience and engagement levels. Engaged employees are highly motivated and move an organization forward because their needs are being met, they have a sense of belonging, and they know their wellbeing matters.
Rebecca Lee, Director of People at Kudos talks about the importance of eNPS, especially when focusing on culture, as it gives a view into your employee experience.
“It’s an important metric that not only gives us some feedback on how team members are feeling but encourages us to shift our mindset to approach team members as clients – particularly as we plan for programs and tactics that will have a positive impact on engagement, retention and overall satisfaction.” - Rebecca Lee, Director of People at Kudos
Calculating your eNPS is a great way to collect anonymous employee feedback. Employees who are satisfied and feel optimistic about their work and the organization they work for, will be more productive and innovative, and will most likely be Promoters in your eNPS. When you pair eNPS data with other employee feedback, like the built-in sentiment survey in Kudos, you’ll get a complete picture of your organizational health.
You can use our Kudos eNPS Calculator to help you calculate your eNPS after surveying your team.
Calculating your eNPS is very simple – eNPS is the percentage of Promoters minus the percentage of Detractors (Neutrals are not included in the calculation).
Here is an example:
Your organization has 100 employees, and you ask them to rank how likely they would be to recommend working at your organization from a scale of 0-10:
30 people answered with a number from 0-6 (Detractors), 20 people answered with either 7 or 8 (Neutrals), and 50 people answered with either 9 or 10 (Promoters). Neutrals are excluded from the calculation:
eNPS = 50% (Promoters) - 30% (Detractors)
eNPS = 20% (or +20 on the ENPS scale)
It’s important to note the score is not out of 100, it’s a scale that ranges between –100 to +100.
Having a positive eNPS means you have more Promoters than Detractors which is always the goal. It’s difficult to narrow down what is considered a great eNPS score, because they differ between industries, but usually +20 would be considered good, and anything above +50 is considered exceptional.
Exploring the benchmarks in your industry is a good starting point when analyzing your score, as well as researching companies that are known for having a great eNPS score.
Looking into the practices that organizations with high eNPS are taking is a great way to strategize how you can improve your employee experience.
CAAT Pension Plan, a Kudos client since 2020, has made huge strides with keeping their employees engaged and has led them to become an award-winning organization. Read more about CAAT Pension Plan’s approach to recognition culture in our free case study; CAAT Sees Improved Employee Engagement by Putting Values First.
Your eNPS can be a valuable metric, however it doesn’t give insights as to why your employees responded the way they did. Taking the steps to gather valuable feedback from your employees is crucial when wanting to improve your employee experience.
For HR leaders, it’s critical to have a sense of where your employee sentiment stands, and how to get ahead of it before it’s too late. The key to improving sentiment and wellbeing in your workplace is being aware of it, not just through an annual survey, but through constant information gathering.
Collecting feedback anonymously through the Kudos Sentiment Survey allows you to track how employees as a group are feeling over time, and also creates a safe space for anonymous individual feedback.
Collecting feedback is a great start, but it's critical to share the results with your employees along with what actions and initiatives will be taken to make improvements.
Look for common threads to identify potential issues and use those insights to move forward with a strategic plan to enhance your employee experience. How your organization changes to improve your overall employee experience is the path that will positively impact your people, and your business.
Happy employees equal productive employees. Employee recognition is not only good for a company’s morale, but it's also good for business growth. Studies from Gallup have shown that happy and engaged employees lead to increased productivity and profitability. Kudos streamlines recognition and helps create an environment where employees feel appreciated through regular and meaningful recognition, which can directly impact your eNPS.
You can download our free guide, Making the Case for Employee Recognition, which will walk you through the steps to get approval of your employee engagement strategy.
Try not to be alarmed if your organization has more Detractors and Neutrals than Promoters – instead, take it as a crucial opportunity to pause on your organization's current practices, and analyze what needs to change. Listen to your employees, advocate for them, and determine your plan to turn Detractors and Neutrals into Promoters.
Launching the right initiatives will help you emerge as a leader in company culture, but investing in the right tools, like Kudos, to make it happen is key.
Attracting and retaining talent is more crucial than it’s ever been. Compensation and benefits might seem like the most important tools in the war for talent – but they’ll only serve to get people in the door.
“We think that if we treat our team members well and empower them to make a meaningful impact, that’s what will help our company’s performance. In fact, that’s what we’ve seen.” Sierra Berg from Pillar Properties, a Kudos client since 2013.
The culture you create directly impacts every part of your employee experience and determines your ability to attract, engage, and retain top talent. Our eBook, Culture as a Talent Strategy, provides actionable insights on how to create the kind of culture that fosters exceptional performance and retains your best people. Let’s take a look at what you’ll find inside.
For HR leaders, attracting and retaining talent through these shifts in our workforce is incredibly challenging. If our current demographic trends continue, this problem will only get worse. When organizations are perpetually understaffed, growth and innovation don’t happen.
Talent is a strategic priority for your organization and will become THE strategic priority and your greatest source of competitive advantage. How can you take your talent strategy to the next level?
Organizations that plan to seriously address long-term labor shortages are investing in creating authentic cultures that drive engagement and performance.
Your people want to feel respected, valued, and aligned with the direction of your company. Creating an attractive, healthy culture is an investment in the long-term viability of your organization. Working on your culture today will help you make enormous strides, especially with younger generations, who care more about their employers’ values.
Pillar Properties’ culture-first approach directly impacts their customers and their business performance. Pillar was recognized as a Culture Leader in the Best Culture Awards, due to their investment and commitment to building a strong workplace culture by becoming a people-focused and culture-first organization.
Download the full case study, The Key to Pillar Properties’ Success is Remarkable Culture, to learn more about how they turned their challenges into opportunities and are now an award-winning company – all due to their culture.
To build a healthy, high-performance culture, take a realistic look at your culture today and evaluate what is working and what is not working. Here are the important questions to help guide you:
Great culture happens when values, behaviors, talent, and strategy come together. More answers to these questions are all in our free eBook.
Employer branding is how organizations manage how potential candidates perceive them as employers. Your goal for employer branding is to convince desirable candidates (i.e., candidates with the right skills, aligned values, etc.) to apply for jobs with your organization.
Your employer branding strategy should showcase your culture in an authentic way, not because it will attract candidates, but because it will attract the RIGHT candidates. Infuse the hiring process with your culture – a top-notch culture is the best way to recruit top-notch talent.
Culture is the only thing your competitors cannot replicate, and that’s why it’s the only sustainable competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. Build a winning talent strategy today by downloading our free eBook, Culture as a Talent Strategy, and start taking actionable steps towards a culture that fosters exceptional performance and retains your best people.
Currently, half of today's employees and managers are burned out at work, according to Microsoft's 2022 Work Trend Index. Between the ongoing pandemic, looming recession, and the usual stress this time of year brings, chances are your team is exhausted, overwhelmed, and in dire need of some downtime. Why is it, then, that along with weekends and weeknights full of holiday parties, shopping, and travelling, life at work feels busier and more demanding than it has all year?
As HR teams, social committees, and culture clubs congregate to make some last-minute holiday plans, why not try something new this year? Rather than sticking to the old approach, here's an inside look at what your team really wants, and how to make it happen:
The urge to organize a virtual happy hour may be strong, and for some people, they are still a holiday dream come true! But with 80% of U.S. remote workers reporting some level of 'Zoom fatigue,' chances are, zooming in to party might bring out a few inner Grinches. Instead, give your team a clear choice by including one simple (compound) word: non-mandatory. Make it clear that your team can choose to attend or take the time to log off and recharge.
Sure, everyone loves a free t-shirt/hoodie/coffee mug, but is that really the best you can do? Between inflation and layoffs in the news, people are worried about personal finances – S&P Global reports that consumer holiday spending is expected to pull back compared to last season, for example. With that in mind, rather than delighting your team with (non-re-giftable) company swag, why not give them the gift of choice with a flexible gift card? Relieving the burden of holiday spending is a great way to show your team you have their back.
Sometimes, what you don't give has the most impact. While the idea of starting 2023 off ready to go, with planning, budgeting, and reports complete, consider if it's worth your team's sanity and peace of mind. On top of that, with stress at an all-time high this time of year, the quality of the work will undoubtedly suffer. Pushing some deadlines to a week into January and giving your team a chance to breathe this December will put a smile on your team's face that a holiday ham could simply never.
"I love performance review season," said no one ever. For some people, performance reviews bring anxiety, insecurity and significant discomfort. Unfortunately, this year risks being even more stressful, with many organizations freezing salaries and stalling promotions. Ensuring your team knows their work is appreciated is more critical now than ever. Announcing a 2023 implementation of a recognition platform, like Kudos, is a relatively inexpensive way of showing your team that you value their contributions. The bonus – a recognition platform is the gift that keeps on giving since your employees will continue to receive meaningful recognition all year and, if you choose to use points, a catalog of world-class rewards.
Finally, all this talk and effort leading up to the holidays is pointless if there is no actual time to celebrate and recharge. Time off can mean something different to everyone, including your managers. Some expect their teams to be accessible despite being "off." Have your leaders sign off on a "right to disconnect over the holidays" policy with guidelines on what is expected in terms of checking in with work and contingency plans. This will give your team the freedom to delete their work tech apps off their phones (no offence, Slack & Teams) and eliminate the need to check their email obsessively. Add some fun by suggesting some of these funny out of office messages. Your team will be delighted and will come back refreshed and ready to tackle 2023's challenges.
Changing how you've always celebrated the holidays can feel risky or uncomfortable, but the payoff is significant. When you see the joy in your team's eyes from getting what they really want, your own heart might just grow three sizes!
"And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!" –Dr. Seuss
The working world is continuing to change – for businesses, for leaders, but especially for employees. Employees are facing critical questions in terms of job security, where they work and their long-term career aspirations. Despite recent reports of layoffs and quiet quitting, the effects of the great resignation are still very much alive, with some are choosing to leave their jobs, or pursue new careers, and this means the competition to attract and retain talent is still very much top of mind for HR leaders.
An organization is only as good as its people. Organizations that want to stand out in 2023 will need to look beyond their traditional goals and start embracing trends, like building a culture of recognition, in order to thrive among the competition. Let’s take a look at our top 10 articles from 2022 that will help you take your culture to the next level in 2023.
What are your company’s core values? What seems like a straightforward question often ends with an incomplete answer.
Tom Short, CCO of Kudos, explains in, Lead With Your Core Values, how to transform your company’s core values to be purposeful and deliberate. Tom discusses the necessary principles when building core values so your company can have a culture by design rather than a culture by default:
As human beings, we have the need to accomplish things, and in turn, have those accomplishments appreciated and recognized. Without this recognition, we begin to feel our actions or hard work have no purpose, and this leads us to feel unappreciated, undervalued, and unmotivated.
The Science Behind Employee Recognition, discusses how human beings are wired to feel connection, belonging and acceptance. Feeling and expressing gratitude releases dopamine and serotonin – these crucial neurotransmitters are responsible for making us feel ‘good’ and helping us regulate our emotions and immediate stress response. Gratitude acts as a catalyst for these neurotransmitters, and actively experiencing gratitude, and appreciation allows us to manage our stress levels better.
You should never hesitate to send recognition, but when your message is meaningful, it has the most impact.
Employees at companies with an effective recognition solution are five times as likely to be connected to company culture and four times as likely to be engaged. Implementing an easy-to-use recognition program for your employees is key to making recognition the foundation of your company culture.
20 Employee Recognition Examples your Team Will Love discusses the types of employee recognition, how to write meaningful recognition and perfect examples to help you start.
When you’re recognized for accomplishing something great, where does that feeling go after the moment has passed?
Recognition Platforms: Banks of Positive Reinforcement dives deep into human memory, how we store recognition, and how an effective employee recognition program can nurture the experience of positive recognition.
Platforms like Kudos keep each moment of social recognition in one place. Instead of waiting on directive memories to trigger motivation, you can access a bank of positive inspiration, any time.
When it comes to workplace benefits, today's employees expect the most common “perks” as the bare minimum Offering free snacks and staff parties are no longer a competitive driver to making your organization a great workplace. Companies that are ahead of the curve know to look for deeper, more sustainable solutions.
How to Build a Culture of Recognition discusses the impact recognition has on your culture and employee experience, and how to make recognition an extension of your company’s core values and talent strategy by making it a regular habit within your organization.
Employees have been through a lot, and it’s critical to manage their emotional wellbeing. For many, today’s uncertain times are contributing to increasing levels of stress – which can have far reaching implications for your company. The good news is that by following some key guidelines you can help your organization successfully navigate this unpredictable era. Here’s what you’ll find in Why Strong Workplace Culture is Critical in Uncertain Times:
Employee recognition has been around for a long time – dating back to the Industrial Revolution, when employers sought ways to make employees more efficient and productive
A key contributor to building an engaged workforce and great culture is continuing to adapt to your employee expectations. While the need for recognition has not gone away, employees today expect it more regularly and personalized to their contribution and impact. When did you last check in on your current employee recognition practices? What steps are you taking to modernize your employee recognition in 2023?
Read all about The Secret to a Winning Employee Recognition Strategy and the 6 key things to consider when building a culture of recognition in your organization.
A strong employer brand will set your organization apart in today's ever-changing job market. Your employer brand will help you compete for talent with companies that offer similar roles and benefits compensation.
In times when people can choose to work at any company, anywhere in the world, your organization's employer brand will help you stand out.
In Employer Branding: Everything you need to know will help you learn:
Building an employer brand is a long-term culture strategy that will bring your core values to life and pay big dividends for your organization.
Feeling genuinely connected in any environment requires dedication, thoughtfulness, and compassion.
Many people are looking for new jobs because they don’t feel connected to their current ones. Employees feel disconnected from their organizations for many different, but equally important reasons:
Thoughtful employee recognition strategies can address these nuances, remind people of their unique worth, and support their individuality.
Read our article, Why People Leave Their Jobs, to learn what you can do to keep your team engaged and onboard.
If you find yourself bearing the brunt of the Great Resignation you might be using outdated solutions to modern problems.
Today’s employees are seeking a strong company culture that recognizes their contributions. They want more than just compensation and time off – their must-haves for a thriving work culture include a recognition-first approach and a company that is taking massive steps towards employee engagement.
Kudos’ President and CEO Muni Boga’s article, The Future of Work Hinges on Employee Recognition, sheds light on the crucial lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic and offers a path to success for companies who are ready to invest in a recognition-centric culture, rather than hoping for a return to our old ways.
Kudos is ready to help you build a culture of recognition. Let us know how we can help you succeed.
Trust is built upon a foundation of transparency; employees, clients and partners trust an organization that is open, honest, and clear.
For employees, transparency means having enhanced visibility into processes, decisions, and strategy that goes beyond the superficial or the “need-to-know". Access to pertinent information helps people make more effective decisions, especially in the workplace. According to Glassdoor, “when an organization is more transparent with their employees, they tend to be more successful in several areas: they have increased employee engagement, stronger company culture and [transparency] fosters a type of comfort that allows employees to freely communicate.”
Here’s a (fictional) short story about a person named Leslie. Leslie had worked in technology for quite a while when she felt it was the right time to change careers. To learn as much as possible about prospective opportunities, Leslie tried to learn as much as she could about a company, she thought she might want to work for; the problem was that there wasn’t much available on their website beyond templated copy and marketing speak that gave her no insight into what the company was really like. Leslie decided to take matters into her own hands by using other digital resources available to her, like search engines, social media, and career review websites. In the end, Leslie was able to learn enough about the company to pursue it as an opportunity. Through her search, she started to understand the culture, the objectives, and the philosophy of the company.
There are two important takeaways from this story:
1. This could easily be the real story of anyone seeking new opportunities and having to go deep to find necessary information. In Leslie’s case, she was highly motivated and did the extra work to dig up information, but not everyone – client or potential employee, has the same dedication.
2. The need for prospective employees, clients, and partners to do a deep dive to learn about your business can be avoided by being more transparent on your own website.
This doesn’t mean you have to expose every aspect of your business to the public and potentially make your organization vulnerable to competition. What it does mean is that you have an opportunity to tell your brand’s unique story in an open and authentic way, which will help you grow your business, reach the right clientele, and attract employees who are a great culture fit.
While the example above is of a prospective employee, the impact on prospective and existing customers is also significant. Forbes states that honesty and transparency can help a business see growth in its customer base. In fact, a study found that 94% of consumers questioned would remain loyal to a transparent brand.
First and foremost, you will stand out as a business that is open, honest, and authentic. When an organization is viewed this way, people have more faith in working for them (as an employee) and with them (as a partner or client).
MyHRToolKit outlined some specific benefits of business transparency which focus on relationship building with employees and improving overall workplace culture. Healthy relationships start with trust, and when your business is transparent, it “helps employees feel like they are part of something bigger. It invites them to really be a part of your business and its vision. It gives them ownership over their role, provides them with confidence in your leadership, and often means they will remain loyal to your company for longer.”
When it comes to how this can impact your workplace culture it all boils down to the environment you want to foster; a transparent culture “strengthens relationships between employees and their employers and helps nurture an environment of collaboration. Rather than fighting for a position at the top and pulling down others along the way, employees will be more likely to support their colleagues and stay motivated even when the going gets tough.”
Being transparent isn’t without its own set of challenges. When you decide to be more open about your business, that vulnerability may instill fear and skepticism – ‘have we shared too much?’ ‘Are we giving our competitors an edge?’ While these are normal concerns, a more important question to ask of your business is ‘can our brand grow and thrive without being more transparent?’
What’s important to remember is that the type and amount of transparency your business fosters are completely within your control. According to Harvard Business Review, there are very real challenges in being too transparent, but finding the right balance for your organization can ensure you’re setting the right tone and facilitating an optimal experience for everyone. They outline four categories of transparency in business:
The benefits of becoming a more transparent business vastly outweigh any potential challenges, as long as you’re mindful of what you’re being transparent about and are doing it in the interest of your team, partners and clients. The following are three ways you can encourage your company to become more transparent today:
You’ve worked hard to create an organization that offers a unique solution to a problem – make sure you’re open enough to let people fully appreciate your greatness and help make you even better.
The month of October can make us feel uneasy for a variety of reasons; Halloween candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner being one.
But just as the seasons are changing, so is the world of HR; and what’s more frightening than the unknown?
Here are some of today’s HR leaders’ biggest fears, and some solutions to ease them. For the full effect, please read this article by candlelight, or while holding a flashlight under your chin.
According to the 2022 Identity of HR Survey by HR Drive, HR leaders say there are three main barriers to recruitment and retention:
The survey found that small, tight-knit organizations are faring better than large ones in terms of climbing resignation rates: 53% of large organizations reported climbing rates, while only 26% of small organizations did.
Keep in mind, the size of an organization does not necessarily make or break its chances at better employee retention. Small organizations can more easily create the sense of community and belonging that job-seekers crave, but even large, remote organizations can seamlessly integrate positive culture with the right tools.
HR’s role has morphed drastically in the past two years to that of a strategic business partner. Rightfully so, HR is getting more recognition, but they’re not yet receiving the resources to match.
While HR professionals are “the people that help people”, many of us get into the habit of venting to HR without following through with formal complaints. Being an emotional sounding board in any setting would get exhausting; HR professionals somehow need to conjure the emotional energy to support entire organizations from 9 to 5.
Large organizations need more organization. That said, the survey found that rigid systems can reinforce the same toxic cultural norms HR is working to dismantle.
Naturally, employees at all levels in an organization are guilty of resisting change. It’s easy to justify tradition when you’re immersed in all its (fleeting) benefits; but today’s talent is looking for more than a paycheck.
In HR, resisting change is like hanging your feet over the edge of the bed, taunting whatever sinister being that lies underneath to pull you by the ankles.
HR Reporter also revealed workers’ ideas about change. Many people are hoping for large pay bumps if forced to return to the office full-time. In Canada, for example, 80% of remote workers might just look for a new job if asked to return full-time to the office.
Even with an excess of other responsibilities, many HR leaders are left with the task of encouraging people to return to the office. Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news, especially when it could lead to losing employees they care about.
80% of organizations rank maintaining morale and engagement as their top priority for 2022. So, what’s the best way to go about it?
Maintaining morale and engagement is a unique challenge because each employee gains motivation from different things. HR professionals need a solution that harmonizes life and work, so that each employee feels welcomed and accepted for their authentic selves.
Each organization has a unique viewpoint, identity, and mission, with workplace culture at the center. Tackling culture doesn't have to be scary! With the right tools and approach, you can design an irresistible culture that fuels healthy morale.
People are happier at work when they feel welcome, and among friends. With recognition platforms like Kudos, which open the doors for peer-to-peer social recognition, your company culture will give employees a sense of community.
Should you be worried about quiet quitting?
Quiet quitting represents a significant shift in today’s workforce. More than ever, today’s employees are seeking happiness at work and better work-life balance. More and more employees are rejecting the “hustle culture” mentality.
We dove into the history of quiet quitting to provide some advice on what to do next if you’re feeling confused about this trending topic.
Many definitions of quiet quitting have surfaced.
Gartner defines it as “a term that describes employees who are not motivated to put their all into work. They’re not actually quitting, but they have mentally checked out.” Forbes calls it “greater emotional separation or new boundaries between work and life.”
Essentially, it is a rebellion against the “hustle culture” mentality many grew up observing.
In the viral TikTok video, Zaid Khan defines the term as “not outright quitting your job, but quitting the idea of going above and beyond.”
While the TikTok video is from 2022, the concept of ‘quiet quitting’ has existed for decades.
Perhaps the most popular example of quiet quitting is the 1999 film Office Space. In this corporate satire, fictional character Peter Gibbons refuses to work overtime, wants to have a good time and charms two consultants into putting him on the management fast-track.
From a long commute to a boss who is constantly asking him to work weekends, Peter Gibbons stops going the extra mile and encourages others to do the same – rejecting hustle culture.
So, what is hustle culture anyway? The concept is simple – hustle culture means letting work be the driving force in your life, to the detriment of all else. Other people stuck in hustle culture might feel like they must work (long hours) to fulfill their professional goals, and there’s simply no other way.
Historically in the US, people who earned the highest salary would work less than the people who earned the least. It makes sense – if you’re making a lot of money, then you can afford to work less.
But something changed in the late 80s; people making the highest salary started to work the longest shifts. The reason? Employees paid by the hour (typically blue-collar workers) were now protected by the Fair Labour Standards Act. From then on, hourly employees were required to be paid overtime.
At the same time, employers hiring salaried workers, typically in white-collar professions, began to glamorize the idea of workaholism. These workers would work unpaid extra hours to achieve their targets and professional goals.
Hustle culture promotes “always staying on,” and that mentality can lead to burnout.
Today, according to Deloitte, almost 80% of people have experienced burnout at work.
With the impact of globalization and automation, a wave of mergers and acquisitions started to happen. Afraid of getting laid off, people were bound to work harder to demonstrate their role was indispensable. This fed hustle culture, and subsequently, burnout culture.
When Millennials entered the workforce, they started to advocate for better work-life balance and a focus on wellness. Tired of seeing their parents working at companies with poor cultures, this generation fought for the flexibility and benefits we see in today’s job market.
A study done by PWC proves this, revealing that Millennials demand better work-life balance. That said, this generation won’t just accept a position for a high salary, they also want purpose, and will make sure that companies align with their values before they accept a job. What's more, with record-high employment rates, they can be choosy.
Did Millennials or Gen Z start the quiet quitting trend?
Both generations seem to rebel against the hustle culture mentality. According to Deloitte, Gen Z also craves more purposeful and flexible work with a particular focus on their mental health.
But employees aren’t just refusing to work overtime or weekends; some are unmotivated and disengaged during regular working hours.
According to Gallup, almost 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged at work. In some cases, quiet quitting could arguably be another form of employee disengagement.
1. Get to know your employees well
It’s important to understand that each person sees work differently. According to Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski, there are three different approaches people take to their work.
First, we have the people who see work as a means to put food on the table and pay bills – these are ‘job oriented ’ people.
Secondly, we have people with a ‘career orientation;’ they see their work as a path to a better status in life, so they don't mind putting the extra mile into their work to achieve that.
Finally, we have the people who take it even further. They don’t view their job as a career but instead as a ‘calling.’
While none of these approaches are necessarily good or bad, it’s important for managers to find the right way to motivate each employee to keep them engaged.
For instance, if a person who is job oriented has a family emergency, they will seek support from their employer to take time off to support their loved one. Similarly, if someone is career oriented and feels like they’ve reached their peak at work, you should find ways to develop a comprehensive career development plan with them. Finally, if you have a ‘calling’ employee, be mindful of burnout. While they love their job and find it satisfying, make sure they get the support they need by encouraging breaks and disconnection from work on vacation.
2. Focus on engagement
Employees are disengaged for nuanced reasons, but at the core, they want to feel valued and that their organization cares for their wellbeing.
Recognition is one proven way more companies are opting to utilize to improve their engagement levels. What’s more, it also helps you build a stronger connection with your employees.
According to Gallup, employees are up to four times more likely to be engaged if they experience regular recognition at work.
The key here is to understand that happier employees perform better. As a result, forward-thinking companies are coming to realize that the push toward a more balanced work life has produced benefits for both employees and employers.
With a tool like Kudos, employers can encourage peer-to-peer recognition, allowing people’s hard work to be highlighted in situations where it might normally go unnoticed. The platform allows your team to align their recognition messages to your company values, helping employees develop a better sense of belonging while helping employers measure their engagement too.
3. Take good care of managers
Almost identical to the employee engagement study, today, Gallup reports that only one in three managers feel engaged at work. Taking good care of managers means giving them the resources they need to lead a team properly.
Quiet quitting is a silent scream for managers to build a stronger relationship with their employees, but managers can’t do that if they are feeling burned out.
According to a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, the most important factor is to build trust. If an employee trusts their manager, they will also feel the organization cares for their wellbeing.
Remember, a trustworthy manager reflects a trustworthy organization. So, encourage managers to take time off, provide training and finally, work towards a culture where managers can get recognized too. Oftentimes, managers get forgotten despite the key part they played in achieving the outcome.
Quiet quitting poses a higher threat when an unhealthy workplace culture is in place.
However, organizations that adapt to newer generations’ demands will see better results than the ones stuck in the past.
By working towards healthy workplace culture, being there for your employees and managers, and praising their achievements through consistent recognition, you'll be well on your way to a thriving, engaged workforce.
Culture has the power to influence many aspects of your organization’s operations. That’s because workplace culture is part of everything an organization does. From policies and procedures to your company’s values and beliefs. So, what exactly is workplace culture, and how can recognition create a workplace culture that will flourish?
Culture is a hot topic these days, especially surrounding discussions on remote work and many organizations returning to office-based work. At its core, workplace culture is the shared values, behaviours, and goals of the organization.
Workplace culture is the foundation of the unique identity your organization needs to stand out from the rest. Like employer branding, workplace culture has the power to attract top talent and build stronger relationships with your clients. Think of workplace culture as your organization’s personality and unique traits.
Culture and employer branding go hand in hand. While employer branding focuses on how prospective employees will see your organization while looking for a job, workplace culture is what will ultimately make them stay.
By now, most organizations understand that workplace culture can bring benefits such as better communication between teams, enhanced trust between employees and higher efficiency.
In fact, according to a Deloitte study, 94% of executives think of culture as a vital component to business success. What’s more, when looking at successful organizations around the globe, you’ll notice they all have one thing in common: a strong workplace culture.
A strategic workplace culture built by design (versus by default) is important because it will influence your employees by creating a better sense of belonging. Employees that feel like they belong and bring their authentic selves to work, influence organizational performance.
“Millennial turnover costs the US economy $30.5 billion annually” (Gallup Report, 2022)
With millennials voluntarily leaving their jobs at a drastic rate, it’s never been more important to analyse what’s working and what needs improvement.
Millennial workers – the largest working generation today, are different from previous generations in that if they don’t like the culture, they will leave for a new employer. Moreover, a likeable culture needs to be genuine – it must reflect your organization’s values and ideals.
Now that we know why culture is so important, and why it has become so top of mind in the last few years, how can you define it and make it stronger?
Leadership plays a big role in how workplace culture is developed and evolves. It’s demonstrated that when employees take pride in the workplace culture they share, everyone wins. Employees want their needs to be met, but they also want to know the work they do is appreciated. By recognizing and adapting, employers that strive towards a positive workplace culture will thrive.
In a rapidly evolving business world, there’s no exact recipe for what makes a workplace great. Amidst a global pandemic, the Great Resignation, a looming recession and continuously evolving technology – building a robust workplace culture is more important now than ever.
When people are asked, “what makes your workplace great”, the typical responses you’ll get are: high pay, good health benefits, vacation time, and other office perks like gym access, ping pong tables, and free snacks.
Today's employees expect most of those items as the bare minimum in terms of workplace perks and benefits. Offering free snacks and staff parties is no longer a competitive driver to making your organization a great workplace. Companies that are ahead of the culture curve know to look for deeper answers to this question, like: “feeling valued,” “a sense of community,” “employee wellbeing," and “opportunities to grow”.
We know recognition is a leading driver in retention, productivity and innovation, but understanding the impact of recognition culture on the overall employee experience is the shift organizations need to make to gain a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining top talent.
In a culture of recognition, employees know their company values them and their contributions to the success of their organization. A culture of recognition builds trust and security, and employees are more motivated to continue doing great work. Recognition consistently emerges in studies on improving workplace culture and has proven to be a primary driver in engaging and motivating employees to do their best.
Employee recognition also reminds employees they are integral to building and living the company’s core values. With effective recognition, employees understand their accomplishments within the context of something greater. So, even when the company is going through changes, employees feel secure and content with the value they bring.
Employee recognition can look different across industries, but knowing how to use it strategically can have a huge impact on your business. Learn more in The Impact of Recognition Across Industries culture guide.
“Globally, employee engagement and wellbeing remain very low, and it’s holding back enormous growth potential” (Gallup Report, 2022).
Employers need to move away from the traditional thinking that engagement happens at work and wellbeing happens at home. Engaged employees are highly involved and are moving the organization forward because their needs are being met, they have a sense of belonging, and they know their wellbeing matters. Disengaged employees are psychologically unattached to their work, or worse, are resentful and reactive because their needs are not being met.
Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workplace Report asks: Are your employees thriving, struggling or suffering? Companies with engaged workers (thriving) have 23% higher profit compared to companies with unhappy workers (struggling or suffering). When employees are engaged and thriving, they experience significantly lower stress, and this plays a massive role in their responsibilities at work and outside of work.
There is a significant correlation between employee recognition and employee engagement – recognition boosts employee engagement and contributes to mental wellbeing. In fact, the absence of recognition can lead to the deterioration of an employee’s psychological health and, ultimately, their performance. Employee wellbeing is not just health benefits and time off; it’s providing a promise and a commitment to your employees that you take their wellbeing seriously.
Let’s go back to the question: “what makes a great workplace?”. Implementing an employee recognition platform isn’t the whole solution – making recognition an extension of your core values, your talent strategy, and a regular habit within your organization is the key. So, how do you build a culture of recognition?
You can learn more on how to build a culture of recognition and drive your organization's performance in our Recognition Done Right Culture Guide.
Your employees are your greatest asset – you need to foster an environment where they can thrive versus just seeing them as "workers." Employees want to be part of a workplace that unlocks their full potential by being invested in them as a whole person, recognizing them for their achievements, and valuing them as part of a positive workplace culture. When you make meaningful recognition part of your company’s culture, you are unlocking an advantage and leading the way for what can truly make a workplace great.
Originally published August 2022. Last updated July 2023.
For much of the world, the pandemic is far from over. Navigating this ever-changing landscape can feel disorienting, to say the least. Yet, many organizational leaders have utilized this time to learn from their past misdirection, and thrive on unfamiliar, new, and exciting ideas.
Retaining valuable talent is essential not only to keep your organization on track, but also to explore untravelled avenues.
“Nearly one in four workers (23%) say they are actively trying to change their job and/or move into another industry that they believe is more future-proof.” – ADP Research Institute, People at Work 2022
The script has flipped from “what can people do for the organization” to “what can the organization do for its people.” Companies that follow this new script are attracting more talent and holding onto them for longer.
To know what makes people want to stay with a company, it’s helpful to know first what makes them leave.
People need to feel fundamentally supported; this starts with comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion policies. Many people leave jobs because their employer isn’t meeting this bare minimum, let alone building inclusive culture strategies or sharing educational resources throughout the company.
ADP recently published an outline of current sentiments echoed by workers around the world, People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View.
The report shows that 76% of the global workforce, “would consider looking for a new job if they discovered their company had an unfair gender pay gap or no diversity and inclusion policy.” – ADP Research Institute, People at Work 2022
More notable findings:
“Employers’ strategies could also benefit from encompassing how to support and champion neurodiversity, such as dyslexia or autism, among the workforce.” – ADP Research Institute, People at Work 2022
The impulse to change jobs for a more future-proof career path is growing. Employees have higher expectations because they want to feel secure in rapidly changing, uncertain times.
Just like your company, employees want to be at the leading edge of their fields — push the envelope, think outside of the box, and create something they’re proud of. Yet, they don’t want to sign themselves up for burnout and impossible performance standards.
“For the one in 10 who are not satisfied with their current employment, almost half (49%) say it is due to being given increased responsibility for no extra pay.” – ADP Research Institute, People at Work 2022
More notable findings:
The JD-R Model, created by researchers Arnold Bakker and Evangelia Demerouti in 2006, is a different way to represent, measure, and ultimately improve employee well-being. It splits working conditions into two categories: job demands and job resources.
Job demands are the physical and emotional stressors of someone’s role. Job resources are the physical, social, and organizational resources that reduce the stress of someone’s role.
“The JD-R Model states that when job demands are high and job positives are low, stress and burnout are common. Conversely, good job positives can offset the effects of extreme job demands, and encourage motivation and engagement.” – Mind Tools Content Team, The JD-R Model Analyzing and Improving Well-Being
Promisingly, the JDR model can give leaders clarity on turnover risk before it’s too late. Oftentimes, leaders only gain this clarity after a valuable employee leaves.
With the JDR model, if someone’s job demands far outweigh the resources available to them, employers have measurable information they can act on.
At the end of the day, people work to feed families, pay bills, and improve their quality of life. Competitive salaries can give someone more freedom to do so, but maybe they’re looking for a more sincere incentive. People want to be part of a community where their creativity isn’t limited, and they can bring their authentic selves to work.
Daily recognition is a powerful engagement incentive, whether your company has the capacity to offer competitive salaries or not. In several cases, smaller companies set themselves apart from competitors by building a transparent, collaborative, and supportive culture.
“More than half (53%) would accept a pay cut if it meant improving their work-life balance, and a similar proportion (50%) would take a pay cut to guarantee flexibility in how they structure their hours – even if it meant the total hours worked did not change.” – ADP Research Institute, People at Work 2022
At Kudos, we value happiness. Of course, we don’t expect our employees to be happy 100% of the time, but we support them in their pursuit of happiness. And we are dedicated to eliminating any obstacles in their way.
Valuing your employee’s psychological well-being is integral to improving their sense of belonging. Especially considering the large portion of the workforce struggling with their mental health:
Effective remote leaders seem to have a better handle on the “people-first” approach. In virtual environments, leaders need to be intentional and creative about connecting with their teams. In-office leaders don’t have the same physical and technological barriers to overcome, so they are often less proactive about connecting with their employees.
"Only one in 11 remote workers (9%) say their employer is not doing anything proactively to promote positive mental health at work, as opposed to around one in three (34%) of those in the workplace.” – ADP Research Institute, People at Work 2022
That said, feeling truly connected in any environment takes dedication, thoughtfulness, and compassion.
For many, working at home can contribute to their stress. Maybe they’re juggling parenthood, a tense roommate dynamic, or any number of distractions in their home life. But, when employers extend their support to remote workers the “out-of-office” benefits shine through.
Alternative working models support the future-proof trajectory people want to be on. Workplaces that offer remote or flexible opportunities are more likely to keep their valued members on board:
To keep people around, invest in a working style that complements their lifestyle. Otherwise, they will leave to find a better match.
The truth is, that talented people leave great jobs for nuanced reasons. Thoughtful employee recognition strategies can address these nuances, remind people of their unique worth, and support their individuality. Peer-to-peer recognition makes people feel appreciated, valued, and irreplaceable.
Change is inevitable, but companies that intentionally build positive relationships with their employees also build a positive legacy. And should anyone have to leave your company, they will take that legacy with them.
So, be a company that’s great to work for, and to be from.
In today’s ever-changing job market, a strong employer brand will set your organization apart. It will help you compete with companies that are offering the same roles, same benefits and even the same compensation as you. In times when people basically can choose to work at any company, anywhere in the world, your organization’s employer brand is what will ultimately attract top talent.
What’s important to understand is that employer branding shouldn’t just fall on the Human Resources department’s shoulders. Branding is a marketing concept and as such, the marketing department must actively collaborate with the HR team for the strategy to work.
Simply put, employer branding is the way your organization manages how current employees and potential candidates perceive you as an employer.
However, employer branding also influences how your clients see your brand. When a brand has a reputation of not treating its employees well, clients or consumers won’t want to do business with it. There are plenty benefits an organization will start to see with the development of a great employer brand. Let’s dive into it!
Now that we know the benefits of a great employer brand, it’s time to figure out who should oversee employer branding at your organization, HR or Marketing?
As the war for talent continues, employer branding has created the need for the two departments to collaborate more than ever before. In fact, a LinkedIn survey says HR professionals acknowledge that recruitment is becoming more like marketing.
The answer is that it should be a team effort. Employer branding is about creating a culture of happy employees and eager prospects who dream of working for you. It’s about listening to, and measuring employee referrals, both formal, and informal. When someone is so happy to work at your organization, they will tell all their family and friends about your brand.
Employer branding needs a strong culture where employees are in the spotlight; their stories, their achievements, and their wellbeing. Adding a people-point-of-view to your employer branding will generate better candidates, contributing to better culture. Employer branding and culture go hand in hand.
But how can you take your employer brand from good to great?
Building an employer brand is a long-term culture strategy that will pay big dividends. While the task may seem daunting, remember that you already have an employer brand – the key is to make sure people are experiencing your workplace the way you want them to, and the way that will drive business results in the future.