by Vasco Duarte
We believe that good management shouldn’t be just about practices, but even more about principles. Management 3.0 for instance isn’t a ‘method’. It’s a concept. On the other hand, in order to learn how to do things, people need concrete practices. Things they can work on, starting next Monday. One of those practical things is using Kudo Cards: cards that you can use to show your appreciation for what your co-workers have done. I wrote about them before, right here.
This time I talked about Kudo Cards with Robert Misch, a great guy who works at a company called gutefrage.net. Sounds familiar? I wrote about them before. Anyway, Robert and his team are quite keen on trying new stuff. And although they love a lot of the practices they read about, they adjust them to their own situation if it’s necessary. We had a little talk about his latest experiments.
“We have 115+ people working here. The last year the company grew quite fast, we almost doubled in size. And although we are still very much agile, we noticed that some things started to be different. We felt something had to change. Starting last Christmas we now hand out a couple of Kudo Cards to everyone every month.”
In the original practice, those cards go in a box and the manager hands them out to the people they are addressed to, making them public after that. Not at gutefrage.net. They use a big wall in the kitchen where people can put the cards they wrote. “Everyone can read them and it’s a great feeling to get one,” Robert said. It reminded me of The Wall of Honor at Seedbox. At gutefrage.net they designed their own cards, adding the company logo (on the flip side) to make it ‘their own’. Did the system work right away? “Yes and no. The first time (at the Christmas party) we slightly overdid it. Everyone wrote cards for whatever people did, there were more than 300 cards! It was great though, we hung them up on a washing line. The next month we had to find another place to put the cards, that became the wall of our kitchen.” Nowadays people are still using the cards a lot. They realized giving regular, positive feedback is good.