We all know employee recognition is important in keeping people happy. But getting promoted, winning an award, or having a great performance review only happens so often. That could be why peer-to-peer recognition is 35% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only feedback. Good things happen when we feel valued by our teammates. So, a few months ago, we tried an experiment to keep peer-to-peer recognition top of mind.
We use TinyPulse to gauge employee engagement and get feedback from the team, and it offers a feature to send “Cheers” to teammates when they’ve gone above and beyond. When you send someone a Cheers, they get an email notification and a thank you note about what they did that was so awesome. We thought it’d be fun to take that peer-to-peer praise beyond the inbox and share it with the whole Product Team by displaying the ‘thank yous’ on TV monitors around our office.
So, I built a small Node app to hit their API for the most recent Cheers which are then shown on our monitors for 5 minutes every hour (unless our alerting is red!) Everyone loves getting a virtual high-five from a peer and it turns out, having some casual, public recognition makes it a little more special. I’ve gotten positive reactions from the team and can see the benefits in a few different ways:
Cheers Are Contagious: Some unscientific calculations indicate that the number of Cheers sent has increased by 30% since we started displaying them. At our Awards Banquet in February, we even gave out ‘The Giver (of TinyPulse Cheers) Award’ to our PM, Maggie, for sending so many.
We’re All in the Loop: We work in small, autonomous teams and sharing Cheers with everyone is another way to stay tight-knit as an organization. The ‘thank yous’ let us know what’s going well on other teams and what their dynamics. Small things like inside jokes and tone can tell you a lot about a team and make it a little easier to connected.
Culture’s at the Core: Building amazing products is first and foremost about creating a great workplace. When candidates get a tour of our dev space and see employees thanking one another up on the screen, they get a better sense of our culture. We want to work with people that are humble and effective (this slide from HubSpot’s Culture Code captures that spirit well) and the Cheers have been a great way to display those values.
One thing we like to say is that when it comes to employee engagement, peers matter more than beers (Tweet This). Surface-level perks like ping pong tables and free food are great, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the people you work with. Encouraging employees to recognize each other's hard work and talent, even with something quick and easy, like a Cheers, can make a big difference in their day-to-day.
Just like our software, we are continually iterating on our culture to improve it. So, I’d love to hear about the culture hacks you’ve tried and what works at your company.