Kudos is a simple & cost effective peer-to-peer recognition and communication system that can be employed by any size organization as a foundation and a holistic approach to Employee Engagement.
I have run many companies over the years and the one common thing between them all was the need to engage the team to maximize performance and as a result the bottom-line. In each company, we worked hard to articulate the vision and objectives so the team understood the big picture and what their role was in achieving our common goals. It did not matter if it was a manufacturing operation or a consulting company – the team members were looking to the leadership for purpose and direction.
It was a challenge. It always felt hit and miss. So we started looking into the systems and procedures to enhance operations and our culture – from on boarding new employees, making sure we provided a proper orientation and training so they felt connected and valued on day 1– to incorporating talent management best practices, to ensure we shared corporate goals and matched them to individual goals and of course the ever fun performance reviews.
It helped but we still were not there yet. It was a big job just to keep people in the loop and feeling connected to the company is a passionate way. Then in 2008, I read the book – First, Break All The Rules: What The Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. It was the first time I had had such a concise view of what it took to engage a team. The one thing that really stuck out for me was the importance of communication and recognition as it related to feeling connected and cared about.
The first three rules and last two rules made great sense – do I know what is expected of me, do I have the tools I need to do my job and do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day. Then there was the need for feedback and the opportunity to learn and grow. We addressed these requirements/needs in our standard HR and operational processes and procedures as part of our talent management initiatives. We had an OK handle on this.
The next several rules were different and focused on the connection a company makes with its team members based on a more personal level. It was about culture and atmosphere that are the lynchpins to engagement.
- In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
- Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
- Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
- At work, do my opinions seem to count?
- Does the mission/purpose of the company make me feel my job is important?
- Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
- Do I have a best friend at work?
That is when we started looking into ways to address these key requirements. We thought we were doing it through our standard talent management practices but it was not timely enough. As well, leadership at all levels were not always available or present to observe the great things people did every day that were in alignment with corporate goals and objectives. But our team members were.
So we created a system that would be fun and timely to allow everyone to acknowledge anyone for doing something meaningful on a personal or corporate level. It could be a simple gesture or act that helps build a cohesive team, camaraderie and friendship or it could be a competency, accomplishment or success that helped us reach our corporate objectives and goals.
Kudos became that system. We first built it for ourselves after looking for something that would meet our needs. Then friends, partners and clients who saw the system asked if they could use it. Apparently, they had the same challenges and concerns. So we worked on the system to commercialize it for anyone that believes that great success can only be achieved with a truly engaged team.
In this Blog, we will share insights and ideas, opinions and resources we hope you find useful as you strive to build a great company that attracts and retains the very best talent. And of course, we hope that you find Kudos to be an easy to use and effective tool that will help you address the 12 core elements needed to attract, focus and engage your most valuable assets, your team.
We also invite you to share your insights and ideas with our community so we can all benefit from great ideas to create employee engagement.
President, Kudos Inc.