As our US counterparts celebrate Thanksgiving today, I’m reminded that giving thanks – or expressing gratitude – is good for you and also good for your colleagues. It’s free, it only takes a moment and it’s always in supply. We should do it more – and we can.
Lack of opportunity is no excuse. There are many ways to say ‘thank you’ or give someone praise: face to face, group or direct messaging, or with a greetings card. It doesn’t have to be impressive; what matters is that it’s genuine. When giving praise or expressing gratitude in a professional environment, some people offer LinkedIn Kudos, the Krusty Krab uses an ‘Employee of the Month’ scheme, and RingCentral has its own internally-facing recognition platform that is also called Kudos.
Kudos is a tool to help generate a sense of goodwill, engagement and motivation among the workforce. It facilitates small actions with big influence, encouraging employees to recognise one another and remember their own triumphs rather than getting bogged down in impending deadlines. Kudos also acts as a reference for gratitude- and giving-related activities and information, such as October’s Spirit Week or the benefits of working at RingCentral.
The system encourages colleagues to give kudos to one another through gamification features like a simple points tally and various leaderboards, along with reminders for milestones such as birthdays and work anniversaries. In a more general sense, it helps employees keep up to date with what’s happening across the company through news feeds and announcements.
The Kudos platform was one way we promoted Spirit Week to employees, creating a page to provide details and host visual materials, using the announcements function to get the page in front of more employees, and adding a hashtag for people to use in the messages they send over the platform. We also incentivised engagement by rewarding the top senders of kudos with an RCause Card worth $100 to give to their charity of choice.
What’s an RCause Card?
Glad you asked. To make the most of our workforce’s goodwill, we use a customised proprietary software which supports corporate philanthropy by creating meaningful connections between corporations, employees and non-profits. What this means in English is that we can easily organise, track and participate in various activities designed to encourage our giving spirit.
We call our software RCause. It has loads of functions to organise and motivate (which I’ll talk about in a later post) but one of the best features is the functionality to donate money to a cause via the software, which is then matched from RingCentral’s own pockets. RCause also offers gift cards, representing monetary value, that people can use to donate that money to charities of their choice. That’s an RCause Card.
A Day to Give Thanks
To join our US colleagues in celebrating Thanksgiving, and help make today meaningful here in the UK, we’ve adopted the thanksgiving tradition with a simple new initiative. This morning we got together in our agile workspace to log into our Kudos platform and give thanks to anyone who makes a difference to our working day. It’s an easy way to let someone know that we’re grateful and is the kind of thing that literally only takes a second to do but produces effects that last much longer.
Staying in the giving spirit, the latest activity we organised through RCause is participation in #rocktheribbon for World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day is actually Sunday 1 December, but we’re wearing black and rocking the ribbon today in order to involve as many colleagues and raise as much money as possible for National AIDS Trust (NAT). We also have 30 clients visiting our office today, who joined us in our efforts for the charity. In total, we collected £100 from people who ‘purchased’ the red ribbon and we’ll donate to the NAT via RCause, which will be matched by RingCentral’s equivalent donation to make a total of £200.
Does your company mark Thanksgiving or encourage giving thanks? I’d love to hear the details of how you bring people together and express gratitude. We wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving and encourage you to be generous with your kudos – it can make a big difference to someone’s day.
Originally published Nov 28, 2019, updated Jan 16, 2023