This time of year always brings about those warm, fuzzy feelings. We take time to give thanks to our friends and family, but why stop there? Our colleagues at work deserve recognition and thanks as well. There are plenty of statistics that show an increase in employee appreciation begets an increase in motivation, productivity and engagement in their work. And that makes sense, right? Think about the last time you received praise from a colleague or mentor; that probably gave you those warm fuzzies.
Now, we’re not saying “go around and give each employee one compliment every single day for the rest of the month.” What is important is for praise to be first of all genuine and second warranted. Congratulate someone on sending a company-wide email with no grammatical errors? Unless you’re speaking to your three year old child who snuck onto your computer for a virtual joyride, keep compliments on the mundane to a minimum.
A well thought out compliment can not only make someone’s day, but can make someone feel accepted. Feeling like you’re a part of something bigger can give a greater sense of purpose. Be specific with your praise. Tell your team member how they have contributed to the good of the team. In other words, what skills can that person, and that person only, bring to the table?
At Portland Internetworks, this is ingrained in our culture. We have a few different ways that we recognize our employees for a job well done. We use Slack for inter-office communication, and we have a very frequently used channel (#kudos) just for calling out a job well done. Every single time we get a compliment from a customer, whether that’s through a customer satisfaction survey, a reply to a support email, or an email to Doug, it’s added to the #kudos channel to share publicly with the company. We also share kudos for the (above-and-beyond) work we see our colleagues putting in. It’s a Slack channel jam-packed with warm fuzzies.
There’s a lot of value in publicly sharing compliments with each other. Knowing that our team members are all contributing to a unified goal is one reason that the #kudos channel has an impact. Additionally, the #kudos channel gives people visibility into other departments. It helps to shed light on what other people in the company are working on.
We also take time in our monthly all hands meeting to call out a new round of kudos winners. We have two categories for kudos. First is the people’s choice award. Two people are chosen each month by last month’s winners. There aren’t any hard and fast criteria for winners; the goal of the people’s choice award is to identify and congratulate those who have done an extraordinary job over the past month. The second category is the CEO’s award, Doug chooses a new person each month who best exemplifies our company values.
Making people feel valued is important to us; our people matter. We want to make sure that they know it. We show our employee appreciation in different ways, our kudos programs are just one way of doing that.
So to you, the person reading this, we want to take the time and say thanks. Really, we appreciate your business, we appreciate your time, and we appreciate your attention because we know it could be so many other places right now. Now we encourage you to pass it along and send some appreciation to someone that you work with.