As part of the STAGILE® framework, Kudo cards are used as a simple and effective method to change the feedback culture in a team or company. The idea of Kudo cards – also known as Hero Awards, Appreciation Cards or Rippas – originates from the Scrum method and the concept “Management 3.0” by Jurgen Appelo. As a written expression of recognition in a team or company, they are intended to visualize appreciation and promote team spirit, regardless of hierarchy. The term “Kudo” derived from Greek, meaning “recognition”, “praise” or “honour”.
In many cases, employees shy away from feedback rounds. Often, only negative points of criticism are passed on in the daily work routine and this in the hierarchy from top to bottom. Kudo cards, as an element of an agile way of working, are intended to motivate people to congratulate their colleagues on special achievements or simply say “thank you”. First and foremost, they reward a person’s commitment, not their output. The focus is therefore on encouraging feedback.
Kudos are usually not associated with material benefits, but can be combined with a small financial reward, such as a voucher. It is important to keep the amounts small to make sure the material incentive does not become the main goal.
In principle, anyone can issue a “Kudo” to anyone at any time. The best way to do this, however, is during a team meeting. Of course, the Kudo system can also be used to celebrate a particularly successful Sprint in a team or as a motivational booster when everything seems to have gone wrong.
In order to maximize the effect of the Kudo cards, it is advisable to place them in the employees‘ field of vision. The cards can, for example, be attached to a Kudo pinboard or placed in a Kudo box so that they can be looked at again and again. If you see in black and white that, in the opinion of your colleagues, you have completed a task particularly well, this creates a lasting positive feeling, which in turn increases your work spirit. Kudo cards thus act as intrinsic motivation in an agile work environment.