2017 was a great year for Kazoo. We saw the industry shift to improving the employee experience. We saw thousands of employees get more impact, meaning, connection, and appreciation in their work.

We’re proud to of the growth we’ve experienced, and more importantly the value we delivered to so many people.

Growing User Base

Our award-winning software was used by over
120,000 end users in more than 380 companies
across 19 different countries.

Employee Engagement

Our platform delivers. 100% of Kazoo customers surveyed said our platform improved employee engagement at their company.

Powerful Recognition

Appreciation is a critical pillar of a a positive employee experience. Through our platform, over 2,225,000 pieces of recognition were sent. That’s 6,100 notes of appreciation and recognition everyday.

Time Savings

258,060 HR administrator hours saved from cumbersome and inconsistent recognition programs. With an average salary of $50,000, that’s a savings of over $6 million dollars!

Giving Back

Being able to give back to the community allows employees to feel impact, another critical component of a positive employee experience. Through our platform, our end-users supported over 400 charities through more than 26,000 charitable contributions. That’s a lot of impact!

Robust Rewards Engine

Earning points and redeeming them is a rewarding feeling. Our end-users redeemed points to get over 330,000 rewards. With over 90,000 physical products to choose from (with no mark up!), our end-users redeemed points for over 34,000 products. The most popular one? An Amazon gift card.

Our platform also allows for tailored and customer experiences as a reward, not just physical projects. With an infinite number of experiences available, end-users redeemed for 36,000 experiences. That’s a lot of experiences.

Meaningful Employee Rewards

Behavior Bonus

Customers use the Kazoo Behavior Bonus option to communicate and reward the actions that matter most to company performance or culture. Kazoo customers reported that it delivered over 50% growth in user participation in learning and development, wellness and other corporate programs.

Behavior Bonus options are limitless. 2017’s most interesting behavior bonus “Take a minute to look up at the sky” helped that company’s employees manage the stress that can come from a fast-paced work environment.

Industry Awards Won

Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017
Austin Business Journal’s 8th Best Place to Work – Medium Category – 2017, 2016
Stevie Awards for Great Employers – Silver Award Winner – Employee Engagement Solution Category – 2017
Stevie Awards for Women in Business – Silver Award Winner – Female Executive of the Year – Business Products –11 to 2,500 Employees – Computer Software
Stevie Awards for Women in Business – Bronze Award Winner – Company of the Year – Business Products – More Than 10 Employees
Best in Biz – Bronze Award Winner – Enterprise Product of the Year – HR Software Category

Industry Momentum

We mixed and mingled with over 27,000 attendees at industry events, and saw our name in over 160 press mentions, including:

Fueling our Work

We use our rewards to keep ourselves going. 980 bottles of Topo Chico and 21 kegs of cold brew coffee were redeemed by Kazoo employees through internal group rewards.

About Kazoo

Kazoo is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, Kazoo grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.

When used effectively, employee recognition is an incredibly powerful motivational tool.

  • The Cicero group has found that 53% of employees said their work relationships would improve if they were recognized more often.
  • Glassdoor found that 81% of employees said they were motivated to work harder when they get appreciation from their managers.
  • Recognition is a critical tool for helping employees feel valued. CareerBuilder has found that feeling valued is a top reason employees stay in jobs –- and not feeling valued is a key factor in dissatisfaction.

Not all employee recognition programs resonate with employees. Perhaps you’ve seen this for yourself. There’s the “Employee of the Month” program that feels more a statement of popularity than performance. Maybe you gave up multiple weekends for a project and 3 months later someone sends you a “thank you” pen. Or maybe you got a gift card for a steak restaurant and you’re a vegetarian.

Effective employee recognition programs exist. The Kazoo employee experience platform has enabled recognition at hundreds of customer sites, been adopted by hundreds of thousands of employees, and been used to send millions of pieces of employee recognition. The results? A third-party ROI study found that 100% of surveyed customers had seen their employee engagement go up after adopting the platform.

Employee Recognition Example

Employee Recognition Checklist

So, what does effective employee recognition look like? We’ve put together this checklist for effective recognition based on industry research, our collective expertise, and our experience with our customers.

  • Use a platform for public employee recognition. Having a single place for public recognition sets the foundation for embedding recognition and appreciation into your company culture. It also ensures that individual pieces of recognition will resonate with employees across the company.
  • Tie employee recognition to company core values. When an employee can see how their work directly supports company core values, – it adds meaning to day-to-day work. Additionally, it provides proof that the company is living out its core values. It turns out that this matters to employees –- a 2015 Society for Human Resource Management report showed that 86% of values-based employee recognition systems increase employee happiness.
  • Make employee recognition timely. Recognition given closer to an action will have more of an effect on an employee than weeks or months after the event.
  • Make employee recognition specific. Giving details of the action or behavior that you’re recognizing ensures that employees know exactly what they did that’s of value.
  • Make employee recognition authentic. Sending a personalized recognition makes recognition more meaningful.
  • Make employee recognition frequent. If managers and employees send recognition 1 to 3 times per week, employee recognition becomes an organic part of your company culture. It means employees are more likely to accept and respond to the recognition that they get.
  • State the impact. In our market research for the Employee Experienced Defined, we found that 94% of employees crave to know the impact that their work is having on the company. Detailing why a specific action matters shows employees how their daily work is moving the company forward.
  • Recognize the everyday. It’s easy to send recognition for heroic actions –- staying late to finish a project or working over the weekend to fix a bug. But what about the people who are performing well on a day-to-day basis? They often go unnoticed. Yet, double-checking work so that a product runs effectively before it’s released or being efficient on a day-to-day basis may be critical to long-term business performance. Recognizing important everyday actions reinforces them, motivates employees and builds overall performance.
  • Enable peer-to-peer employee recognition. Studies show that employees perform better when they can reward their peers. Plus, having regular, public peer-to-peer recognition shows managers the great work their employees are doing that they may not have noticed on their own.
  • Lead from the top. When managers either give recognition –- or even amplify recognition from a peer –- it reinforces the importance of the behavior that’s being recognized. And it encourages employees to recognize each other.

Effective employee recognition programs can transform companies. See a tour of Kazoo’s Employee Experience platform to see how you can build effective employee recognition into your culture.

About Kazoo
Kazoo is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, Kazoo grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.

The era of Millennial management has arrived

Most employees show up on their first day of work expecting a boss who’s older and wiser than them, but this is becoming less of the norm. Millennials are quickly moving up the corporate ladder and managing each other, leaving organizations to navigate this new dynamic.

Here’s how this new management structure is changing the workplace as we know it.

Millennial leaders help debunk fallacies

Often labeled with technology-addicted, entitled, and job-hopping (to name a few), Millennials are up against many harmful stereotypes at work. Fortunately, younger managers are beginning to quash the generational misperceptions associated with their age. They know first-hand that their age group isn’t lazy or narcissistic; instead, they are a generation seeking purpose in their careers.

Millennials at work

Because they have the same needs, Millennial leaders are well-equipped to cater to their employees’ preferences – removing pre-conceived notions of the generation in the process. They realize that Millennials are the “generation of now,” and crave more immediate responsibilities, real-time recognition, and feedback on their work when they ask for it. 

How to effectively manage employees in your age group

While Millennial leaders have the opportunity to develop better, more personal relationships with their team members, it can also create frustration, jealousy, and animosity if not managed properly. Regardless of how managers handle the situation, there will likely be some employees who are uncomfortable being supervised by someone who’s essentially the same age as them – or even younger. It’s always easier to accept feedback and suggestions from a boss who’s more established, tenured, and has more years of experience under their belt.

On the other hand, Millennials often find it easier to collaborate with their teams. While most employees would never dream of critiquing a veteran employee or member of the C-suite’s ideas, Millennial managers are able to create environments where their direct reports feel comfortable challenging them and bringing new ideas to the table. Because there’s less disconnect in the manager-employee relationship, Millennial teams are more likely to give honest feedback on ideas or projects and present viable solutions when necessary.

Four tips for Managing Millennials

Are you a Millennial manager looking to create the best environment possible for your team? Here are four tips for managing other Millennials in the workplace.

  1. Establish trust and autonomy.

    Whether your employees have 10 years of experience or are a fresh out of college, Millennial managers must remember to treat and manage individuals the same, regardless of age. This doesn’t mean you can’t take behavioral nuances and preferences into account. Instead, create a team culture where both trust and independence exist for everyone. When employees trust their boss and have the freedom to do their jobs well, they’ll feel less like a cog and more like a valued member of the team.

  2. Ask Millennials how they want to be managed.

    It’s that simple. Though Millennial managers already have a solid understanding of how their peers want to be managed, asking about specific preferences or workstyles is crucial to maintaining and sustaining trust in the relationship. During weekly 1-on-1 check-ins, talk through any roadblocks that are inhibiting an employee’s progress and ask how you can help them achieve their goals.

  3. Understand that your employees won’t work at your company forever.

    Changing jobs is inevitable for the modern employee – yet another area where younger managers can relate to their employees. And while you can’t keep your Millennial team members from seeking out other job opportunities, you can help them develop the skills they need to succeed in future roles. An added benefit? Arming them with skills for the future will not only make them better in their current roles, it will boost engagement, leading to enhanced performance and productivity.

    Millennial Manager Goals

  4. Lead the charge for frequent goal-setting.

    Young managers understand better than anyone that annual performance reviews are outdated and ineffective. In fact, our recent data study found that 82 percent of Millennial managers ask their workers to establish goals quarterly or more frequently. When an employee achieves said goals, don’t forget to recognize them. While Millennials don’t expect a gold star for every task, recognition still matters. Recognition, like goal-setting, should be a regular habit rather than an infrequent formality.

Though moving from an employee’s peer to their manager isn’t always the easiest transition, Millennial leaders are well-positioned to help their team succeed and reach the next level. Act as an advocate, not a dictator, for your fellow Millennials by checking in frequently, following up on goals, and establishing a culture of transparency, trust, and autonomy.

From top to bottom, everything about the Kazoo Activity Feed has been designed with one purpose:

Reveal and recognize the positive pulse of your company.

See employee recognition in real time with the Kazoo activity feed.

View real-time, company-wide recognition

What if your company had a constantly-updated feed where everything positive happening across the company was displayed?

A feed where managers recognize employees, ensuring every small victory is celebrated.

A feed where peers recognize peers, revealing hidden all-stars.

A feed where your organization’s core values are on display.

A feed where your company culture shines.

If that sounds like something that would grab your interest, you’re not alone. The positive pulse seen in the Kazoo Activity Feed is engaging for employees and leadership alike, making it a simple-to-use yet indispensable tool.

“My favorite thing is how it brings the company together. We have global offices, but this unifies the employee base like nothing else we have.”

— Daniel Whang, Global Compensation and Benefits Specialist, Promethean World

Get involved via High Fives and comments

If the look of the Kazoo Activity Feed has a familiar social network feel to you or your employees, that’s on purpose. This activity feed is social — but with an employee recognition twist.

The activity feed doesn’t just shine the spotlight on good behaviors happening within the organization. Leaders and employees from across the company can add their own thoughts to a piece of recognition via comments.

Anyone can also High Five a piece of recognition in the activity feed. This unique feature is more than just a passive “Like” on a post. Each High Five awards five more Kazoo points to the recipient, allowing anyone in the organization to make recognition more meaningful.

“Kazoo is the perfect platform for a global business like ours.”

— Andy Stevens, Head of Content & Campaigns, Promethean World

Bring the activity feed anywhere

Worried about whether or not employees will remember to check the activity feed? Don’t be. Thanks to Kazoo’s available apps and integrations, activity feed data can go anywhere your employees are:

  • On employees’ mobile phones via the Kazoo iOS and Android apps
  • On communication tools like Slack, Yammer, and Salesforce Chatter
  • On your organization’s intranet

You can even display a real-time activity feed on screens throughout your offices, warehouses, corporate events, and more.

See for yourself

To see the Activity Feed in action for yourself, request a live demo anytime.

Want to see more features of the Kazoo platform that help you create a high-performance team and a purpose-driven workplace? You can browse more in our product tour.