Working on employee engagement: Got Kudos?

It looks like that 2016 was all about the employee engagement and this is terrific news. We’re noticing a trend in which execs and managers are taking a serious interest in improving employee engagement for the future, specifically in 2016. Deloitte research recently revealed that a majority of business leaders are critically focused on raising engagement, because it dramatically improves employee loyalty and productivity.

Here at Visma Lietuva we’ve been advocating employee-oriented work culture for years and have actually been implementing it since the very start of our company. From day one we had a strong vision of how Visma Lietuva should look and be like. It’s not the matter of foosball tables, bean bags or beer at the office. It’s about the people, who take charge and influence positive change within the organization, those, who feel responsible for how they feel in the workplace and are free to give their feedback.

Chocolate wall of fame

Currently, we use a digitized employee communication and engagement tool called Simoona, with integrated employee recognition program (Kudos), but it was a long way until we got there. Actually, Kudos reward system started with a simple whiteboard.

Visma Lietuva founders (5 awesome developers) strongly believe in the culture of appreciation and acknowledgment at work even for the smallest things. It costs nothing but gives a great deal of feeling of being valued and recognized.

It all started as a “Chocolate wall of fame” concept – each time an employee brought something yummy at the office he or she received an appreciation point a.k.a Kudos which was recorded on the whiteboard. The company grew, we’ve run out of whiteboard space, fell in sort of a sugar coma, but the other and most important thing was that we realized that it’s not about the chocolate anymore.

Kudos whitebiard

Our very first Kudos whiteboard

Our employees kept doing amazing things professional wise and social wise, so obviously, it could not be left unnoticed. The year 2012 was marked as the year Visma Lietuva “Kudos respect points” were born.

It’s all about the good deeds, really. We’re happy when Visma Lietuva people succeed, share their knowledge and experience, pass it on to the juniors, invest their time and energy to own professional development or participate in social events – that’s why we encourage all of the above and show our appreciation publicly via Simoona social intranet and gamification tool we use. Every time Kudos points are granted – it is immediately visible to every employee on main Simoona Wall and achievement board. Also, Kudos history and statistics of each employee are visible to the whole company because we believe employee recognition system should be 100 percent transparent.

Another thing: employees receive Kudos Badges as soon as they collect a certain amount of Kudos points.

Kudos badges

Some examples of Kudos badges

Better way of saying “Great job”

Currently, we have over 10 good deeds categories, which are rewarded by Kudos respect points. Each completely attainable by anyone at the company, so it’s the matter of willingness to contribute and receive some “Kudos” gold.

 

Okay, so this looks good on paper, let’s talk actions:

 

Audrius made it all the up to Darius and Girėnas peak and unlocked the "Extraordinary Achievement" Kudos category

Audrius made it all the way up to Darius and Girėnas peak and unlocked the “Extraordinary Achievement” Kudos category

 

Sharing is caring, that’s why public speaking is very much encouraged.

Sharing is caring, that’s why public speaking is very much encouraged.

 

Helping young talents grow is not an easy job to do. Our internship mentors a.k.a the nannies are rewarded not only with major respect but Kudos points as well.

Helping young talents grow is not an easy job to do. Our internship mentors a.k.a the nannies are rewarded not only with major respect but Kudos points as well.

Got gold?

Okay, so you’ve collected few Kudos points, now what? That’s the time the real fun begins. At Visma Lietuva Kudos points do not only represent respect and appreciation – it is also a very real internal currency (or merit money) every employee can spend. Gadgets (literally anything you can think of: kindle, headphones, keyboard, raspberry Pi, motherboards, extra large monitors etc.) as well as trips, extra team buildings – pretty much whatever money can buy.

And another one bought this super compfy swing chair

Another team, for intance, bought this super comfy swing chair

It’s all about the culture, really

With Kudos we established effective communication along with gamification at work. However this is only one of many parts of how Visma Lietuva executes employee engagement. We encourage more communication, more transparency, more interactions and more fun. Yes, we are a part of an international business group, but establishing a strong local culture that stands for universal company values is vital. Working on healthy and open company culture is not a walk in a park and it’s a job that is never finished, but it is most certainly fun and rewarding.