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How to Give Kudos to the Team the Right Way: A Playbook


Last Updated:  

30 September 2023

5 min read

In today’s fast-paced work environment, it’s easy to overlook the importance of giving kudos to the team and peers.

Employee recognition is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have for any organization aiming to boost employee engagement and create a positive employee experience.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the art and science of giving kudos effectively, leveraging employee recognition software, and much more.

Meaning of Kudos

Before we dive in, let’s understand what “kudos” actually means. Originating from the Greek word “kydos,” kudos is an expression of approval and commendation. In the workplace, the meaning of Kudos boils down to the act of recognition — it serves as a powerful tool for employee rewards and recognition.

Why is Giving Kudos Important?

  1. Boosts Employee Engagement: When employees feel recognized, they are more engaged in their work.
  2. Enhances Employee Experience: Recognition contributes to a positive work environment.
  3. Encourages Peer Recognition: Employee recognition fosters a culture where employees appreciate each other.
  4. Informs Manager Reports: Kudos can be a valuable data point in manager reports for performance reviews.
recognized workforce
Any given day, a recognized workplace = a happier workforce.

How to Give Kudos To Team/Peers the Right Way

Kudos at work is about showing genuine appreciation and acknowledging your peers’ efforts. Kudos can be given in various formats, from informal shoutouts in team meetings to more structured recognition through a company-wide rewards and recognition platform. And there’s no rule book for this. But you can follow these ways to do it near perfect.

Be Specific and Timely

Don’t just say “good job.” Be specific about what the team/employee did well and give kudos to the team/employee as close to the event as possible.

Use the Right Platform

An employee success platform or employee recognition software can streamline the process, making it easy to give and track kudos.

Make it Public

Public recognition, whether in team meetings or on a digital platform, amplifies the impact.

Align with Company Values

Ensure that the kudos align with the company’s core values or objectives.

10 Best Kudos Examples

1. The “Spotlight” Post

Use ThriveSparrow’s public recognition feed to highlight a colleague’s recent achievement. Attach a photo of them in action and describe what they did to earn the kudos.

Example: “Kudos to [Name] for flawlessly managing the client presentation today. Your preparation and execution were top-notch!”

2. Milestone Celebrations

Celebrate employee appreciation day, work anniversaries, and project milestones by giving kudos. Use custom badges on ThriveSparrow to make the recognition more special.

Example: “Happy 5-year work anniversary, [Name]! Your dedication has been invaluable to our team.”

3. Skill-Specific Praise

Acknowledge a colleague’s specific skills or talents, making the kudos more meaningful.

Example: “Kudos to Team/[Name] for their exceptional data analysis skills. Your insights made our project a success!”

4. Team Player Award

Recognize someone who consistently helps others, contributing to team cohesion.

Example: “Kudos to [Name] for always being there to lend a helping hand to teammates. You’re a true team player!”

5. Customer Service Star

If a colleague has received positive feedback from a client, make it public.

Example: “Kudos to [Name] for receiving glowing reviews from our clients. Your customer service skills are unparalleled!”

6. The “Above and Beyond” Recognition

Acknowledge those who go the extra mile, whether it’s staying late or taking on additional responsibilities.

Example: “Kudos to [Name] for staying late to ensure the project was completed on time. Your commitment is inspiring!”

7. The Innovation Award

Recognize someone who has come up with a new idea or solution that benefits the team or project.

Example: “Kudos to [Name] for their innovative approach to solving the budget issue. Your creativity saved the day!”

8. The “Unsung Hero” Kudos

Sometimes, behind-the-scenes efforts go unnoticed. Use kudos to bring attention to these valuable contributions.

Example: “Kudos to [Name] for always keeping the office supplies stocked and organized. You’re our unsung hero!”

9. The “Quick Learner” Recognition

Acknowledge someone who has quickly adapted to a new role, software, or set of responsibilities.

Example: “Kudos to [Name] for mastering the new software in record time. Your adaptability is commendable!”

10. The “Resilience” Award

Life is full of challenges. Recognize a team or a colleague who has overcome obstacles with grace and determination.

Example: “Kudos to the team/[Name] for handling the recent setbacks with resilience and a positive attitude. You’re an inspiration to us all!”

Leveraging Employee Recognition Software with ThriveSparrow

The Evolution of Employee Recognition

Peer recognition, over the years has moved beyond the annual awards ceremonies. Modern employee recognition software like ThriveSparrow allows you to continuously recognize and reward employees, thereby cultivating a positive workplace culture. ThriveSparrow’s platform isn’t just about sending kudos to team members; it’s about creating a holistic engagement strategy that ties into performance and well-being.

Key Features to Look For:

Ease of Use: ThriveSparrow is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy for employees at all levels to engage with the system.

Customization: From customizable value cards to different rating scale labels for different questions, ThriveSparrow allows you to tailor the kudos and rewards to fit your company culture precisely.

kudos cards with org values

Analytics: ThriveSparrow provides robust analytics tools that offer insights into recognition patterns. These analytics inform manager reports and help decision-makers understand the correlation between recognition and performance. To streamline your employee recognition process, Sign up for ThriveSparrow here.

Kudos Dashboard

Slack Integration: For companies already using Slack, ThriveSparrow seamlessly integrates, allowing for on-the-fly recognition without switching platforms.

The Role of Peer Recognition

Peer recognition can be a strong motivational tool, and ThriveSparrow makes it easier than ever. Team members can freely give kudos, reinforcing a culture where employees feel valued by their peers. Because this type of recognition often comes from colleagues who witness each other’s hard work firsthand, it has the potential to be more meaningful and impactful.

Manager Reports: Using Kudos Data for Insights

In ThriveSparrow, kudos data is more than just ‘feel-good’ metrics; it’s a goldmine of insights. The platform allows managers to incorporate this data into performance reviews, offering a more rounded and holistic view of an employee’s contributions over a period.

Employee Rewards and Recognition: Beyond Kudos

While kudos serve as immediate tokens of appreciation, they are part of ThriveSparrow’s broader employee rewards and recognition platform. The system includes features like a leaderboard, rewards, and even “Micro-points for Reactions,” providing multiple ways to recognize and incentivize excellent work.

How Kudos Enhance the Employee Experience

Recognition is a key pillar of the employee experience, contributing to job satisfaction, engagement, and ultimately, retention. ThriveSparrow integrates seamlessly into the larger picture of employee experience management by tying kudos and recognition to engagement surveys, action plans, and analytics. This offers a 360-degree view of employee engagement and well-being, making employees feel valued and respected at every touchpoint.

With ThriveSparrow, you’re not just giving your employees a ‘pat on the back.’ You’re embedding a culture of continuous recognition and improvement that benefits everyone from the ground up.

Final Thoughts

Giving kudos to the team the right way is not just a task to be checked off; it’s an ongoing commitment. It’s about creating a culture where employee recognition is woven into the fabric of your organization. By doing so, you not only boost employee engagement but also contribute to a more positive, productive work environment.

So, the next time you think about employee engagement or look at your manager reports, remember that a simple act of giving kudos can go a long way.


Product Marketer

Frustrated developer turned joyous writer.

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