Employers may be encouraging staff to develop mindfulness on an individual level, but a startup called Kudos is offering a more communal approach with software to let peers recognize each other’s accomplishments and drive employee engagement.
Kudos offers an application where employees, managers and business leaders can send thank-you notifications, celebrate notable events with awards, or create a video message to share feedback on their peers’ day-to-day work. The firm already serves organizations in 80 countries, but has been making a more concerted effort to market itself at events like the recent HRPA conference and using its “Thank Different” slogan.
Though Kudos, based in Calgary, was founded eight years ago, its tools to boost teamwork and corporate culture are becoming more relevant as businesses take a greater interest in the mental well-being of their employees, according to Muni Boga, the firm’s CEO.
“Mindfulness is core to our value system,” he told B2B News Network. “Being aware of the various contributions, efforts, and general positivity in a work environment lends itself to clarity on what is important for your teammates and what is important for the business. “
For the individual, that kind of awareness shows that their teammates care and that they’re paying attention to each other, even when the recognition is for the little things, Boga continued. For the business, the result is an organizational alignment of values, goals, and vision, he said.
Since each Kudos message is tagged with the organization’s core behaviors and values, the platform works best when the customer’s value system contains concepts like accountability and cooperation, Boga said. That can be particularly powerful in B2B organizations where groups like sales and marketing are barely speaking to one another.
“Positivity breeds positivity, so all it takes is one person to send one Kudos between the departments that might be at odds, and it will start a chain reaction,” he said.
Of course, most organizations already use performance reviews and even 360 peer reviews as part of their HR process, but Boga described these methods as cumbersome and failing to provide consistent, real-time information. “By the time these traditional reviews get looked at, they’re stale,” he said. “Funny enough, many of these organizations already think they have a recognition program in place. But their people still don’t feel recognized or appreciated.”
Of course, employee engagement is often as difficult to measure as mindfulness itself. Kudos has addressed that by developing what Boga calls The Culture Biorhythm, an analytic model that offers insights into how various business decisions are affecting an organization’s culture and even predict what will happen in the future. The Kudos Quality (KQ) score, meanwhile provides insight into the quality of an individual’s character and personality.
“It is based primarily on dynamic information. So you can see how individuals, teams, and the entire organization is evolving towards their strengths and identity,” he said.
Even if organizations don’t opt to use Kudos, Boga said they can do a lot to bring greater mindfulness across teams by holding managers accountable to lead by example and by communicating their vision, values and mission more regularly.
“Don’t rely on a rewards philosophy,” he said. “Recognition can exist on its own and it should be intrinsically motivational.”