BEEVA’s experience with positive feedback, kudos and Merit Money

- Practices & Exercises

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by Pedro Angel Serrano

BEEVA is a technology and innovation company whose mission is to help companies in their digital transformation and add value as new technologies emerge. We have grown very quickly in the last three years from around 100 people in 2013 to nowadays more than 500. That’s the reason we are working to keep the positive things we had, back when we were not so many people.

Because of that we started thinking of different ways to make our employees feel closer to the company and to each other.

We have a strong agile mindset at BEEVA and most of us have read a lot of books about lean, agile, Scrum and Management 3.0. One of the most attractive things is the way we empower teammates to acknowledge each other using the Kudo Box and Kudo Cards. We thought these were very healthy ways to recognise what others did for you at work. In addition, we believe that making this acknowledgement public is very positive.

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Since we are so many people working in many different locations, we needed to find some way in which everyone could participate without being in the same place. That’s the reason we analyzed the situation and decided to propose a system with the following characteristics:

  • We created a virtual coin named “BEEVA Point.” BEEVA Points are a way to say “thank you” to a colleague.
  • This gratitude has to be justified using one of the cultural principles that we have at BEEVA: team-building, humility, honesty, innovation, etc. Every cultural principle is a medal in our system, as you can see in the following image:
  • Everybody at BEEVA have 20 BEEVA Points to start with and can use them however they want through an online tool. The amount of BEEVA Points is recharged periodically, though rarely.
  • The flow of BEEVA Points sent in the tool is public and every person at BEEVA can see it.
  • The amount of BEEVA Points you have thanks to your co-workers could be used to get a prize. The set of available prizes are in a catalog in which everyone can give her or his opinion on its content through the online tool.
  • When you earn BEEVA Points due to the recognition of your coworkers, you can exchange those points for prizes.

Our tool is named “Feedback360” and was launched at our company in September 2016. The conclusions so far are:

  • 2,900 BEEVA Points have been given so far. More than half of the people at BEEVA have spent all their points.
  • More than 63 percent of the people at BEEVA have received a medal.
  • The reasons (medals) most used to give BEEVA Points are “La brújula” (Spanish for “compass,” this is the person guiding a team) and “Pegamento del equipo” (the glue that holds a team together.)  
  • Due to the amount of cross-functional, cross-team collaboration at our company, 98 percent of the BEEVA Points sent have been given to people who aren’t on the same project as the sender.

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  • 47 percent of the people who are registered in the tool have received a medal.
  • And a very interesting point: only 15 people have exchanged BEEVA Points for a prize. This indicate us that people are using the tool due to the acknowledgement and not because of the prizes.
Merit Money Team Values

General conclusions are positive. We think positive acknowledgement is something that didn’t exist before this tool and now it has become an important channel of communication among BEEVA staff. The next challenge is to increase its use and to establish this as a normal practice for everyone. That is where we want to go for the next months.

What do you do to scale company culture? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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