Sunday, November 29, 2020
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Kudo Cards – Management 3.0

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected.”

In the world of IT, where I am working in for more than 23 years now, I have never met someone who is allergic to compliments. Being a father for 4 kids also shows and teaches my wife and myself everyday that kids do more when appreciated, the same goes for working professionals on any level within an organization. No one blossoms from negativity. But for some reason, the older we get, the less compliments we seem to give and receive.

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In many companies, giving and receiving compliments (kudo’s) is not a common practice in the sense of “that’s the way we do things around here, because we believe kudo’s are important”.

As an Agile Coach and Scrum Master I believe that introducing kudo’s is one of the very first and simpel things you can choose to implement in order to further activate an agile culture way of working. At the same time persistent is important when trying to implement kudos’ because people in general are not used to giving and receiving kudo’s (better is to say that people have unlearned to give and receive kudo’s).

Working for different companies as a freelancer, I can say with confidence that every company, department and team that I have been working in, shows signs of thinking and behavior that getting the work done is more important than creating an high performing environment where appreciating people is the number one priority. To me this is a strange way of thinking, knowing that people will always do more when appreciated.

I strongly believe that happy people create happy customers and that working with people means that people should always feel appreciated and that people should hear that they are being appreciated in front of a crowd or audience (the entire team, department or company), just like receiving an award in front of a huge crowd.

The power and effect of kudo’s are therefore huge and help in creating an energetic culture of appreciation. But given the fact that giving kudo’s is not a common practice in many organizations, one needs persistence to implement kudo’s in order for kudo’s to become a normal way of thinking and working to the extend that there is a culture of: “that’s the way we do things around here”.

In one company I implemented kudo’s by first implementing energetic weekstarts. After the weekstarts were valued as a moment to start the week with where people shared stuff about the weekend and important work related subject so that everyone was always informed, I implemented kudo’s as last item of the weekstart agenda. At first people were somewhat laughing about me giving colleagues a kudo. But after a couple of weeks people started to feel that kudo’s motivated and energized not only individuals, but that kudo’s had positive effect on an entire team and the entire department …. where everyone noticed that slowly the culture of the department and the different teams, was shifting towards a culture of appreciation.

What i have learned is that:

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  1. implementing kudo’s is one of the first things you can do to boost and create a high appreciation culture for high performance, it does take persistence and discipline to active people to give kudo’s before it becomes part of a team’s or department’s culture;
  2. kudo’s can be introduced everywhere, for an interactive key note or a workshop or in a workspace environment;
  3. people cannot ignore the positive feeling of being appreciated when given kudo’s, especially the effect on introvert people is amazing, they quickly start to give kudo’s to others as well;
  4. giving kudo’s is a genuine act of kindness, you cannot fake it and you have to believe and be convinced that kudo’s activate high performance;
  5. the best effect of giving a kudo to someone is in front of other people;
  6. never let negative people hold you back from giving kudo’s;
  7. on the back of kudo cards you can print the desired company values or compnay competencies a company wants to further develop, this can help to further develop the desired company or department culture;
  8. if you plastify the kudo cards en stick magnets on the back of the card, the kudo cards can be reused when writing kudo’s with white board markers.

I have never encounter a situation of resistance when introducing kudo’s, I do have experienced people laughing about kudo cards at first, but everyone has always understood the power of kudo’s from the moment it was introduced!

Have fun with kudo cards!

Andy Joghi – Management 3.0 Facilitator

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