Management 3.0 Practitioner Chapter 6: Kudos Wall and the Power of Love

25.11.2020

By: Maximiliano Sirman

Prelude. Global Problematic:

We live on a non stopping assembly line, overburdened, with the need to deliver excellence, In a cosmetically inclusive environment that accepts failure. Only that it doesn’t, mainly because of Time management and Deadlines.

We are making progress on several fronts, yes, but we need to reinforce somethings that are urgent, like,:

  • boundaries understanding that afterwork time is not free time but, our own personal time off,
  • making competence on the workspace healthy and not over-burning,
  • Adequate facilities that will make offices equipped with recreational spaces

In short, stress management measures., and one of the most innovative and yet classic ways to alleviate stress is good old fashioned love. Is cost effective, it contributes to motivation, provides a sense of personal achievement, and does not have the shortcomings of a Reward program, or how I like to call it, The Horse Carrot.

In the work environment we can call this love, Recognition AKA Kudos to our peers.

There is a lot that we can do with recognition, since once you start it at a cultural level, it becomes viral, and is unstoppable.

Foundations and fact:

According to Forbes, “ Recognition is an essential component of any company’s culture. In fact, you’ve likely noticed its benefits within the walls of your own organisation: Recognised employees tend to be more satisfied, perform better, are more productive and they’re more likely to engage with the rest of the team. Acknowledging employees and their individual contributions makes them feel like they can be the best version of themselves at work, and this contributes to reduced stress, absenteeism and attrition.

As we make way for a new year, now is the perfect time for organisations to reflect on the past year in terms of their recognition program, what resources we put toward this important part of our culture and what we could do better in the year ahead.

Companies that prioritise recognition have a better chance of retaining the talent they fought so hard to attract in the first place. High-recognition companies — those that give team members the ability to recognize their fellow employees through social reward systems and regular appreciation activities targeting the whole team — have “31 percent lower voluntary turnover than companies with poor recognition cultures,” according to research from Deloitte. It’s a strategic investment, one that translates directly into the customer experience.”

Source: The Power of recognition -And how to harness it in the digital era

The Circumstances : Let’s Embrace our differences

The Team: As you may already know if you followed my previous articles I work at Globant as a leader and Agile Coach on the onboarding team. Basically this team works composed of what we call TCBP (Talent Center Business Partner), that are basically The site managers that follow the career of each Newcomer from day 0 on their onboarding until they get fix on their Project/Account.

We are on a mission now and that is to create a new onboarding that takes care of the new Normality that the Covid has forced upon us, meaning mainly WHO (working from home), as everything that’s needed for them to feel as comfortable as possible .

The team that I am about to introduce you is composed of six leaders (all of them TCBPs)

  • Rocio (TCBP from Buenos Aires)
  • Silvia (TCBP from Madrid)
  • Belen (TCBP from Uruguay and Chile)
  • Penny (TCBP from Colombia)
  • Magui (TCBP San Francisco)
  • Max ( the One that types this article and the agile coach of the whole program)

The name of this team is:

Ok I Get it, Why Kudos Wall: https://management30.com/practice/kudo-cards/

So as the official Site expose brilliantly.

A Kudo is not just given from the top down, but peer-to-peer and bottom-up. Across departments and organisation, anyone can recognise someone else’s work. It’s a way to break down hierarchical limitations and to encourage everyone to offer instant positive feedback. Kudo Cards are simple cards that play the role of a physical token of appreciation. The cards can be placed in a box, and every now and then the Kudo Box is emptied and the workers celebrate those who had received a card. Maybe once per day, or once per week, the implementations vary across organisations

We are on an extremely tight schedule, extremely tired and we are incredibly committed to our project. We believe in what we do.

However, as leaders of this initiative, we are quite alone, and Recognition is very difficult to achieve, since what we are doing is not visible …yet.

So the mission is simple to keep the morale of this team up, and not by using artefacts as punctual After office, but keeping track of our home runs periodically and be sure that our achievements just don’t go missed.

Was there a problem to fix on this occasion?

  • Lack of visibility to the general Globant community on what we are doing
  • Management too busy to get involved or recognise progress(C Level)
  • Over-burnt team with multiple simultaneous tasks and projects

The practice application, Outcomes, and what to do in the future.

  • PRACTICE APPLICATION

Once again this is practice executed by the numbers using a basic Kudos Wall so let’s go explaining the dynamic.

a — TOOLS:

1- Google Meet

2- Miro for using the Wal

3- Google Calendar for setting the appointments

b . Dynamic:

I basically took the base of the Kudos Wall learned on the Management 3.0 Course

And then basically shared the dynamic with the team:

  1. We will get once every two weeks to perform a retrospective of the project
  2. After reviewing the competences progress we would take 20 minutes just to review the Kudos of the iteration. (The Kudos will be uploaded during the iteration in real time and them we would get together and review)
  3. All Cards must be read by its owner with no exception
  4. Be sure to give all the cards the notoriety it needs.

Here we have the result of the last iteration

  • LESSONS LEARNED

What I have Learned?

  • As a facilitator I learned how the bonds of the team grow by this cumulative positive energy. I think the team, that is today separated by this Pandemic, has found a way to relate to its peers elevating the morale and the sense of progress that we are all achieving together. (Remember our product is not yet public, so we can only rely on ourselves as a team to be recognised the great job we are doing)

What has the team Learned?

  • The importance of congratulating a job well done to the other and vice versa, invigorating this team self esteem and bonding of all its members

What would I do Differently?

  • For my next experiment I would like to create an after office at the end of the year and to be able to use all the kudos of the last three months as accolades preparing the welcome of 2021. And from there to have a Kudos Meeting separated from the Retrospective

What would I do the Same?

  • Make all the participants read their cards, this cannot be afforded to be impersonal

What about action Items?

  • Regarding action Items the team has compromised to perform a strict follow to Kudos during the next iteration (we are still playing catch up on the discipline side of this dynamic, and we tend to forget potential Kudos)

Team Results : What the team has to say:

  • Rocio: Enhanced team mood for continuous recognition on meaningful actions
  • Silvia: Being from spain, is not easy on a team almost fully located in America, this really help me to feel less alone and help my Morale
  • Penny: Sense of accomplishment both individual and collective
  • Magali: Pursuing actions that are visible and to be regarded by your peers, comes paired with an elevated motivation

Now you do it:

Kudos wall is simple, lightweight, and very powerful, teams like backend can greatly benefit from this kind of dynamic, since they are teams that tend to be forgotten (Ironically, their work is quite critical). I highly recommend this practice as it is non invasive, the team has to do nothing but losing seconds uploading a post-it . One last piece of advice, do not force this dynamic on the team. Set a meeting to explain how and why this will be done and look for agreement before launching it (You DO NOT want this to be done just because you asked it)

Thanks for your attention once more, see you on the next chapter

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Claudio Sirman

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