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Show love and say thank you to your colleagues with an "Appreciation board"

Stress and mental health problems are often triggered by the lack of praise and recognition. We need a new way to say thank you and share how much we appreciate the work of our colleagues. Good news for companies: happy employees are more productive.

Photo of Niklas Jansen
11 15

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The idea is simple and easy to implement. Every company should set up an "Appreciation board" where colleagues can say thank you or compliment their fellow peers. Team members send short messages recognizing each other, at any time. The board and messages being sent should be visible to all employees, i.e. in the entrance of the office. Employees are passing this board several times per day and can have a look and contribute to the board. 

Some examples could like like this:

Peter thanks Bruce for supporting him writing the best sales pitch ever.

Caroline high fives Paula for winning a new client.

Eric thanks Scarlett for helping him to structure the new project.

This is an easy way to share appreciation. Public recognition from peers is highly satisfying and motivating. Moreover research has shown that being grateful makes people happier. And the receiver of the appreciation feels honored and happy as well.

Messages can be published with a name or even anonymously.


What are the benefits of your concept for the individual and the employer?

People strive for recognition of their peers. Unfortunately in todays working culture we lack the skill of saying thank you and showing appreciation for the work of others. Often supervisors and managers don't have the time/ability to say thank you or (even worse) the praise doesn't feel real. The lack of recognition is a major trigger for stress and mental health problems. Moreover people who don't feel valued for their work tend to be more unproductive and inefficient.

I believe that in most cases the lack of appreciation is just based on missing rules, systems and structures. By providing an easy and fun way to say thank you we might solve this problem. We make individuals happier, reduce stress and mental health problems. The employer benefits as well: Research has shown happy employees are more productive and efficient (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/jul/11/happy-workers-are-more-productive).

Team-work is super important today. Mostly you work in diverse teams with different skill-sets. To accomplish a goal or work on a project you often depend on the input of your colleagues. This idea might boost cooperation since you get a direct reward by appearing on the wall of appreciation.

And last but not least: It's fun to thank people and makes yourself happier (Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0618620192?ie=UTF8&tag=iwillchanyour-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0618620192)

What might the impact of your concept be and how might it be measured?

The impact of the concept are more happier and productive employees. Recognition from peers is satisfying and motivating. This is measurable by reduced sick notes and by employee happiness.

How might your concept be designed to scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?

A minimal viable solution is an easy chalkboard where people just leave notes to appreciate the work of fellow colleagues.

To scale the ideas and spread to reach I think about an easy software solution with a digital screen. People just send an Email to a specific adress with the receiver and reason of the appreciation and it will directly posted to the screen. You could even send appreciation via Twitter by using specific hashtags. And since this system is digital it might also be presented an the company's intranet.

How might you design a small experiment around your concept that would mobilise action?

I would start with an chalkboard at the entrance of the office. People can leave their thank you and appreciation on thins board when they leave the office. When the first people start to write something on the wall more people could follow and even are more motivated to help others to appear on the wall.

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