Discover insights on employee recognition and engagement, workplace culture, performance management, people analytics, and more.
The holiday season is a time of warmth, togetherness, and spreading joy. As a manager or leader, it's the perfect opportunity to recognize your hardworking team, celebrate a great year and extend well-wishes for the festive time ahead.
It’s important to remember that there are many cultural and religious celebrations happening this time of year. Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Rohatsu, Diwali, or simply the season itself, sending thoughtful holiday messages to your employees can foster a sense of belonging and inclusion. Here are some dates to keep in mind:
Let’s explore examples of holiday messages that can brighten your team's spirits during this special time of year.
As we reflect on the year gone by, I am struck by the extraordinary spirit that each one of you has demonstrated. Your resilience, commitment, and camaraderie have been the cornerstone of our success, making [Company Name] more than a workplace, but a true community.
This time of year reinforces the importance of connection, kindness, and the joy of giving back. Even as we pause to enjoy the holiday season with loved ones, let's carry these values into the coming year and beyond.
Looking ahead, 2024 promises new adventures, challenges, and triumphs. I am confident that with our shared energy and passion, there's no limit to what we can achieve together.
Wishing you a joyous, restful holiday season, and a vibrant New Year filled with hope and happiness.
As we approach the end of another prosperous year, I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your outstanding contributions and dedication to our organization. Your hard work and commitment have played a crucial role in our success, and I am truly grateful for the effort you've put into making this year a great one for all of us.
As we head into the holiday season, I encourage you to take a well-deserved break and spend quality time with your loved ones. It's a time to recharge, reflect on our achievements, and create cherished memories with those who matter most.
The coming year holds new opportunities and challenges, and I am confident that, with your continued dedication and hard work, we will achieve even greater success!
I wish you all a joyous and restful holiday!
What a year it's been!
The holiday season is upon us, and as we gear up to bid farewell to another remarkable year, it's the perfect time to spread some festive cheer and express our heartfelt gratitude for your fantastic contributions.
We've navigated through ups, downs, and unexpected plot twists, and through it all, your dedication and enthusiasm have shone bright.
While you deck the halls and enjoy your holiday feasts, I hope you find time to relax, unwind, and create unforgettable memories with loved ones. Here's to laughter, joy, and all the good vibes as we welcome a brand-new year!
Thank you for being an integral part of our amazing team. Let's recharge our enthusiasm batteries and tackle new adventures together in the year ahead.
As the year draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for your exceptional contributions to our team and organization throughout the year.
2023 has been a year filled with challenges and triumphs, and your dedication, hard work, and commitment have been the driving force behind our success. It is a time to reflect on our achievements, celebrate the joys of the season, and look forward to the opportunities that the new year will bring.
On behalf of the entire [Company Name] family, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season filled with warmth, happiness, and good health.
Thank you once again for your dedication and hard work. I am incredibly proud to have you all as part of our team, and here’s to a prosperous 2024!
As we approach the end of 2023, it's a perfect time to reflect on the past year's achievements. I want to extend my warmest wishes to each and every one of you. May your hearts be filled with joy, peace, and togetherness during this time of year.
Season's Greetings to you and your families. Thank you for your hard work and dedication!
I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation for all your exceptional performances this past year – your commitment to our shared goals and values is truly commendable.
Whether it was meeting tight deadlines, going the extra mile to assist colleagues, or consistently delivering top-notch results, your efforts have not gone unnoticed. Our success this past year is because of all of you, and I am truly grateful.
As we reflect on 2023, I hope you all take some well-deserved time to rest, relax, and enjoy the company of your loved ones – you all deserve it! May your holiday season be filled with warmth, love, and just the right amount of festive indulgence.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Dear [Company Name] Family,
As we wrap up another successful year, I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for your dedication and hard work. May this Christmas bring you joy, love, and well-deserved rest. Enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones, and may the new year ahead be filled with exciting opportunities.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Spreading holiday cheer in the workplace is not only a kind gesture but also a great way to foster a sense of unity and appreciation among your team. Encouraging all your team members to send recognition will give that extra boost of motivation before the year ends.
Remember, it's not just about the specific holiday but the sentiment behind your message that matters. Recognition is appreciated any time of the year and is the true gift that keeps on giving.
Recognition plays a pivotal role in many areas of an organization. Retaining talent, boosting productivity and engagement, and driving performance are just a few of the many powerful benefits.
Employee recognition continually comes up as a key solution for many challenges organizations are faced with today. We don’t need to prove this, it’s a fact – employee recognition helps drive organizational performance and improves business outcomes.
Let's explore 10 undeniable facts about employee recognition.
To gain a competitive advantage, organizations must comprehend the impact of building a culture of recognition, and the impact that has on the overall employee experience. In a recognition culture, employees are aware their contributions are genuinely valued by their company.
A culture of recognition builds trust, security, and a heightened motivation to continue delivering exceptional work. Employee recognition enhances workplace culture, engaging and inspiring employees to perform at their best.
While the specifics of employee recognition may vary across industries, understanding how to strategically implement it and build a culture of recognition can have a profound impact on your business.
Since the rise of remote and hybrid work, many organizations have struggled to keep employees engaged and connected. Engaged employees are highly motivated and more productive because they know their organization values them and their needs are being met.
Employee recognition is continually noted as a top driver for employee engagement. According to Quantum Workplace, employees who are recognized are 2.7 times more likely to be highly engaged. A highly engaged workforce leads to higher productivity, better performance and improved business outcomes.
Stress is a major contributor to decreased productivity, motivation and overall well-being – nearly 1 in 5 workers have quit their jobs due to stress.
Recognizing and valuing employees' efforts plays a vital role in nurturing the overall well-being of your workforce. When team members are genuinely appreciated and praised for their hard work, it not only elevates their self-assurance but also alleviates stress. Including recognition in your culture strategies fosters an environment where employees are happier, healthier, and more productive.
Ensuring employees have a safe space to voice how they are feeling is vital. For example. Kudos' Sentiment Survey provides valuable insights about employee well-being in your workplace, allowing leaders to assess the overall employee sentiment in the moment and over time.
There are many reasons why someone chooses to leave their job – burnout, lack of growth opportunity, and lousy culture are just a few of many reasons. Turnover has a tremendous financial impact on an organization. It’s estimated that turnover costs 33% of an employee’s annual salary.
Employee recognition can help lower turnover and help address the pain points that are causing your best talent to leave. Regular recognition fosters a positive and supportive work environment, enhances employee satisfaction, and strengthens bonds among coworkers, leading to reduced turnover and a more engaged workforce.
In companies where an effective recognition system is in place, employees are five times more likely to feel connected to the company's culture and four times more likely to be engaged in their work.
Recognition should always flow freely, but when your message is truly meaningful, it will have the most impact. While a simple "thank you" is always appreciated, establishing a formal employee recognition program where meaningful recognition tied to your corporate values can easily flow throughout your organization will have the most impact.
Learn how to write a meaningful recognition message in our Recognition Your Team Will Love Culture Guide.
Employee rewards create an environment that fosters short-term motivation, loyalty, productivity, and, ultimately, business success. They can be a powerful motivation tool – rewards can be tied to goals and milestones, and encourage employees to reach new heights. However, for employee rewards to be impactful in today’s workforce, they must be personalized and paired with recognition.
The key to an effective employee rewards program that can elevate recognition, is providing flexible reward options that satisfy everyone’s preferences. Personalized rewards that align with employees' needs and values will have a greater, transformative impact on your culture.
Most employees either don’t understand their company’s core values, or don’t know them at all. An employee recognition platform that reinforces your core values, like Kudos, ensures your values are being demonstrated throughout all levels of your organization.
Employee recognition serves as a powerful reminder to organizations that everyone plays an integral role in upholding and embodying the company's core values. Through effective recognition, employees grasp the significance of their achievements within the broader context of the organization's mission. Even during times of change, employees feel secure and content, knowing that their contributions are appreciated and impactful.
Learn how Oliver+, a Kudos client since 2021, has transformed their company culture by ensuring its values are being demonstrated at all levels of the organization.
Abraham Maslow theorized in the hierarchy of needs that for human beings to be motivated to make decisions, they must feel appreciated. Appreciation is included in many levels of Maslow’s pyramid – it can be found in the need for love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization.
Employee recognition fulfills people’s need for appreciation. Being recognized for contributions helps employees understand the value they bring and that their work has a purpose. Without recognition, employees can feel undervalued and unmotivated, and can start to resent the organization they work for.
Employee recognition directly impacts motivation – when employees are recognized, they feel more motivated to do great work. It affects drive, productivity, wellbeing and the overall performance of the organization.
When employees witness recognition being given to their colleagues, it also serves as a powerful motivator to engage in more recognition themselves. When we receive recognition, it activates the reward center of our brains and automatically produces motivational thought patterns. By making recognition a workplace habit, employees feel more motivated to contribute value to their organization.
Recognition is a powerful motivator – here are 25 inspirational quotes to help motivate your team.
When employees feel valued and appreciated, their motivation to perform at their best soars. For those employees who directly interact with customers, this translates into providing exceptional experiences that clients cherish and remember. One study confirmed that companies boasting at least 50% employee engagement retain over 80% of their customer base. This exemplifies the profound impact of employee recognition.
Renowned author and speaker Simon Sinek once said, "There's no CEO on the planet who's responsible for the customer. They're just not. They're responsible for the people who are responsible for the customer." To ensure your customers remain satisfied, prioritize the happiness of your employees by recognizing their contributions.
Employees seek workplaces that unlock their full potential, invest in their growth, acknowledge their achievements, and cultivate a positive workplace environment. With continuous HR challenges and shifting employee expectations happening worldwide, employee recognition is a beacon of hope for businesses seeking to thrive.
When meaningful recognition becomes an integral part of your company's culture, you gain a competitive advantage and set the standard for what truly makes a workplace exceptional.
Your employees are your most valuable asset. Kudos is here to be your technology partner in creating an exceptional culture where employee recognition is the foundation of a highly engaged and thriving workplace.
The open enrollment season is a pivotal juncture for both employees and organizations every year, presenting a unique chance to choose benefits tailored to individual needs.
In this article, we’ll explore how blending recognition platforms, like Kudos, into this process can not only amplify engagement but also transform the open enrollment experience into a more meaningful and productive venture. Let’s dive in!
Recognition platforms play a pivotal role in strengthening the bonds between colleagues, fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and acknowledged. Recognition platforms help create a community of engaged employees, where people feel secure, acknowledged, and know their voices matter.
There are many definitions of employee engagement out there, but Gallup’s simple definition resonates well: employee engagement is the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.
Involvement and enthusiasm are critical to an effective and efficient open enrollment period. By fostering an atmosphere of open communication and genuine recognition, employees feel empowered to voice their needs and preferences. After all, when employees are engaged, they bring their authentic selves to work and are forthright about their needs. This cultivates an environment of transparency and honesty, essential for selecting the best benefit policies.
In Kudos, you can tailor values-aligned qualities to inspire your team. With each recognition message, users can tag qualities that best describe the intention behind a job well done. This not only celebrates the qualities behind outstanding performances but also offers insights into which qualities an individual embodies most and what they value in others.
With this personal data, employees are more informed about what they truly need from their benefits plan. Similarly, Kudos Administrators have access to aggregated organizational data on values, qualities and overall employee sentiment, potentially highlighting collective benefits preferences.
Kudos Analytics gives users clear pathways to personal and professional improvement, and makes every step meaningful.
Awards and Achievement Badges in Kudos give employees something to strive for and a moment of pride to look back on. With a healthy level of competition, employees will work hard to champion the needs of their team.
If you want to give your team extra support during the open enrollment period, make the experience more interactive. By gamifying the open enrollment process, employees become more invested, ensuring collective participation and thorough scrutiny of all options. When everyone participates, questions are answered faster, and concerns are addressed more thoughtfully. In other words, no stones are left unturned when the whole community is actively involved, keeping a watchful eye.
Here are some ideas for campaigns to amplify engagement during the open enrolment period using Kudos:
Remember, the key is to align these initiatives with your organizational values and the unique needs of your employees.
In a culture of recognition, employees have each other’s backs and want everyone to succeed. In a recognition platform, announcements are easy to make and hard to miss. During the open enrollment period, nobody should be left behind or unnotified about benefits options that might be a perfect fit.
In Kudos, users can make Announcements company-wide for everyone to interact with. It may sound simple, but the first step to a positive enrollment experience is to start a conversation and keep it open.
You can also create a Space in Kudos to house all of the different benefits options to ensure visibility and understanding. Spaces are intuitive and easy – you can have a webpage up in minutes to the delight of your entire team!
In toxic workplaces, people keep their heads down. Asking simple questions can feel intimidating, and employees are told they’re asking for too much.
With a recognition-rich environment powered by Kudos, employees feel seen, valued, and heard and come to work with their heads held high. They feel comfortable advocating for their needs, knowing it’s OK and often even celebrated.
During the open enrollment period, when employees are expected to lock into a plan, it’s important for them to feel valued and uplifted. In Kudos, employees are reminded every day of their unique value. They’re flooded with positivity from their peers. A positive psychological environment at work is the first rung on the ladder to a positive enrollment experience.
Try breaking down traditions that keep people in the shadows.
Introducing a recognition platform feels like moving the chairs around in a classroom and sitting everyone in a circle. It allows people to speak for themselves, rather than sit patiently in the back listening to someone speak for them.
Not to mention, recognition platforms breed more inclusive environments, where suggested additions to benefits plans are taken seriously.
The open enrollment period, while essential, can often feel daunting for many. By integrating a recognition platform like Kudos, organizations can transform this process into an engaging, insightful, and empowering experience. As HR leaders, leveraging these tools not only simplifies the enrollment process but also strengthens the organizational fabric, ensuring employees feel valued, heard, and confident in their choices.
Remember, when employees are engaged and empowered, they’re better equipped to make decisions that resonate with their needs, ensuring a happier and more productive workforce. Choose recognition, choose empowerment, choose Kudos.
Today’s studies show that more than half of today’s employees are disengaged.
It’s no surprise then, that many organizations are continuously striving to engage their workforce effectively. Because fostering engagement is a continuous effort for employers and leaders, one proven strategy that has gained prominence in recent years is the implementation of an employee recognition loop. This strategy not only fosters a culture of appreciation but also fuels a recognition flywheel that can significantly enhance employee engagement and performance.
The flywheel effect occurs when small wins accumulate over time, creating momentum that keeps your recognition strategy flowing organically.
In this article, we’ll explore how organizations can implement a recognition loop strategy and the three key ways in which it creates a powerful recognition flywheel.
The recognition loop is a cyclical process that encourages employees to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of their peers and managers. This process involves three critical steps that work in tandem to create a positive feedback loop within your organization:
1. Encouraging Peer and Manager Recognition:
The first step in implementing a recognition loop is to encourage and incentivize both managers and employees to recognize each other's efforts. This can be achieved through various means, such as introducing a formal recognition program, creating an easily accessible platform for recognition, or providing rewards for exceptional recognition efforts. When employees and managers are motivated to appreciate their colleagues' contributions, it sets the foundation for a culture of recognition.
2. Showcasing Top Examples of Recognition:
Leaders play a pivotal role in keeping the recognition loop vibrant. To ensure that recognition efforts are visible and valued, leaders should take action by showcasing the top examples of recognition given within the organization each week. This can be done through company-wide communications, meetings, or a dedicated recognition platform. By highlighting specific instances of exceptional recognition, leaders not only acknowledge and appreciate employees but also set a standard for what constitutes meaningful recognition. Tip: if you have standing companywide meetings or townhalls, that’s a great opportunity to “recognize the recognizers.”
3. Motivating More Recognition:
When managers and employees witness the recognition given to their colleagues, it serves as a powerful motivator to engage in more recognition themselves. Seeing their peers and leaders appreciating one another's contributions creates a sense of inspiration and healthy competition. Employees are more likely to emulate these behaviors, leading to a culture of continuous appreciation and recognition. A formal employee recognition platform like Kudos, has a feed that makes the recognition visible and accessible to everyone.
Now that we understand how to foster a recognition loop, let's delve into how it creates a recognition flywheel, propelling the organization towards increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, and improved performance:
1. Reinforcing a Culture of Appreciation:
As more managers and employees engage in recognition, a culture of appreciation takes root within the organization. Employees begin to feel valued and appreciated for their efforts, which fosters a sense of belonging and motivation. When individuals know that their hard work is acknowledged and celebrated, they are more likely to be committed and engaged with their roles.
2. Boosting Employee Morale and Well-being:
Regular recognition has a direct impact on employee morale and well-being. When employees receive praise and acknowledgment for their contributions, it boosts their confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, it reduces stress and enhances job satisfaction. As a result, employees are more likely to be happier, healthier, and more productive, leading to improved overall organizational performance.
3. Driving Continuous Improvement:
The recognition loop's cyclical nature ensures that the organization continually strives for excellence. By showcasing top examples of recognition, leaders set a benchmark for what constitutes exceptional performance. This not only motivates employees to reach for greater heights but also encourages continuous improvement and innovation. Over time, this drive for excellence becomes ingrained in the organizational culture.
Implementing a recognition loop strategy within an organization is a powerful way to engage the workforce and create a recognition flywheel that drives continuous improvement and employee satisfaction. By encouraging peer and manager recognition, showcasing top examples of recognition, and motivating more recognition efforts, organizations can foster a culture of appreciation that leads to enhanced employee engagement and better overall performance.
In today's competitive business landscape, a recognition loop can be a game-changer in retaining top talent and achieving long-term success.
With a suite of innovative features and a dedicated support team, Kudos offers the ideal solution for implementing a successful recognition program and harnessing the power of the recognition flywheel.
Implementing a recognition program can be a complex endeavor, but the Kudos team is there to guide organizations every step of the way. The Kudos team assists organizations in designing and customizing recognition programs that align with their culture and goals. Kudos offers comprehensive training and onboarding for employees and managers. This ensures that everyone is well-equipped to use the app effectively and maximize its benefits. The support doesn't end after implementation. Kudos' customer support team is readily available to address any questions or concerns, making sure that the recognition program remains a success.
To thrive in today's fast-evolving business world, ignite the power of the recognition flywheel, and watch as it transforms employee engagement, drives continuous improvement, and positions your organization at the forefront of success. Harness that momentum – with Kudos, the journey is just the beginning.
We live in a world where employees’ standards are continually shifting. Where we choose to work is heavily influenced by our personal beliefs and convictions. Applying for a job may seem harmless, however, learning how that company treats its employees, people in our society, and the planet may have you second guessing your application.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has emerged as a crucial factor in determining an organization's success and reputation. People are demanding more transparency and want to support companies that give back and connect to a greater purpose.
The good news? This is a tremendous opportunity for organizations open to change. By embracing CSR, companies can demonstrate their commitment to making a positive impact on their employees, society and the world we live in.
CSR refers to a company's ethical, social, and environmental responsibilities beyond profit-making. It encompasses the voluntary initiatives organizations take to address societal challenges and contribute to sustainable development. CSR initiatives encompass areas such as:
This refers to an organization’s commitment to environmentally friendly operations and sustainability. CSR differs from Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), which has more detailed and quantitative criteria for sustainability measurement. Examples of environmental sustainability are:
This is when an organization commits to operating business ethically that supports human rights, fair treatment, fair trade and equal pay for all stakeholders and workers. Examples of ethical business practices are:
This kind of responsibility refers to an organization's goals and contributions to actively bettering society or their community. Examples of philanthropy and community engagement are:
This is when an organization makes their employee’s mental and physical health a priority inside and outside the organization. Examples of supporting employee wellbeing are:
The short answer is no – CSR is not legally enforced in the U.S. however, there are corporate laws that organizations must follow that fall under certain categories in CSR. Many organizations are taking CSR very seriously to mitigate risk, while also understanding that CSR plays a significant role in the interests of consumers and employees.
A recent study found that almost 90% of employees that have engaged in their company's sustainability work said it increased their overall satisfaction with their workplace.
If you still don’t think CSR is important, you might want to think again. There are plenty of benefits that investing in CSR can do, including:
Employees today seek purpose and meaning in their work. By prioritizing CSR, organizations provide employees with opportunities to contribute to a greater cause, leading to increased engagement and higher retention rates.
Embracing CSR initiatives helps organizations build a positive brand image, fostering trust and loyalty among stakeholders. It establishes a reputation as a responsible and ethical company, attracting customers, investors, and top talent.
Engaging in CSR initiatives helps organizations anticipate and manage risks effectively. By proactively addressing social and environmental concerns, companies can prevent potential crises, protect their reputation, and foster long-term sustainability.
Companies that are investing in CSR differentiate themselves from their competitors. Consumers and investors are increasingly prioritizing socially responsible businesses, making CSR an asset in gaining a competitive edge.
Building a successful corporate social responsibility strategy requires careful planning and execution – here are steps you can follow to help guide you:
Building a successful CSR strategy is an ongoing process. It requires commitment, collaboration, continuous improvement and a genuine desire to create meaningful and sustainable change. Remember to stay informed, encourage innovation and feedback, and explore new ways to make a positive impact.
A challenge that is often seen when building a successful CSR program is how to get more employees to participate or be involved. Motivation fuels engagement and reinforces behavior that will set the foundation for a brighter future for your organization.
Using employee recognition to help motivate your employees can be a powerful component to your CSR strategy. Here’s how employee recognition can contribute:
Recognizing employees for their contributions to CSR initiatives reinforces the notion that their work goes beyond individual tasks and directly impacts society. This recognition instills a sense of purpose, motivating employees to continue their commitment to CSR.
By acknowledging employees' efforts in CSR initiatives, organizations empower them to become brand ambassadors and active participants in promoting the company's social and environmental goals.
Recognizing employees for collaborative CSR efforts reinforces the belief that achieving CSR goals is a collective effort.
Using employee recognition software, like Kudos, you can share success stories and recognize outstanding achievements, inspiring others to actively participate and contribute to CSR efforts.
With Kudos, employees earn points with recognition they can redeem for rewards. Those rewards can be charitable organizations and causes that align with your CSR strategy.
CSR is no longer an optional endeavour but a necessity for organizations aiming to thrive in a socially conscious world. By integrating CSR into core values and leveraging employee recognition, companies can unlock the potential to create positive change. Employee recognition not only contributes to CSR initiatives but also cultivates a culture of engagement, purpose, and collaboration. It is through these combined efforts that organizations can transform the way they operate and make a lasting impact on the world.
Recognition matters. In fact, recognition is considered a top driver for engagement, with employees being 2.7 times more engaged when routinely receiving recognition.
Unfortunately, Gallup found that almost half of today's employees are only receiving recognition a few times a year at most. That startling statistic highlights a major gap in today's employee experience.
The good news is, leaders and organizations around the globe are starting to understand the importance of recognizing and rewarding their employees. By implementing an effective employee recognition program, you can create a tidal wave of positive change.
Recognizing and empowering your employees increases their motivation – it significantly affects drive, productivity, wellbeing and the overall performance of your organization.
There’s even science to prove this – when we receive recognition, it activates the reward center of our brains and automatically produces motivational thought patterns. By making recognition a workplace habit, employees feel more motivated to contribute value to their organization.
Motivational speakers, with their ability to inspire and uplift, often provide valuable insights into the power of recognition in driving motivation, productivity, and overall success. We gathered a collection of famous quotes to motivate your employees, shedding light on the transformative power of recognition in the workplace.
Finding effective strategies to inspire your team is more important than ever. That's where the power of inspirational quotes can have an impact – they have the unique ability to inspire, help build a sense of purpose and contribute to a more positive, uplifting work environment.
Powerful words serve as constant reminders of the shared vision and values that drive your organization forward. Incorporating your favorite quotes into your communication channels, team meetings, and company-wide initiatives can help align your team's actions with the broader purpose of your organization.
Here are some ways you can integrate inspirational quotes into your HR initiatives:
Receiving words of wisdom reminds us of our own potential, urging us to push beyond our comfort zones and embrace growth. It can inspire us to dream bigger, work harder, and strive for excellence. Whether it's overcoming setbacks, finding inner strength, or fostering resilience, these quotes are a reminder that we are all capable of achieving remarkable things.
Recognizing your employees has the power to unlock the boundless potential within your organization. The simple act of acknowledging work and celebrating achievements fuels motivation and is the catalyst that ignites success.
An effective recognition program requires more than a moment of applause though – it demands commitment to continual growth and progress. It's about nurturing a culture where recognition becomes second nature, where words of praise, improvement, and success echo through every corner of your organization.
With these quotes, we invite you to take a moment to absorb the importance of recognition. The stage is set, the spotlight awaits—now it's time to make recognition the star of the show. Kudos can help pave the way to a future where your employee’s best work is not just acknowledged, but celebrated, cherished, and forever shared in your organization's success story.
You can find employee recognition across all industries in many different forms. Most organizations have learned that recognizing employees for their hard work is an essential business practice. Some organizations have implemented employee recognition software, while some are still embracing the old classics like free lunches, birthday cards and company gifts.
Different industries face different challenges. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach – recognition differs between industries, and it can be challenging to find the perfect solution. What we do know is when recognition is done well, it can have an even greater impact on your business.
In healthcare, employee recognition often centers on patient care and satisfaction. Recognizing employees who go above and beyond in providing compassionate care or who achieve excellent patient outcomes is common.
Creating an engaging work environment is especially critical in healthcare because that engagement directly affects patients and their experience. Hospitals with a high percentage of engaged nurses pay $1.1 million less in malpractice claims every year than those with less engaged nurses.
Kudos Case Study:
LMC Healthcare, a Kudos client since 2012, has proved that incorporating employee recognition into healthcare culture leads to better patient care. With the help of Kudos, LMC designed a values-based culture where team members are committed to quality work and to delivering the best patient experience.
With clinics distributed across Canada, staff and physicians can recognize each other through Kudos desktop and mobile applications – making maintaining a healthy culture easy with recognition.
“A great culture is the foundation for a successful business. A strong culture encourages staff to be actively engaged, do their best, and come to work every day to support the company’s mission. With a focus on culture, employee performance can then translate into business success – hitting whatever key performance indicators that have been set, including revenue and positive patient outcomes.” Leah Topic Director of Human Resources at LMC Healthcare.
Key Takeaways for Recognition in Healthcare:
A study done by SLD found this industry has the highest amount of employee recognition and reward programs. This study also discovered that employees ranked top-down acknowledgement and social recognition significantly higher than their executives.
In this highly client-focused industry, employee recognition often centers on meeting or exceeding sales targets or providing outstanding client service. Recognizing employees who demonstrate exceptional financial knowledge or who develop innovative financial products is common. Interestingly, keeping customers happy through exceptional customer experience is linked to a critical business challenge – retaining your best talent.
A great customer experience only comes when employees are engaged. When employees are happy and satisfied with their jobs, they are more capable of ensuring customer satisfaction. Companies providing financial services should consider focusing their efforts on employee engagement through recognition if they want happy customers and loyal employees.
Kudos Case Study:
In 2020, CAAT Pension Plan discovered their traditional approach to company culture wasn’t working. With significant company expansion planned for the future, CAAT knew they weren’t going to get there if their employees weren’t engaged and committed.
Since implementing Kudos, CAAT is now an award-winning employer whose employees have redefined their customer experience and led them to tremendous success.
Key Takeaways for Recognition in Finance:
At the beginning of 2022, the U.S. technology industry reached a market value of $1.6 trillion. The tech industry has had explosive growth, and this means many organizations have had to evolve and keep up with the never-ending demand of better applications, software, services, tools, platforms, etc. Recognizing employees who develop new products, solve complex problems, or seek more efficient solutions is highly common.
According to the Velocity Global Report, 72% of the tech companies have employees working remotely. Tech companies will need to place emphasis on investing in services that will support their remote workforce, especially in a rapidly growing, and competitive industry.
The tech industry is also known for periodic layoffs that can leave remaining employees feeling insecure and burnt out. Recognition can provide certainty and reassurance for employees who are feeling uneasy. This reduction in stress can translate in turn to lowered turnover, less absenteeism and more productivity.
Kudos Case Study:
Telarus is one of the largest privately held technology services distributors and has seen significant ROI since implementing Kudos in 2019. They have also ensured recognition is accessible to all employees whether in the office, working from home, or on the road.
Telarus chose Kudos for its values-aligned peer-to-peer recognition, which has helped support the culture they’ve designed around three pillars: Innovation, Partner Success and Team Success.
“The Telarus team, at every level, enjoys using the platform. We’ve noticed that in months where our revenue spikes, so does the volume of our awarded recognition in Kudos.” Dawnell Unsworth, Telarus.
Key Takeaways for Recognition in Technology:
Recognition has become increasingly more important in areas like construction and manufacturing due to the direct impact engagement has on health and safety in the workplace. Engaged employees are less likely to be injured or cause an accident on the job than those with low engagement.
As a result, recognition is being included more and more as a key component of an effective health and safety program – some standards like ISO 45001 and ESG reporting require employee engagement metrics. The bottom line is; engaged workers are safe workers.
Offering ongoing opportunities for learning and development can increase engagement, while also recognizing employees for their accomplishments. Celebrating when an employee reaches a new training milestone will not only encourage participation in professional development but will keep employees productive and efficient.
Kudos Case Study:
Russell, a Kudos client since 2019, has seen a tremendous impact on their culture by focusing on individual development.
Their people-development strategy has four key pillars: Coaching, 360° Feedback, Core Competency Focus, and Career Development. Kudos allows employees to recognize the strides being made by their peers and encourages others to continue to learn and grow.
Russell has been recognized for their safety practices, including by the Association of General Contractors of America, National Contractor’s Insurance, Ltd., and by the National Safety Council. In 2020, Russell achieved, for the second time, one million hours with zero lost-time incidents.
“In the construction industry, our people are our product. Our value proposition in the market is our people; without great people, we can’t build buildings and satisfy our clients. Like most industries, the competition for talent is fierce; it’s imperative that we attract and retain team members whose skills we develop in order to meet our company goals.” Melissa Pepper, Chief Strategy Officer of Russell.
Key Takeaways for Recognition in Construction & Manufacturing:
Retail is a customer-oriented industry, which means employee recognition often focuses on providing excellent customer service. Employees are more motivated to produce better quality work when they feel appreciated. For customer-facing employees, that means providing an experience that clients appreciate and remember.
Studies show that companies with at least 50% employee engagement retain more than 80% of their customers. According to PwC’s Future of Customer Experience Survey, 73% of customers agree that customer experience is central to their purchasing decisions. Among U.S. customers, 65% find a positive customer experience more influential than great advertising.
Retail employees, especially front-line staff, who work for an organization that has a program for recognizing milestones (Birthdays, work anniversaries, promotions, etc.) are twice as likely to thrive at work. Thriving employees are more likely to stay longer at an organization, and in an industry where the turnover is quite high, retaining employees for a better customer experience is critical.
Key Takeaways for Recognition in Retail:
The sky's the limit when it comes to industries. Consider customer-focused sectors like higher education and hospitality, for example, where employee recognition often focuses on providing excellent customer service. Employees are more motivated to produce better quality work when they feel appreciated. For customer-facing employees, that means providing an experience that clients appreciate and remember.
Even though these industries are facing different hurdles, all of them have demonstrated that employee recognition leads to business success. Whatever approach your business takes on employee recognition – ensuring it’s unique, customized and empowering for your employees is when you will see the greatest impact on your organization.
Employee Appreciation Day is a special occasion to recognize and celebrate the hard work and dedication of your employees. Of course, employees should be recognized for their contributions all year long, but Employee Appreciation Day is an opportunity for employers to demonstrate extra appreciation.
Employee Appreciation Day is observed on the first Friday of March every year. This year, Employee Appreciation Day is Friday, March 3, 2023.
The concept of Employee Appreciation Day was first introduced in the United States in 1995 by Dr. Bob Nelson who has helped many organizations build a culture of recognition across the globe. This day is now observed in several countries worldwide and serves as a reminder of the importance of appreciating employees, and the impact recognition has on an organization.
Employee recognition directly impacts engagement in an organization. Employee engagement is a big focus for HR leaders in 2023, especially after the changes we faced in the last three years that brought the Great Resignation, quiet quitting, layoffs, the list goes on. Disengagement affects culture and it’s expensive. Gallup reports that employees who are actively disengaged costs the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.
But here’s the good news: organizations that are including recognition in their strategies are experiencing better business outcomes such as profitability, retention, productivity, and employee satisfaction.
Prominence Health Plan, a Kudos client since 2021, conducted an internal culture assessment and identified a critical gap in their employee experience. The feedback they received was a lack of employee appreciation that was quickly becoming a problem in their company culture.
“There’s never been a time when investing in employee engagement has been more important,” says Kamal Jemmoua, CEO at Prominence Health.
Kudos values-based recognition platform was the clear choice to support Prominence Health’s strategic approach to enhancing their company culture. Prominence Health is now an award-winning employer and has achieved impressive growth and performance.
“At the end of the day, employees are your most important asset, and you need to figure out how to appreciate them.” - Kamal Jemmoua, CEO at Prominence Health
Download the full case study Prominence Health Prioritizes Culture to Drive Performance with Kudos.
Recognizing your employees and showing gratitude for their work creates a positive work culture that fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty. Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is a great start to building a culture of recognition - take the next step and recognize throughout the entire month! We’ve made it easy for you with this free calendar of recognition prompts to inspire you to show appreciation all month.
Here are some ideas for Employee Appreciation Day:
While Employee Appreciation Day is important, recognizing your employees all year will have the most impact on your organization. Kudos makes sending meaningful recognition easy and accessible to everyone – with employee milestones, nomination programs and personalized rewards, no achievement goes unnoticed.
Our free 2023 Celebrations Calendar includes all the important dates throughout the year so you never miss an opportunity to recognize and celebrate your employees!
There’s no need to wait until Employee Appreciation Day to make recognition part of your culture – we can help you right now!
You may have heard about The 5 Languages of Love® – a framework created by Gary Chapman for how people prefer to give and receive love. Using this same framework, Gary Chapman teamed up with Dr. Paul White, to discuss how to apply this to appreciation in the workplace.
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace says, “when authentic appreciation is communicated, all stakeholders win—the employee, the supervisor, the organization, customers and clients, as well as the family and friends of the employee who get to enjoy a more positive, encouraged individual.”
In this article, we explore the 5 languages of appreciation, how they connect to employee recognition, and what this might look like in the workplace.
Words of affirmation are when you communicate your appreciation to someone through words. In the workplace, this could be something as simple as a “great job!” or “I really appreciated your help on that project.” Ensuring recognition is timely, personal, and meaningful is what will have the most impact on your employees.
Kudos makes sending meaningful recognition to your employees easy and simple. Recognition sent in Kudos creates deeper connections, where your employees can share experiences and celebrate each other’s achievements, all in one place.
Our free culture guide, Recognition Your Team Will Love, explains how to write meaningful recognition, with 20 examples for your team.
Quality time means giving someone your complete and undivided attention. Making space for quality time in the workplace could look like; checking in with your employees often, scheduling one-on-one time, and listening to your employees.
Quality time doesn’t always need to be work related – having small conversations about weekend plans, or favorite tv shows is important to build connections with your team. Younger generations especially want positive team dynamics, with leaders who care about their work and personal lives.
This one is about those small acts of kindness that can go a long way. Something as simple as taking meeting minutes for someone, stocking the paper tray in the printer, or taking on a task from someone if their plate is too full. These small, but significant moments demonstrate appreciation for someone by showing them you recognize how valuable their time is.
Thanking and recognizing individuals for their acts of service can be done through sending recognition messages in Kudos, and can also be celebrated through a nominations program. You can create an award in Kudos for which your employees can nominate each other. Nomination programs can spotlight impactful moments happening in your organization every day that your broader team might not see.
While giving recognition should always be top of mind, some employees may feel even more appreciated with a gift. Employee rewards are an important aspect of workplace culture as they help to motivate, engage and retain employees. The days of free company swag, coffee mugs and notepads are over though. Demonstrating appreciation through gift giving should be unique and personalized.
Rewards that cater to individual employees can demonstrate your company's commitment to their personal and professional growth. Kudos offers access to a world-class suite of rewards - merchandise, events, travel, charities, gift cards and even custom rewards can be redeemed through Kudos. Adding points and rewards to your recognition experience is a fantastic way to support engagement and augment total compensation.
For remote employees, offering a place where everyone can gather in person, like a hybrid office or a company event is a great way for employees to express appreciation in person.
Some people may love hugs, and others may prefer a handshake – physical touch in the workplace should be limited to brief and professional forms of touch between close colleagues. It is important to be aware of and respect the personal boundaries of your colleagues.
Employees need to know their contributions to your organization are valued. Without this recognition, we begin to feel our hard work has no purpose. And without purpose, we feel unappreciated, undervalued, and unmotivated.
Just like the 5 Languages of Love®, your team members will prefer different methods of appreciation. Some people may need to be checked-in with often, and some may be fine with a one-on-one occasionally, and that’s perfectly okay. Using a tool like Kudos, where all the ways of appreciation can be expressed through recognition, will help your employees feel valued, be engaged and more motivated to do their best work.
Employees are often more loyal to their company if they know their work is valued and appreciated. However, it’s not uncommon for employees to be caught up in their workday and forget to thank their peers for their hard work. While a simple “thank you” is certainly always worthwhile, a formal employee recognition program is a great way for everyone to celebrate wins big and small.
Download our free eBook, Recognition Done Right, for more information on how to drive success through the power of recognition.
According to Gallup, 40% of employees report receiving recognition just a few times a year or less. Implementing an effective employee recognition solution can have a massive impact on your organization. Organizations with formal recognition programs have 31% less voluntary turnover than organizations without one.
Employees at companies that have 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.
Recognition should not be limited by who can send it –everyone in your organization should have a channel to give recognition. Here are the types of employee recognition:
Peer-to-peer recognition is when any employee can give praise to each other. Peer-to-peer recognition helps employees establish and maintain good relationships with their coworkers.
This is when a leader or someone at a manager or supervisory level gives recognition to someone on their team. Leaders who provide recognition establish a positive environment and relationship within their team. Leading by example will also encourage your team members to send more recognition messages to their coworkers.
Simple messages expressing gratitude keep employees constantly assured and motivated. This is when that simple “thank you” to someone on your team can go a long way.
Birthday's, years of service, promotions, onboarding progress and learning and development achievements. Ensuring all of these important moments are recognized is a central part of building a culture and habit of recognition.
Awards and Nominations allow a leader or peers to identify someone who meets specific criteria for an award or nomination. Nomination programs can highlight the skills that drive your organization to success and can help strengthen your overall recognition strategy.
To learn more about nomination programs, you can read How to Get Nominations Right in 2022.
Being able to recognize your team in a variety of ways is what will take your employee experience and culture to the next level.
The Kudos platform offers all types of recognition – gratitude, performance recognition, communicating good news, and celebrating achievements so you can build stronger connections with your team. When sending a message of recognition, users can select one of four distinct levels:
This is an everyday appreciation moment. A simple act of appreciation at work where the behavior stood out or made your day.
A “good job” is used for recognizing someone who has performed better than average or expected, or for acknowledging the completion of a milestone in a larger initiative.
An “impressive” is for someone who made a noticeable difference or impact and raised the standard of delivery expectations. This can also celebrate the end of a large initiative that took significant time and effort.
An “exceptional” is when someone has exceeded delivery, job responsibility and expectations. This could be used for someone going above and beyond, exceeding a goal or KPI or any other outstanding achievement.
“Recognition is a reward in itself. Any form of appreciation, even a small word, is important.” - Vikrant Massey
No matter how simple the message, you should never hesitate to recognize a colleague, but when your message is meaningful, it has the most impact.
Sending recognition doesn’t need to be time consuming. Crafting a meaningful message that really demonstrates your appreciation can be easy when you keep these tips in mind.
Sending recognition to your peers can have a big impact – even a simple thank you can go a long way. If you need help crafting the perfect recognition message, we’ve given 20 examples of recognition messages your employees will love:
Employee recognition should be a vital part of your business. However, narrowing down the right recognition solution for your company can be challenging. We’ve made it easy for you in our free Employee Recognition Buyer’s Guide to help you find the perfect partner.
When you’re recognized for accomplishing something great, where does that feeling go after the moment has passed?
According to a study on autobiographical memories (moments that make up your life story) each of our memories serves different functions. Here are three important things to know about the nature of memory:
The first, and most evolutionary function of our memory is directive. This function helps us problem solve, plan, feel inspired, and get motivated. This function zeroes-in on the central conflict of a memory, so we can find a clear solution.
“Negative events would cause the individual to focus on and encode the aspects of the events that are necessary in order to solve the problem and prevent future mistakes.”
The study finds that our brains take longer to recall directive memories, and in many cases, they need to be triggered.
When you make a mistake at work, for example, forgetting to include an attachment to an email, you’re probably less likely to make that mistake again in the near future.
This function gives our life-events context, meaning, and purpose. Self-memories are the most central to our identity.
We use these memories to gain a better, more cohesive understanding of our identity over time. They act as reference points throughout our lives to judge where we’ve been, where we are, and where to go from there.
Self memories include things like how far you’ve come in your career, goals you’ve achieved and milestones you’ve accomplished.
Possibly the most self-explanatory of the three, the social memory function helps us connect with others. In fact, social memories can only be created by connecting with others — through conversation or otherwise.
The last time you told someone a story about your life, chances are you wanted to find common ground — shared interests. You were sharing memories for the purpose of creating new ones. Telling your story to persuade, provide comfort, bond, or draw out empathy is part of the social memory function.
Social memories can include times you’ve bonded with friends and family or when you first felt accepted by coworkers, for example.
The study’s participants’ most negative memories had more directive function, while their most positive memories had more self and social functions.
It’s easy to dwell on our weaknesses when they could make or break our chances of employment. This may ring even truer for today’s young workers (millennials and gen z), who often feel the need to “make it,” or prove their worth among more established coworkers.
Although it’s in our nature to take direct, clear lessons from negative memories, we should be more proactive about learning from positive ones.
Rather than making comparisons — either to competition or to our past selves — to feel motivated, we need positive social recognition. And we need to make it a habit.
Recognition should always be accessible. 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.
“If you think about recognizing someone in person, giving them a pat on the back, they disappear into the ether after the moment’s passed.” says Muni Boga, President and CEO of Kudos. “When you’re working with a recognition platform, you’re creating a record of it happening. That record belongs to the person receiving the recognition, the person giving it, it’s something really special that people have.”
Dedicated recognition platforms provide built-in opportunities to create and document positive directive, self, and social memories.
Each recognition message is a great source of joy and reflection on your work. The right employee recognition platform is an archive of empowerment for every team member involved, and it can be added to every day — for every contribution.
Beyond pick-me-ups, recognition messages can be used to reinforce your value to an organization. In your next performance review, for example:
A lack of recognition in any work environment creates siloes, or isolated groups. In a culture where recognition is few and far between, people revert to gaining motivation or lessons from negative memories. And without positive social recognition, people use their self-memories to judge if they’re in the right place to achieve their goals.
“Employers have flagged the fact that their people aren’t feeling recognized.” – Muni Boga, CEO of Kudos
In a culture of recognition, not only are people more aware of acts of kindness, but they’re more aware of their coworkers’ strengths. When each member of an organization supports the others for what they bring to the table, the result is dynamic, adaptable, and resilient.
Before the shift to remote and hybrid working environments, employees weren’t feeling recognized, and the same problem exists through the screen. It’s just as, if not more important for a company’s culture to translate in virtual spaces.
An employee recognition platform that can be accessed from any device, anywhere, and at any time is an invaluable asset for teams who can’t be in the same room. Kudos is an innovative, and intuitive social tool to bond your teams and create memories.
With built-in analytics, leaders can see the evolution of their teams’ skills, and uncover strengths that would otherwise go unnoticed. Kudos’ built-in dashboards give deep insights into the dynamics of your teams, without human oversight. What sets Kudos apart is a care for both individuality and community.
Recognition is many things; a statement, a feeling, and something we all deserve. A thoughtfully designed program nurtures the experience of recognition, so you can truly be part of something worth remembering.
Let’s get this question out of the way: Who doesn’t love having options? More importantly, what’s worth understanding is that people have different tastes and opinions. After all, what you like or enjoy might be the opposite of the person sitting next to you. This is especially true when it comes to recognition. Authors Gary Chapman and Paul White spoke to this in their book, 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.
At Kudos, we believe that recognition is the key to a happy team and stronger workplace culture. And while we are passionate about regular, meaningful peer-to-peer recognition, we also know people might prefer a more extensive celebration for their hard work and accomplishments. Let’s go back to the beginning: Who doesn’t love having options?
Recognition can take many different forms and being able to recognize your team in a variety of ways is what we’re all about.
Employee Nominations allow leadership and peers to identify a colleague who meets specific criteria. After a reviewing process, a significant reward is granted.
Now, as you probably already know, nominations are a small piece to a bigger solution. At Kudos, we’d like to think of nominations as an added feature to your recognition strategy and not as a one-size-fits-all.
So, why is it important to consider a nominations program in 2023? If you like history as much as I do, this next section is for you.
During the American industrial revolution, plenty of innovative ideas to improve productivity and efficiency were introduced. One of those innovative ideas came from Frederick W. Taylor, who created Scientific Management Theory. Taylor spent many years figuring out a way to keep productivity levels high.
By watching his employees very closely and taking notes, Taylor would then analyse and remove any unnecessary steps to their workflow, making their job more straightforward. His idea was simple but significant - overworked employees won’t perform as well.
Additionally, Taylor realized the simple promise that his best employees would have a job the following day wasn’t enough to keep them motivated. So, after a close review, Taylor would categorize the type of work his employees were doing, he then selected the top performers and rewarded them with higher salaries. This selection process can be considered the first nominations flow to ever exist in a work environment. Taylor understood very early that the cost of hiring a new employee would impact the productivity and overall prosperity of his organization’s culture.
Although nowadays we know that money isn’t a long-term solution to keep employees motivated, Taylor’s innovative approach to an employee’s experience, showed us that being able to meet the demand of top performers can lead to better retention and help increase your organization’s productivity. And that, has not changed.
With Taylor’s approach in place, methods to keep employees motivated became more prevalent. Programs such as Employee of the Month (EOTM) and President’s Club are clear examples of that. Employees who have received this recognition in the past still rank it as some of the most memorable recognition they’ve ever received.
Why? Because it’s exclusive, appreciates their hard work and commitment to the organization, and singles them out as a high performer.
However, years of learning about what makes a healthy work-environment tells us that a solo nomination program for the Presidents Club or EOTM can often be seen as “out of reach” and doesn’t motivate employees to strive for this recognition. Kudos has lots of ideas to support you here, and when it comes to nominations, we recommend creating a diverse nomination strategy. After all, Taylor observed his employees and top performers, plural. Nothing stops you from creating nomination programs, plural, that highlights the multiple types of behaviours and skills that drives your success.
Here are some points we recommend when creating your diverse nomination strategy:
Having a consistent and diverse recognition program in your organization is a solid strategy to improve employee productivity and retention – giving your organization a competitive edge. Adding a nomination program or two is just one of the ways you can strengthen your strategy and Kudos is here to help you.
Most people have an idea of what they want their life to look like at a certain age. Work anniversaries prompt employees to reflect on their career, and job-hunting tends to spike due to people assessing their career and making a change if they’re unhappy. Milestones offer a great way to celebrate and acknowledge every individual in your organization, however, implementing other milestones into your recognition program can help reduce employee turnover and strengthen retention.
Work anniversaries shouldn’t be limited to 5 years, 10 years, etc. as is the case with many traditional programs. These days, the average person only stays at their organization for approximately 4 years. Recognize every year of an employee’s commitment and don’t limit it to years of service. Other important milestones to consider include completing onboarding training, achieving more education or certifications, learning a new software tool...all of these are important and often massive contributions to people reaching new career goals or life achievements.
While celebrating a work anniversary shows you value your employee’s dedication, celebrating a birthday or other milestones demonstrates taking a personal interest in your employee’s lives. A Great Place to Work survey had 37% of respondents say that more personal recognition would encourage them to produce better work.
We know employee recognition helps retain talent, increase engagement and encourage higher performance, but understanding the impact of recognition culture on the overall employee experience provokes many growth opportunities. Employees who feel consistently recognized at their place of work are two times more likely to embrace innovative thinking and are willing to go above and beyond in their work. Recognition consistently emerges in studies on improving workplace culture and has proven to be a primary driver in motivating employees to do their best.
It’s important to define your employee lifecycle – what are the various stages your employees will experience in your organization? The average employee lifecycle has 11 stages, all of which recognition can play an important role. Defining the celebratory moments in each stage will help you structure your employee milestone program, and ensure it stays consistent and contributes to your culture of recognition.
Your employee milestone program should have:
Kudos has the tools to make your employee milestone program a culture success. Having an automated system like Kudos to keep your employee milestone program organized and up to date makes giving everyday recognition easy and simple.
Celebrating milestones is only one form of recognition, and it’s important to remember that employee recognition should be regular and meaningful. Recognition is essential in creating a lasting company culture that values its employees' contributions, dedication and celebrates successes, no matter how big or small.
Employees have been through a lot these past few years.
Most recently, in addition to the regular pressures of everyday work life, today’s employees are coping with several difficult external circumstances (recession, inflation, supply chain issues, global uncertainty). For many, today’s uncertain times are contributing to increasing levels of stress – which can have far reaching implications for your company. In particular, with the Great Recession of 2008 still fresh in the memories of many employees, fears of layoffs, financial hardship, and general economic uncertainty could soon be impacting employee mental health and wellbeing.
The good news is that by following some key guidelines you can help your organization successfully navigate this unpredictable era.
Uncertainty, Stress and Productivity
Cutbacks and the fear of a recession cause employees to feel insecure about their jobs, causing stress. Feeling stressed is a factor in lower productivity.
Let your employees know where they stand. By recognizing their contributions regularly, you’re telling them they are seen, they are appreciated, and they are safe. Now is the time to ramp up recognition.
Even in more stable times, employee stress is a major contributor to reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, presenteeism, as well as high turnover. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 American workers have quit a job because of stress related issues.
Stress is also associated with higher accident rates, higher injury rates, and more days taken off for doctor visits.
And regardless of how your company is affected by worsening macroeconomic conditions, studies have shown a “clear negative effect of general unemployment on subjective wellbeing among the employed”. One study focused on the recession of 2008 showed that 55 percent of employees felt that their workplace had become more stressful during that time. A large part of this has to do with a perception of insecurity which is fueled by increased unemployment – even if that increase is occurring outside one’s own company.
In other words, being exposed to the negative effects of a recession makes everyone uneasy – not just about unemployment, but also about the potential for unfair treatment.
Interestingly – employee productivity can increase during a downturn. During the Great Recession of 2008, some studies actually showed an increase in worker productivity resulting from increased effort – in part because “When the alternatives are poorer, say because job search is less likely to result in success, it is optimal for a worker to respond with increased effort.”
On the surface, this might sound like a benefit to employers. However, with that increased effort comes the increased potential for burnout – another major concern when it comes to the impact of stress on employees.
“When an employee’s work is recognized, the likelihood that he/she will experience stress is lowered by 22.1%, whereas if his/her work is not, it rises by 16.7%. - BioMed Research International
By recognizing employee contributions and acknowledging the impact of their efforts, employers are able to directly – and dramatically – reduce the negative effects of stress on employees. Recognition can provide certainty and reassurance for employees who are feeling uneasy due to the volatility of the times. This reduction in stress can translate in turn to lowered turnover, absenteeism and more productivity.
Uncertain times demand transparency, open communication and a crystal clear focus on core values.
Whether you have had to make cutbacks or slow your growth, organizations need to do everything in their power to ensure that they maintain a reputation as an employer worth working for - because eventually, they'll be hiring again. For example, at the outset of the pandemic, there were several high-profile stories about leaders callously letting hundreds of employees go without warning, context, or clarity. This lack of transparency (and humanity) can permanently damage a company’s reputation, hobbling future efforts to grow and expand, and potentially causing irreparable harm to consumer (or investor) confidence.
The unfortunate reality that many companies have to face during an economic downturn is that growth will slow – and in many cases there could be cutbacks. Regardless of your situation, maintaining clear, thoughtful and open communication is absolutely essential and will have a lasting impact.
Critically, even when companies are forced to downsize, employees that remain have been shown to benefit immensely from that clarity of communication. One study noted that “employees who felt that the downsizing process was fair, and that communication was open and honest, reported fewer medical symptoms, lower survivor syndrome, and more job security than their counterparts [at other similarly affected companies].
An extremely powerful part of maintaining clarity of communication during times of economic upheaval is demonstrating commitment to core values. In showing that the organization is “walking the walk” with respect to core values, companies can provide employees with a tangible sense of stability, as well as a shared sense of purpose to help guide them through troubling times. To learn more about the importance of core values, check out our webinar on how to How to Drive Employee Performance Through Core Values.
When the future is unclear, it’s more important than ever to understand how your employees are feeling, and to be able to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of your workplace culture.
In this article, we’ve looked at a set of tools that companies can use to help mitigate some of the impact of economic uncertainty: reducing stress through recognition, living and demonstrating one’s core values, and maintaining open and caring communication between leadership and employees.
In and of themselves, these methods are absolutely essential – but without a way to measure the well-being and strength of a culture, leaders can only guess as to whether their efforts are succeeding.
Tools like Kudos, who’s proprietary, recognition-first approach to employee engagement provides clients with a clear view into the health of their culture, the performance of their employees, and allows them to gauge how connected employees are to the core values of the organization.
Though nobody wants to experience the negative side of an economic slump, by following the basic guidelines laid out in this article, companies have the opportunity to prove their character, and in doing so build loyalty and trust with their employees, their customers, and their stakeholders.
Kudos can help you build and maintain your culture, and keep your employees focused during what many experts believe is an imminent recession. Get in touch today to learn how.
Think about a time when a friend or family member said “thank you” for helping them. It may have made you feel appreciated and motivated to do more for them – this same concept applies equally in the workplace.
When employees feel appreciated, they become motivated to do more and better quality work. For customer-facing employees, that means providing an experience that clients appreciate and remember. Studies show that companies with at least 50% employee engagement retain more than 80% of their customers. That is the impact of employee recognition.
“There’s no CEO on the planet who’s responsible for the customer. They’re just not. They’re responsible for the people who are responsible for the people who are responsible for the customer.” -Simon Sinek
Employee recognition describes any formal or informal acknowledgment of an employee’s contributions to a team or organization’s success. It can come from a peer, direct report, manager, or leader.
Organizations approach employee recognition in different ways. Some do it in more informal ways: a shout-out during a meeting, on social media, or through the company’s intranet; thank-you notes, or an employee lunch. Others are using robust employee recognition platforms like Kudos to streamline the process and make sure everyone benefits.
Employee recognition matters because it directly impacts critical aspects of the organization. Several studies have shown that employee recognition is a powerful driver of retention, productivity, and motivation. For example, let’s consider the following facts:
When structured efficiently, recognition can reinforce a company’s organizational values, which in turn helps to keep employees aligned with their objectives and their coworkers.
“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” – Stephen Covey
Customer service teams play a crucial role in driving profitability in many industries, such as retail, hospitality, food service, and technology. According to PwC’s Future of Customer Experience Survey, 73% of customers agree that customer experience is central to their purchasing decisions. Among U.S. customers, 65% find a positive customer experience more influential than great advertising.
Therefore, you need employees – especially those in customer-facing roles – to prioritize customer satisfaction by offering “speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service.” These employees assist customers by anticipating concerns, preparing solutions, responding quickly, and going above and beyond to ensure that customers are satisfied.
Consistently and effectively Recognizing your customer service teams for their contributions can yield incredible results:
Building a culture of recognition comes down to the common-sense practice of not taking your people for granted. To keep your customers happy, make your employees happy by recognizing them with Kudos’ help.
In 1943, Abraham Maslow theorized that human beings are motivated to make decisions based on a hierarchy of needs. This hierarchy can be viewed as a pyramid, with basic physiological needs like water and food setting the foundation; then our need for safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. A core requirement in the esteem level of this pyramid is appreciation.
Human beings feel the need to accomplish things, and be appreciated and recognized for those accomplishments. In addition to feeling accomplished, we need to know that our contributions to the world are valued. Without this recognition, we begin to feel our hard work has no purpose. And without purpose, we feel unappreciated, undervalued, and unmotivated.
Human beings are wired to crave connection, belonging, and acceptance. When we experience appreciation and gratitude, our brains release dopamine and serotonin. These are crucial neurotransmitters responsible for making us feel ‘good,' regulate our emotions, and respond to stress. Gratitude acts as a catalyst for these neurotransmitters, and actively experiencing gratitude and appreciation allows us to manage our stress levels better.
Feeling and expressing gratitude activates several parts of the brain. Verbalizing thoughts of appreciation and gratitude activates the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for positive emotions and decision-making, as well as reward and motivation. The more we practice expressing appreciation, the more we activate these gratitude circuits in our brain. Overtime, it takes less effort to stimulate those pathways.
Scientists also suggest that by activating the reward center of the brain, gratitude exchange alters the way we see the world and ourselves. When we give and receive ‘thank you’ notes, our brain automatically produces motivational thought patterns. This means that practicing recognition in the workplace improves employees' mental well-being, and increases their motivation to contribute value to their organization.
Employee recognition promotes positive psychological functioning (PPF) and its absence worsens it. Positive psychological functioning is comprised of the positive feelings that lead to self-acceptance, personal growth, and social contribution. The absence of recognition can deteriorate an employee’s psychological health, and ultimately their performance.
Feeling unappreciated affects not only your emotions, but also how you think and act. It’s no surprise that a lack of appreciation can influence your mental health and lead to mental illness. If others ignore what you do for them, it can feel devastating. You might start to wonder why you bother putting effort into a task, or worse, you’ll lose sight of how your work contributes value to your organization.
In a UK study, 78% of respondents said they would work harder if they had more recognition. In that same study, 94% said that employee recognition is critical in retaining talent. The solution to keeping your employees is simple — recognize them.
A study conducted on over 1800 employees found the effect of recognition is two times greater with peer recognition than with top-down supervisor recognition. The study highlights the importance of promoting employee recognition in organizations for the impact it has, not only on well-being, but also on the positive psychological functioning of the employees.
Technology now exists to make recognition accessible, simple, and impactful for any organization. Cloud-based platforms that work in browsers and mobile apps allow remote, field, and in-office employees a place to regularly share meaningful recognition.
Kudos, an employee recognition and engagement platform, harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition to boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Employee recognition isn’t just becoming an industry standard, it’s an essential requirement for an employee’s well-being, motivation, and performance.
It’s been almost 80 years since Abraham Maslow theorized that human beings require appreciation. The science behind employee recognition was always there, now it’s time to take it seriously and implement the recognition your employees not only deserve, but need.
Originally published May 2022. Last updated November 2023.
A nomination is an official endorsement for someone to receive an award or prize. The first step in a nomination program is for the organization to determine and communicate the criteria for their program. Employees can then nominate colleagues they feel meet the criteria, with one nominee being selected as the final winner. Some organizations have employee nomination programs for awards like “Employee of the Month,” “Most Hard Working,” “Most Innovative,” and so on. While nomination programs seem like a simple solution to employee recognition, they need to work in conjunction with a more robust suite of tools to deliver results.
Traditional employee nomination programs give employees an opportunity to tell a story about their peer’s accomplishments, and how they impact the business. Nominations can bring acknowledgement of standout achievements in a workplace where they may otherwise go unnoticed, especially by outside members of that team. They can bean opportunity to communicate expectations, or curate awards and prizes that tie-in your company values. Nominations can also deliver a morale boost, especially for those employees who win.
Nomination programs are not without their challenges. Why only allow employees to give recognition whenever there’s an award involved? These types of programs are only one piece to a complete solution. No need to abandon your nomination program altogether, but simply include it in a deeper, more impactful employee recognition strategy.
For employee recognition to be effective at motivating and communicating the value individuals offer your organization, it needs to be consistent and meaningful. Nomination programs are often monthly, quarterly, or yearlong initiatives; your employees are not being nominated frequently enough to create lasting meaning. When you nominate someone for an award, you’re not directly recognizing them for their work — you’re only giving them a chance at recognition. If someone deserves recognition, they should receive it day-to-day.
When you nominate employees for an award or prize, you compare their accomplishments to someone else’s instead of celebrating and appreciating their work individually. While being nominated is considered recognition, it can cause unhealthy competition and resentment between employees. Your employees deserve to be recognized constantly, not only when an award is up for grabs.
Nomination programs build a barrier between you and the wider benefits of recognition. When your organization partakes in a nomination program, it’s usually comprised of certain award categories, which over time can become disassociated from what employees are working on or dealing with. If an organization implements an Employee of the Month program, only 12 employees will receive that recognition in a year. Also, these programs only focus on one person winning something atone time; why limit employee recognition to just one person? Recognizing teamwork or collaboration amongst a group of people is just as important as recognizing an individual.
Using an employee recognition platform will allow your employees to be recognized regularly. Platforms like Kudos allow employees and leaders the freedom to recognize anyone, for anything, at any time. Adding a peer-to-peer recognition program to your strategy offers a more consistent and accessible motivational experience. Enabling all your employees to recognize impactful moments regularly, timely, and specifically ensures that recipients know the value they bring to the organization. No matter how small the achievement is, peer-to-peer recognition has a better overall impact on improving employee morale and engagement.
A recent Forbes study found that 66% of employees will leave their jobs because they do not feel appreciated. A strong company culture is an increasingly crucial factor for employees, and a recognition solution builds an impactful company culture where employees feel recognized and appreciated.
An employee recognition platform does not mean leaders can no longer create employee awards or prizes, but they shouldn’t take away the chance for peers or leaders to give and receive constant recognition. Offering more nomination options by building levels of nominations with high-level prestigious, and quarterly or monthly nominations can still exist, but should be supported by regular recognition. Add more social or community nominations that bring creativity and fun to your employee recognition solution, instead of focusing on traditional nominations centered around recognizing select employees. Nominate employees for awards like “Most Likely to Be Late for a Meeting," or “MostCreative Zoom Background” and have them for entertainment or enjoyment purposes instead of just performance.
Nomination programs are a small piece to a bigger solution. Giving regular recognition should become a habit within your organization and should be used as a building block to help retain talent, form healthier work relationships, and strengthen company culture.
We know that selecting the best recognition solution for your organization can be challenging, so we’ve made it simple for you with our Employee Recognition Buyer’s Guide. Our guide gives a comprehensive overview of how to choose the right employee recognition solution for your company’s culture, goals, and budget. Remember that consistent and authentic employee recognition should always be the priority, and the awards and prizes should come secondary.
Working toward a return to normal, however, is just as probable and effective as hoping for a return to the good old days. The reality is that a new normal is unfolding in front of us – and there’s no shortage of opportunities for organisations that are adapting to it.
At the heart of the Great Resignation there is a fundamental need that has gone largely unmet: the need for employees to go beyond simply existing in their job roles and thrive. The talent of today’s world wants to be treated well and to be recognised for their contributions. The benefits for companies that realise this and take the steps to act on this are massive in terms of employee engagement, retention, and ultimately organisational growth.
Conversely, the organisations finding themselves bearing the brunt of the Great Resignation are often the ones offering outdated solutions to modern problems. A common one is focusing solely on compensation to solve deeper issues. When attracting talent, money is a huge part of the equation, but a strong company culture is an increasingly important choice factor. Many struggling companies overlook the importance of fostering a strong, recognition-filled work culture. Increasing compensation may be a quick fix, but if money is the primary thing keeping talent motivated, they’ll be easily lured away by better offers. But while improving company culture takes a greater commitment from leadership, it has a lasting and more substantial effect on those factors organisations worry about most today: retention and engagement.
It’s both as complex and as simple as this: The desire for fair and robust recognition in the workplace will define the future of work during the pandemic and post-pandemic. Here’s how.
To help inspire employees to work toward a common goal, companies must have clear core values that employees know and care about. But it doesn’t stop there. Companies must also associate behaviours to these values, with leadership demonstrating these behaviours every day. With that in place, all employees should be given the tools and much needed support to recognise their colleagues when they see moments that exemplify these values. The old way of recognition was sporadic and top down, but a strong value-based culture seeks to make this recognition a daily habit among peers as well as managers.
This practice not only reinforces the behaviours that move organisational goals forward, but it makes employees feel they are direct contributors to an irreplaceable company culture.
In addition to incorporating behaviours and values in recognition, there is a slightly different connection between monetary rewards and recognition. If the recognition system is set up to be predominantly monetary, so is the employee’s motivation. Employees who feel empowered to give and receive continuous recognition in their workplace will not only feel a strengthened commitment to the organisation, but they will be incredibly difficult to poach with monetary incentives alone. Instead, they will see their everyday contributions in a far more meaningful way than they might at companies where recognition is sporadic, scarce, or nonexistent.
Motivation can come in many forms, but employers today must learn to spot the difference between intrinsic motivation and traditional motivation through rewards. Traditional incentives get people through the day, but it rarely makes them care about their work beyond a paycheck. It doesn’t motivate them enough to fully engage and innovate. It’s why a rewards-centric approach can backfire on companies where incentives can be seen as an opportunity reserved for the elite few.
On the other hand, when people feel a deep connection to the company’s values and their coworkers, their inner motivation kicks in. That’s when we see creativity, innovation, and growth unfold in the organisation. The cohesiveness and connection within teams doesn’t have to be limited to small groups either. It can be shared across the organisation by creating a space for everyday recognition that can come from anyone. A robust recognition ecosystem among teammates and managers is an invaluable catalyst in promoting a culture of trust, self-confidence, and innovation.
In 2021, 48% of American workers actively looked for jobs. We are facing a historic challenge of retention and recruitment. The pandemic is one factor, but the causes of the talent drought go deeper than that, and the effects are not going away once we are through the worst of it. Millennials make up the majority of today’s workforce in the United States, and they are unafraid to leave a bad workplace for a better one, with 21% reporting that they switched jobs in 2021. For employers and HR leaders, retention efforts are more critical than they have ever been. Holding on to talent is not only important because it helps organisations innovate and grow, but having a constantly understaffed organisation raises the risk of employee burnout, which directly translates to a negative employee experience.
A strategic, values-driven approach to culture increases employee engagement, happiness, and performance, but the benefits go beyond that. Word gets around about great culture at an organisation, and recruitment efforts suddenly become easier for HR. With Gen Z changing jobs 134% more now than they did in 2019, the talent pool is open – and looking for better work prospects.
As the internal culture improves, and employees begin to feel like they are truly a part of the company, it naturally leads to an excellent client and external stakeholder experience.
It’s time for a new approach to recognition – one that helps organisations and employees adapt to today's reality. For companies looking to learn crucial lessons from the pandemic, rather than hoping for a return to the old ways, the path to sustained success involves investing in a recognition-centric culture where all employees feel connected and valued. In other words, embodying ‘the future of work’ is actually just answering the call of the present day.