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Fostering a culture of praise by introducing Kudos

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We would like to introduce some teams that support the global expansion of KINTO.

Self introduction

My name is Mori and I am part of the Business Enhancement Team in the Global Development Group at KINTO Technologies. If you would like to know more about what we do on a daily basis, please visit the Team Introduction article.

One of our team missions is to increase the potential existing in our department. As an activity related to that mission, I will introduce our KUDOS system today.

What are KUDOS?

Kudos are a way to praise and express admiration to someone or something for an achievement. It derives from ancient Greek, meaning glory or renown. In recent years, Kudos has been adopted by many companies as an initiative to introduce a "culture of praise" that conveys appreciation and admiration for people within an organization, although the name may vary.

I believe praise is effective in motivating employees. Those who are recognized for their accomplishments may improve their satisfaction in the organization and contribute further to the company's productivity than before and increase their performance. Reference: Where Does Kudos Come From? The Origin of Kudos

But enough about serious stuff. It can be used not only within a corporate context, but also in daily life. - Examples can be seen on the workout social media "Strava": Giving Kudos👍! - or on the Slack app "Colla": Candy | Colla

It's easy to see how "praise" improves motivation 🥰

In fact, I had a similar activity called "Thanks card" at my previous company. Cards were given by managers to staff when they wanted to express their appreciation. It was just a piece of paper, but receiving a Thanks Card from my boss when being overwhelmingly busy, really helped me feel validated about all my efforts at work.

How Kudos work in our team

Gratitude and respect are very important in our relationships with others. Regardless of position, you can build a relationship of trust by treating any person with this thought in mind.

We wanted to keep this idea when the Business Enhancement Team was established in the spring of 2022, but it was difficult to express this in any form as we were all working on different tasks.

So we decided to incorporate "Kudos" in our team's weekly meetings. A team member came up with the activity, and from that point onwards, we started thanking each other at our weekly team meetings, such as “thank you A for suggesting this idea!” I felt happy hearing praise from others, made me feel seen and was also nice to see the points where people value my work.

🔻 Weekly meeting template of the Enhancement Team. We express our thanks in a casual manner.

Implementation on the Global Group

The Global Development Group is currently the largest organization in the company with approximately 60 members. There are a variety of challenges that one encounters when expanding an organization, and us as well are faced with this situation. Reference: What is the "30, 50 person barrier" that arises in organizational expansion?

Therefore, with the goal to increase motivation within the group, we started "Global KINTO: Monthly your voice"[1] in May 2022 to first listen to our colleagues’ candid opinions.

Initially we were just collecting comments, but in July 2022, we renewed it and changed it to a questionnaire to make sure we could see development of the good parts and improve the bad parts.

Kudos was also established as one of these improvement points. We had been using the system within the team and knew it was effective, but by incorporating it into a bigger scope, we hoped that it lead to more positive circumstances such as trust-building through mutual expressions of gratitude or enhanced visibility and presence among the different teams and management.

🔻 Actual content from the Global KINTO: Monthly your voice

Benefits of Kudos

The operation followed the below cycle.

1️⃣ Monthly voice announcement at the beginning of the month.
2️⃣ Two-week survey period.
3️⃣ Tallying in the third week.
4️⃣ Presentation of Monthly Your Voice summary during the group's monthly meeting in the last week.

During the presentation of the summary, all Kudos recipients are announced, and managers award one "MVP of the Month" to individuals who have excelled and to the team that has achieved the highest performance.

After running this process for approximately five months, we have received positive feedback from group members who expressed their satisfaction and noticed an improvement in the group atmosphere. As for myself, I feel that communication within the group has become more active than before.

As the organizer, I have observed that the team is performing better, and that it helps provide visibility on assigned tasks. This visibility allowed me to gain a better understanding of my colleagues and their work.

🔻 Many of our most recent survey results also show improvement 😊.

Challenges and improvements

Kudos voting is inside a survey form, but as mentioned above, the voting period is only two weeks and the survey must be completed fully in order to write Kudos, so we have received just a few of them at this point.

Since Kudos was created as a way to express appreciation to others, I think it should be easier to do and people should be able to give them any time. Some members of the group asked us to make it possible to vote any time, so from mid-November onwards, we started "Paper Kudos".

Although we have only just started, we have immediately received comments from people saying they are happy with them, and we feel that it has become easier than before.

🔻 How we announce it: the response on Slack was also very positive.

🔻 We placed them like this in the office.

What we would like to work on in the future

We plan to continue and improve upon our Kudos-giving culture. Now that we can physically give Kudos cards, we intend to keep the format of handwritten messages. I think that the writer's feelings can been seen more clearly this way.

We are also considering improvements in the method of awarding and organizing the awards. Currently, we limit the presentation of MVPs to the monthly meetings. However, we are exploring additional activities to enhance the activity to show appreciation to others, such as displaying the cards in the office or offering small prizes to individuals who accumulate a sufficient number of Kudos cards.

Moreover, not only the Global Development Group, but KINTO Technologies as a whole, has a #thanks channel in Slack and the culture of praise is spreading. We have our Kudos system in our Group, but we hope we can continue to contribute expanding the culture of praise throughout the company 🎉✨

KUDOS to you for reading my article 😊💗

  1. KINTO and KINTO Technologies have an employee survey called "Montly your voice" to gather feedback from within the company, and we started a Global Development Group version of it. ↩︎


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