Updated analytics capabilities give HR leaders the data needed to drive engagement and alignment across their organizations

AUSTIN, TX — November 20, 2019 — Kazoo, the all-in-one Employee Experience Platform, today announced the expansion of the Insights & Reporting capabilities for its Real-time Recognition & Rewards platform. The company also updated its mobile app to now include its Survey, Nominations & Awards, and People Directory features.

Kazoo overhauled its Insights & Reporting to provide HR leaders with the information they need to better understand how their Recognition program is driving collaboration and company culture. With updated dashboards and reports, businesses can dig into program participation by department, location, and team to identify top-performing groups or where attention is needed to drive greater alignment. In addition, Recognition Insights & Reporting gives companies a clear understanding of what is motivating their employees while also making it easier for them to set their budget threshold and access their Reward spending over time.

“As a company, our focus this year has been to provide better data to our customers so they can truly see the impact of their employee experience programs,” said Sapna Gulati, EVP of Product at Kazoo. “By updating our Insights & Reporting capabilities for our Recognition & Rewards platform, we are providing HR leaders with the data they need to be strategic business partners that drive decisions across their organizations.”

In October, Kazoo launched updated Insights & Reporting for its Continuous Performance Management platform. Now, by adding Insights & Reporting for Recognition & Rewards, Kazoo is equipping customers with the data needed to better understand their employees and how their participation, engagement, and collaboration impact business objectives and performance. Being able to pull data from the positive feedback employees are receiving from recognition and combining that with their goals and growth development needs, companies now have a better view of what makes an employee successful in their current and future roles.

In addition to the launch of Insights & Reporting, Kazoo also updated its mobile app to now include Survey, Nominations & Awards, and People Directory. With Survey on mobile, users can now easily access and respond to any of Kazoo’s three Survey types — Pulse, eNPS, and Custom Question — while on the go. By adding Nominations & Awards to its mobile app, Kazoo enables users to interact with company custom award programs, by responding to nominations that highlight employees who reflect the company’s core values, business goals, or culture in a matter of minutes. Kazoo’s People Directory feature improves real-time connections across the organization by making it easier for people to get to know their colleagues by putting a face, a name, and a story all on one page.

Kazoo’s integrated employee experience platform increases productivity, retention, and revenue while enabling companies to build purpose-driven cultures of high engagement and high performance. To learn more about Kazoo, visit www.KazooHR.com.

Do a quick search for “human resources” on Google and you’ll get a mind-boggling 4.5 BILLION results. Yes, that’s billion with a B.

But with an infinite amount of content at our fingertips, it can be hard to know where to start when looking for great advice on the latest HR trends.

To help you break through the noise, we’ve put together a list of our favorite Human Resources blogs that cover everything from workplace culture to engagement, inclusivity, and more.

1. Laurie Ruettimann

What it’s about: After an impressive track record in corporate HR roles, Laurie Ruettimann set out to fix work by helping business leaders create workplace cultures that support, empower and engage workers meaningfully.

Ruettimann prides herself on bringing righteous anger and edginess to her writing, like this rant against side hustles, and this one about Human Resources and Cannabis.

Why it made the list: Ruettimann is a breath of fresh air in the HR space. Check her out if you’re looking for revolutionary change in the field.

2. The HR Capitalist

What it’s about: Many HR blogs offer very high-level information that can be a challenge to apply. Blogger Kris Dunn, who day-jobs as the CHRO of Kinetix, believes in the power of specificity.

He offers concrete advice on HR Matters, like 5 Ways You Intimidate People Without Directly Threatening Them and Emerging Skills for Leaders: Making All Feel Welcome & On Equal Ground.

Why it made the list: HR leaders are notorious for having their heads in the clouds. Read this blog to learn how to execute concrete action steps.

3. Adam Grant

What it’s about: This blog comes straight to your inbox. Dr. Adam Grant is a top-rated professor at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania and author of the bestselling books “Give and Take” and “Originals.” His monthly newsletter offers cutting-edge research in the world of work.

Why it made the list: Check out this blog to stay on top of what’s new in the world of organizational psychology academia.

4. The Kazoo Resource Library (yes, us!)

What it’s about: Kazoo’s resource library is where you’ll find everything you need to know about HR and employee engagement, including practical guides and tips from experts in the field. Our employee experience platform ties purpose to performance, and we like to think our content does the same.

Why it made the list: Visit our blog for tons of free, practical resources, e.g. this Blueprint for Effective Employee Engagement, and The Science of Recognition & Rewards guide.

5. HR Bartender

What it’s about: At HR Bartender, self-proclaimed HR Pro-turned-consultant Sharlyn Lauby combines her love of great HR, open discussion, and culinary arts. Lauby’s goal is to provide a safe, open space for people to learn about and discuss any issues that arise in their workplace, HR-related or not.

The bar menu includes a fresh take on HR topics, like Engagement or Connection: Why the Connected Workplace Might Be Better and HR Technology: 13 Concepts HR Pros Need to Know.

Why it made the list: If you’re looking for a comfortable place to talk about hard things, like your neighborhood bar, give HR Bartender a try.

6. HR Zone

What it’s about: HR Zone is exactly what it says it is — a zone of the web dedicated to all things HR. More than just a blog, at HR Zone you’ll find an infinite number of digital resources, a growing list of live events, and a podcast to answer all of your HR questions.

Why it made the list: Have an HR question you can’t find the answer to? More than likely, you’ll find it here.

7. Fistful of Talent

What it’s about: Instead of one dedicated blogger, Fistful of Talent is a compilation of opinions on HR topics from a long list of power leaders (including Laurie Ruettimann, mentioned above). Reading Fistful of Talent is like scrolling the best news feed, covering topics from bad CEOs to transgenderism at work.

Why it made the list: Read Fistful of Talent if you want to eat from the buffet of the best HR leaders today.

8. Monster Thinking

What it’s about: At Monster Thinking, Trish MacFarlane leads the way in showing you how to incorporate HR technology into your work. She offers practical advice with Busting HR Technology Implementation Myths, and answers questions like How to Attend a Conference Virtually.

Why it made the list: Read Monster Thinking to find out how to incorporate technology into your HR work.

9. The Chief Happiness Officer

What it’s about: The name says it all. This blog is about all things happiness, for both HR leaders and the employees they serve. Chief Happiness Officer himself, Alex Kjelulf, asks and answers important questions like “Should You Seek Passion or Duty at Work?” and also adds a dose of humor with what he calls Non-Inspirational Quotes (but if you want great quotes, we have a ton.)

Why it made the list: When you need a guide to improving happiness, this is the place to go (as the name suggests.)

10. Workology

What it’s about: While many of the blogs on the list offer general advice, Workology specializes in offering digital resources for your recruiting efforts. Founder Jessica Miller-Merrell and contributing writers offer practical advice on things like How To Recruit and Source on Sites Like Reddit.

Why it made the list: In addition to the valuable content on the blog, Workology offers training for HR certifications and a podcast.

11. Evil HR Lady

What it’s about: Suzanne Lucas – aka The Evil HR Lady – aims to “demystify your HR department” by answering your questions (e.g. “Is It Sexist to Promote a Male Employee Over Two Females?”) and giving advice (e.g. “10 Things to Say Instead of Do Your Best”). Follow The Evil HR Lady on the blog, or on Twitter @RealEvilHRLady.

Why it made the list: Suzanne truly excels at HR real talk. If you’re looking for a hot take on those impossible to answer HR questions, look no further.

12. The Workplace Psychology Blog

What it’s about: At Workplace Psychology, blogger Steve Nguyen, Ph.D. takes a more academic approach to HR than most others you’ll find. He presents scholarly articles on topics like leadership development, change management, and industrial and organizational psychology.

Why it made the list: If you’re an HR practitioner, find your daily dose of continuing education right here.

Ready to turn up the energy of your commute? Get plugged into the conversations, challenges, and questions shaping the work landscape with these 26 HR and workplace podcasts.

Spanning industry trends, D&I initiatives, wellness, recruitment, and more, consider this your one-stop-shop for all things HR — now coming to you at the speed of sound (we love puns here.)

Podcast Categories

HR Industry Trends and Shop Talk

1. All Things Work

Listen in on interviews with top HR professionals and SHRM’s expert VP of Editorial, Tony Lee. Episodes also cover trends and stories from the workplace and the world of HR.

2. Capital-H

Deloitte’s Human Capital podcast series puts people at the center of work. Learn from data-driven research and get insights on navigating change in the workplace from the experts.

Widely varied topics deep-dive into automation, meaningful work for military spouses, building teams and leaders, and more.

3. HBR IdeaCast

Looking to learn about business trends, challenges, and innovations that both include and go beyond the immediate HR realm? The Harvard Business Review’s HBR IdeaCast throws a wide and comprehensive net, covering everything from coaching and workplace distractions to climate change.

4. Honest HR

This podcast from industry leader SHRM gets real about HR and organizations. Explore a diverse range of topics such as veteran-hiring, social media, how to talk to your C-suite, talent management, and more, curated by host Callie Zipple’s expert hand.

5. HR Happy Hour

Lively, conversational and challenging — but fun — the HR Happy Hour focuses on workplace challenges like recruiting, social media, career management, and much, much more.

6. HR Risk Podcast

This podcast is just what it sounds like: an exploration of what can go wrong in the workplace, and how to handle it from an HR perspective.

7. Workplace Greatness

This freshly launched podcast out of Great Place to Work Canada opens conversations with HR professionals, managers, and other experts about everything you can do to make your workplace, well, great. Touches on mental health, inclusion, innovation, and more.

8. The Workplace Lab

This Dinner Party Download-style podcast likens itself to “having an HR person in your back pocket.” The show’s hosts explore workplace issues with an eye toward helping employees and organizations thrive.

Culture Deep-Dives

9. Awesome Office

Sean Kelly’s culture-based podcast for the Association of Workplace Engagement has since been rolled into the brand-and-workplace-focused podcast Brand Builder. But with more than 130 culture-based interviews and features, the archives are worth going back for.

10. Inspired: Leadership, Culture, and the Evolving Workplace

Join the conversation about leadership, culture, and the future of work with in-depth interviews about the stories, policies, and decisions that are helping define workplace culture today.

11. Make It Thrive

Culture consultant Lizzie Benton takes the reins in this inspiring podcast, talking with employees and organizations about what makes culture thrive and how to create unique company cultures.

12. What Culture Could Be

Dive in with co-founder and former YouEarnedIt CEO Autumn Manning hailed as the “champion of corporate culture” of that hotbed of tech start-ups, Austin, TX. Learn about best practices and big failures from guests representing Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and everything between.

13. #WorkTrends

Preparing for the “perfect HR storm”? Want guidance on your D&I journey? This weekly podcast and Twitter chat open conversation with leading HR experts and HR tech vendors about what inspires them, plus industry news.

Diversity and Inclusion

14. Battle Tactics for Your Sexist Workplace

The name may seem tongue-in-cheek, but KUOW hosts Jeannie Yandel and Eula Scott Bynoe treat their subject matter — ending sexism in the workplace — with utmost seriousness. Take away tactics about being a better ally, how to not be “that guy” in the workplace, and why you should check yourself before going public about why you quit a job.

15. Code Switch

In the hosts’ own words, “Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get… stuck?” Funny, sometimes uncomfortable, and always unflinchingly honest, this NPR podcast hosted by journalists of color is here to help you navigate hard conversations about race and identity.

16. DiverCity

This London-based podcast focuses on D&I initiatives and best practices, bringing in some of Britain’s best minds to join the debate.

17. Diversonomics

From international law firm Gowling WLG comes a comprehensive D&I podcast broaching topics such as being an ally, putting ongoing D&I goals into action, diving into unconscious bias, and more.

18. The Future of Work

How will your organization meet the human capital challenges of the future? Futurist Jacob Morgan poses this question to CHROs, CEOs, CIOs, and others in an examination of what the future of work looks like and how to meet human needs in the workplace.

19. The Will to Change

Best-selling author and diversity and inclusion (D&I) thought-leader Jennifer Brown sits down one-on-one with business leaders and D&I practitioners for weekly explorations of the business case for D&I, how men can (and should) be powerful allies in the workplace, and more.

20. Women at Work

A Harvard Business Review podcast featuring conversations about the workplace and women’s place in it, hosted by three female HBR editors and authors with expertise in workplace dynamics, emotional intelligence, and new research in gender, diversity, and health care.

Hiring and Recruiting

21. EmploYAY

This biweekly podcast is packed with interviews spotlighting unique employment situations, asking questions like, what are alternative ways to find a new job, and how can companies adapt recruiting strategies in response to nonlinear careers? Guests include HR professionals, recruiters, and recruitment thought leaders.

22. Talk Talent to Me

Sneak a peek at what the top talent acquisition and recruitment minds in the industry are thinking in Hired.com’s premier recruiting podcast.

Conflict Resolution

23. Dear HBR

Having trouble with a co-worker? Looking to brush up on your conflict resolution skills? Check out Dear HBR, the Harvard Business Review’s advice podcast for resolving listeners’ workplace dilemmas.

Wellness and Psychology

24. My Pocket Psych

This biweekly podcast delves into the psychology of the workplace, from the effect of using analog tools in a digital world (and leaving your phone at home) to addiction, the power of play, surviving business travel, and more.

25. Thrive Health & Wellness Tips

Thrive’s quick-hits health podcast supplies tips every weekday to keep your workplace community healthy and happy. Learn about injuries, inflammation, immune health, and more in simple, one-minute episodes.

26. WellBites

The Michigan Wellness Council’s podcast is a resource for a healthier workforce, sharing leading workplace wellness strategies and education.

Not done learning? Visit Kazoo’s Employee Experience resource library for HR industry news, research, guides, and more.

Another HR Tech conference has come and gone  — and like previous years, the week-long event had an abundance of insight to offer about the HR universe.

Didn’t get a chance to attend this year’s conference? We’ve got you covered!

Our Kazoo team attended various sessions covering a range of HR topics — from culture trends to talent acquisition — and we’re here to share our learnings with you. Here are the trends we saw at HR Tech this year:

1.  Employees want to be a part of the HR process

Over the past decade, HR has completely transformed from a department that manages paperwork and work disputes to one that puts its people front and center. The shift in dynamics from prioritizing the business to putting employees first has made company culture a must-have, not a nice-to-have anymore.

But the most significant change in the HR game is now employees want to be a part of the company culture they so strongly desire. That poses the question, how do you involve employees in the process without hiring them under a formal HR title?

The solution is simpler than you’d think! To build a truly great people-first culture, you have to give your employees a safe space to provide feedback, recognize and reward their efforts, and pass out the occasional survey to document how things are going. By putting the company culture in the hands of your employees, you are empowering them to make the changes they deem necessary for a healthy and productive workspace.

2. The war for talent starts with experience

Like HR departments, the talent acquisition game has also changed dramatically over the years. To win the war on talent, you have to focus on the employee experience in every stage of the employee lifecycle, specifically the hiring and onboarding process. Why’s that?

At HR Tech, we learned that 30 percent of employees said their job was way different than what was told to them during the interview process. That disparity in expectations can negatively impact an employee’s experience, which means they might have one foot out the door as soon as they arrive.

The best way to avoid miscommunication of this nature is to streamline your hiring and onboarding process with technology. The Kazoo platform, for example, offers Performance Management and Recognition & Rewards software to help onboard new employees and get them engaged at the beginning of the employee lifecycle. Our performance management software keeps new hires on track with our 30-,60-, and 90-day check-ins. Kazoo also documents the new hire experience to help you measure the success of your onboarding programs. 

Leveraging a Recognition & Rewards software, like Kazoo, can help new hires feel welcomed immediately in a fun and engaging way. For instance, our Behavior Bonus feature allows companies to incentivize actions, such as taking a new hire to lunch or mentoring them, which encourages coworkers to help their new teammates learn the ropes.

(Interested in learning more? Sign up for a demo today!)

3. Generalists are on the rise

Josh Bersin, everyone’s favorite HR technology analyst and president of Bersin & Associates, stated that “the old career model is over. Generalists are going to rule the world — not specialists.” 

Our take on this topic is that more and more employees are focused on learning the skills at work that will both develop their careers and keep them interested and motivated in their work. Which means more people will gain skills in more areas, rather than specializing in narrow topics. 

What’s the pro in being a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none? Generalists are able to find and add value to more projects than specialists — just think about it. Companies are growing and hiring at a rapid pace, but it’s hard to hire a specialist for every need. A generalist can do the job of more than one person, and that can be a game-changer for start-ups or smaller companies who have large challenges to tackle but only a few head counts.

This idea also creates an interesting challenge for businesses. Traditional career growth and promotion models may need to be adjusted. In his session, Josh suggested that as employees become more focused on getting more out of their career, employee growth plans become less linear and more of a Z shape.

Take a look at this slide, snapped by one of our teammates during the live session. The orange triangle in the background is what you could consider more of a traditional growth plan. The gray boxes that overlay the orange are Josh’s example of what we’re seeing in today’s workforce — it’s not a clear upward progression. Employees’ desire to tackle stretch goals and focus on what motivates them creates an experience that sometimes includes lateral moves. Employees are gaining more skills in areas that are not directly related to their primary role and becoming more generalized as they progress in their careers. 

4. Companies need to foster growth from within

Another eye-opening remark from Josh Bersin was that in a recent survey “employees said it was easier finding a job outside of the company than it was inside.”

Let’s face it. Today’s job market is hot. It seems that everyone is hiring (and everyone is looking). How can companies strike a balance between finding external candidates and fostering growth opportunities for the workforce they already have?

At Kazoo, we believe that a lot of this can be solved by focusing on the employee experience throughout the employee lifecycle. Create a culture and environment where employees are engaged and bought into the company itself. Promote growth opportunities within the business by leveraging managers as coaches, learning and development programs, and communicating hiring opportunities to expose the talent that could be hiding in plain sight.

Want to learn more about HR Tech 2019, or stay up-to-date on the latest HR trends? Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to receive extra coverage of the event and more!

The company named four new executives to CFO, CCO, CTO, and CMO

AUSTIN, TX — September 11, 2019 — Today, Kazoo, the all-in-one Employee Experience Platform, announced the expansion of its leadership team with four key executive hires to bring the company to its next level of maturity.

Over the last six months, Jo Williams (now Chief Financial Officer), Tony Capasso (now Chief Customer Officer), Mike Couvillion (now Chief Technology Officer), and Casey Carey (now Chief Marketing Officer) joined the company’s executive team to support continued growth and strengthen Kazoo’s robust employee experience offerings and go-to-market strategies.

As we build our company for the future, I’m thrilled to have these four leaders join our team to tackle the next stage of growth,” said Paul Pellman, CEO of Kazoo.
“Our focus for the next 18 months is to strengthen and scale our platform in the market and their leadership will be pivotal as we enhance our technology and the user experience to drive revenue — all while building and expanding our customer relationships.”

Jo Williams, Kazoo’s CFO, will play a strategic role in increasing revenue for the company while ensuring new business initiatives are profitable.

Originally hailing from the UK, Jo Williams joins Kazoo from Mitratech, where she served as Controller and VP of Finance and integrated eight acquisitions and supported two successful exits. Prior to Miratech, Jo spent 15 years in various financial and strategic planning roles in corporate, business unit, and global operations both in the US and internationally.

As Kazoo’s CCO, Tony Capasso will be tasked with enhancing current customer relationships while also bringing in new business.

Tony was most recently General Manager of ShipEngine, a commerce API platform start-up, and before that served in revenue leadership roles at two of the fastest-growing tech companies in Austin – Bazaarvoice and Civitas. In both of these organizations, Tony led the companies to surpass growth goals while unifying the go-to-market organization across sales, marketing, customer success, delivery, and support.

CTO Mike Couvillion will work to enhance products and services by strengthening the Kazoo platform with updates to its UI/UX and enhanced people analytics capabilities. As a certified network and systems engineer with over 20 years of experience in software development, Mike has served in executive technical roles at Symantec, Dominion Enterprises, Drillinginfo, and Alchemy Systems before joining the team at Kazoo.

In all of his previous positions, Mike led software development, database programming, and IT infrastructure. He also served as an advisor on the iTexico Board of Directors, where he provided the company with technical and business advice across their technological operations.

As the newest member of Kazoo’s executive team, CMO Casey Carey will build a strong marketing team designed to drive strategic growth for the company through demand generation, corporate communications, product marketing, and sales enablement.

Casey has held a variety of marketing roles over the past 15 years, most notably as the head of marketing, advertiser and publisher platforms at Google, where he advanced their growth marketing, mobile app marketing, and supply-side ad-tech programs. Casey also previously served as VP of product marketing at Marketo, then moved to head of go-to-market strategy at Adobe when it acquired Marketo, where he was tasked with integrating Marketo’s products into Adobe’s Experience Cloud offering.

Kazoo’s integrated employee experience platform positively impacts productivity, retention, and revenue by empowering organizations to put their people front-and-center. With over 600 global customers and more than 600,000 end users, Kazoo strengthens connections at work by creating better company cultures that provide employees and leaders with what they need to succeed.

The latest episode of What Culture Could Be – a podcast by Autumn Manning – is brought to you by Kazoo.

Have you ever wondered how companies build and sustain their culture as they grow? In the latest episode of her podcast What Culture Could Be, Autumn Manning, co-founder of Kazoo, sat down with Mark McClain CEO and founder of SailPoint Technologies to discuss How to Build a Great Culture From Scratch.

In this episode, McClain shares his perspective on “where to start when creating a culture, how to keep it on the rails and thriving when growth is coming at you fast, and why starting with values when things are broken is critical.”

Culture is Built on Core Values

McClain kicks off the podcast by describing the soul of a company’s culture: its core values.

Core values are more than just a thing to check on your list — they’re the fundamental beliefs of your organization and what your employees use to connect with your brand.

It’s easy to piece together core values you think will appeal to potential employees, but the hard part is implementing them into the day-to-day activities of your company. That’s why your core values need to resonate from the top down — starting with your CEO and ending with your newest hire.

Speaking of new hires, having core values helps you filter out the wrong people when you’re in the process of hiring for a new position. It also helps people understand who you are, what you believe in, and what’s expected from them if they join your company.

Your culture is ultimately built on a set of values.

Build Culture Now, Not Later

You should think about your company culture the same way you create your business plan — from the start and with the highest priority.

Most people assume that culture develops after a company has officially kicked off, but that can lead to the development of a weak culture.

Ask yourself these questions to ensure you’re building the right culture for your company.

  • “Who do we want to be?”
  • “What behaviors will drive our success?”
  • “What values will stand the test of time with our customers?”

By defining your company culture from the get-go, you can make sure your company is on the same page when it comes to your values, what your brand looks like, and who your ideal employee is.


Fixing a Broken Culture

A broken company culture is not the demise of your company, but having one and not doing anything to change it can be.

The first step to taking control of your company culture is to own when things are bad — then focus on where the problems are starting.

Are people leaving because of bad managers? Or are employees unhappy with the lack of opportunities for growth?

Once you address the issue, you’ll need to investigate the cause of it, then develop a strategy to fix the problem. But this issue isn’t for HR to fix — it’s one for the CEO (with support from leadership and HR).


Want to listen in? You can check out this podcast and more on Autumn’s site.

We recently published a series of blog posts regarding inclusivity in the workplace, and we wanted to broaden the conversation to include people who practice different faiths. The purpose of these articles is to bring awareness to specific holidays or traditions that aren’t widely covered in the U.S. – and to give you tips to make your workplace more inclusive to employees who celebrate them.

Today’s focus is on Muslims at work, and more specifically Ramadan in the workplace.

Don’t know what Ramadan is, but want to learn more to be mindful about what your Muslim colleagues might be experiencing this month? You’re in the right place.


What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it’s the holiest time of the year for Muslims. This year Ramadan starts on the evening of May 5 and ends on the evening of June 4. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown for thirty days, with a typical fast lasting 11-16 hours, depending on where you live. Fasting means no food or drink as long as the sun is up – and, yes, that includes water, too.


Screenshot of a tweet about not drinking water during Ramadan


Jokes aside – Ramadan is about a lot more than not eating or drinking. It’s a time for Muslims to reassess their spirituality, reflect on their blessings, and work on becoming better versions of themselves. As the saying goes, “Ramadan is a time to starve the stomach to feed the soul.”

But it’s hard to get into that spiritual zone without some hiccups.

Imagine waking up to eat before the sun rises (this meal is called suhoor or sehri, by the way!), then going to work at a 9-to-5 with no pick-me-ups between meetings, like coffee or a delicious snack.


Screenshot of a tweet about drinking morning coffee during Ramadan


On top of that, you’re juggling other priorities outside of the office, like giving your kids your undivided attention or taking your car in for a much-needed oil change. Many Muslims also attend late night prayers during Ramadan called Taraweeh that can last until midnight.

It’s no wonder that a lot of Muslims who fast during Ramadan can struggle with:

  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches (or worse, migraines)


Here’s the thing, though. Your coworkers don’t want you to pity them, but they do want you to understand where they’re coming from.

Ramadan may sound taxing, but it’s an auspicious occasion for Muslims that they look forward to each year. There are certain things you can do to make the month more comfortable for your fasting employees that will keep them engaged, productive, and most importantly, happy.


Ways to Accommodate Your Muslim Employees During Ramadan


1. Let flex workers pick their schedules.

This tip is for the employees who don’t work a typical 9-to-5. Muslims set fasts in the morning (again, called suhoor or sehri) and they break them at sunset with a meal called iftar. Let your employees schedule their shifts around these meals.

This flexibility allows workers to choose times that are convenient for them and when they feel the most productive. Some people may prefer to work early in the morning, right after suhoor, and others might work better late at night after iftar.


2. Customize a work schedule for the 9-to-5 crew.

It can be tough to work eight hours straight on an empty stomach. Let your 9-to-5 workers create a custom schedule for Ramadan. Allow them to work from home, or come into work after suhoor then leave earlier. Why not let them work their lunch hour and go home early, too, since they won’t be using it? The goal is to negotiate a timetable that works for both parties.


(P.S. If possible, avoid scheduling lunch meetings when someone is fasting! It’s not considerate.)

Gif of Fawad Khan shaking his head no


3. Provide private prayer spaces.

Here’s a fun fact – did you know that Muslims pray five times a day (even outside of Ramadan)? These prayers are scheduled at specific intervals throughout the day and usually take no more than five to 10 minutes to complete.

Some of your employees might already have delegated prayer spaces, but some Muslims use Ramadan as a time to become more religious and may be bringing this conversation up for the first time.

Give your Muslim employees a safe (and private) space to pray. It can be as simple as letting them book a meeting room to themselves for 15 minutes, or letting them go to a local mosque for prayers.


4. Give them PTO.

Sometimes it can be difficult for employees to balance fasting and work, and that’s normal. Allow your employees to take a bit of time off to settle into their new routine, and understand that sick days are inevitable for some of them. (Working from home is a useful option, too!)

Muslims also celebrate Eid-al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan, and it’s the equivalent of Christmas for them. They spend the day eating and drinking with friends and family. Just like you wouldn’t want to work on Christmas, they won’t want to work on Eid either! As a heads up, the rest of the world celebrates Eid for up to three days. Some employees may only take a day or two off, though.



If this article prompts a lot of follow-up questions, remember that it’s ok to be curious if your purpose is to educate yourself. It’s also important to remember that fasting affects each person differently and that some days are easier than others. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees questions (with respect and reason) to better understand their situation. Most Muslims welcome the opportunity to share their beliefs to bust stereotypes or misconceptions about Islam.

FYI – this is one of many reasons why it’s crucial for managers to keep an open and consistent dialogue with their employees, and vice versa. This method of communication ensures that a company will meet their employees’ needs, as well as their own. It’s a win-win situation!




Age Discrimination in the Workplace

We recently spoke about discrimination against women in the workplace, but unfortunately, gender bias isn’t the only prejudice found in companies across the nation.

Ageism is becoming increasingly common in organizations, especially those in tech industries based in Silicon Valley, where the median age of an employee is 30. Tech industry workers also often see a decline in their salaries and the number of jobs available to them once they turn 45.

Let us repeat that. Forty-five.


Minion from Despicable Me saying what


But before we continue, let’s address what age discrimination is and how it can affect your company legally and culturally.


Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Age discrimination is the unfair treatment of someone older than 40 solely due to their age, and it’s illegal for companies to do under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This law applies to all parts of the employment process – including age discrimination in hiring, which is a hot topic due to recent ageism lawsuits against a few big-name corporations.

In April 2019, an age discrimination lawsuit filed against PwC earned class-action status in federal court. The plaintiffs in the case allege that PwC discriminated against older applicants by recruiting mainly on college campuses and school-affiliated job sites.

That’s a big deal.

Recruiting on college campuses has become a common practice for a lot of organizations. And while recruiting on college campuses isn’t illegal, it’s a form of ageism if open job listings are only accessible to the younger workforce – like millennials and Gen Z.


The outcome of this lawsuit has the potential to change the way companies, like yours, hire new talent moving forward.


But unfair hiring practices aren’t the only trending practice of ageism. Google and IBM also faced claims of age discrimination after a large number of older employees were laid-off from both companies in what some call an attempt to make their workforce younger.


How Age Discrimination Affects Company Culture

After looking at these cases, it’s understandable why some older employees have a constant fear of being fired. This uncertainty hinders the employee experience and impacts company culture negatively. Here’s how different types of age discrimination affect a company’s culture:

Age Discrimination in Hiring
As mentioned earlier, age bias is a massive problem in hiring. By excluding an entire generation of candidates, businesses are limiting their talent pool and diversity, too. Older employees have years of experience to share with their company, and they also tend to have a network they can leverage for business opportunities. It’s a good idea to be openminded in hiring and make sure you consider a person based on their qualifications and not their age.

Age Discrimination in Firing
Wrongful termination due to age is not only illegal, but it ruins company culture by spreading fear and uncertainty – which are the opposite of what you’d want your company culture to be. Fear and uncertainty also fuel an employee’s decision to leave a company. The cost of onboarding a new employee is much more expensive than retaining one. You can calculate the cost of employee turnover specific to your company using this employee turnover calculator.

Age Discrimination in Promotions
Older employees often get overlooked for promotions, even if they are the most qualified person for a leadership position. Promoting an inexperienced employee over someone who deserves it creates disengaged employees. What’s the point of working hard if someone less certified than you will get the job anyway? Disengaged employees are the last thing you want at your company because they are expensive to maintain. A Gallup report found that the U.S. loses an average of $450 billion to $500 billion a year due to disengaged employees.


How can you put older employees at ease? Here are some recommendations:


  • Be transparent with lay-offs and hiring practices. Nothing feeds fear more than unannounced firings or questionable new hires. Trust is the core of all great organizations, and your employees deserve open communication, with no penalties, to develop trust.
  • Avoid labeling employees the “mom” or “dad” of the office. This can be hard to enforce because it depends on a person’s personal preference. Some people may find work nicknames fun, but others may strongly dislike it. Use your better judgment on nicknames and listen to an employee if they ask you to stop calling them a certain term.
  • Represent an all-inclusive workforce. It’s fine to use a specific set of images for design purposes, but try to make them inclusive of all ages, genders, and racial groups. Details like this matter particularly when you’re hiring or promoting your brand.
  • Embrace continuous feedback. An “always on” feedback system ensures your employees have a voice in the company. It alerts your managers on any issues or suggestions employees have to improve company culture and helps drive employee-centric decisions.
  • Recognize your employees often. Constant recognition makes your employees feel valued. It also lets them know that the work they’re doing matters – and it fuels their sense of belonging in the company.
  • Use performance management software. Performance management software provides clarity for promotions and firings. It also helps employees understand where they stand with the company in terms of opportunities for advancement, or if they’re at risk of being let go.


Ready to Engage Your Entire Team?

Visit Kazoo’s resource library for more information on how to make work meaningful or schedule a demo to redesign your employee experience today!



Get excited! The 2019 WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference is coming up on May 6-8 in Orlando, FL.


And guess what? Kazoo will be there at Booth #317!


Cue the confetti dance.

Man throwing confetti and dancing


This year’s Total Rewards Conference is focused on:

  • Innovating how you reward and engage employees
  • Exploring fresh perspectives for forward-thinking concepts
  • Putting your organization at the forefront of all things total rewards

Whether you want to redefine recognition or get a new perspective on purpose-driven workplaces, our team is happy to hear your thoughts and offer ways to help at the conference.


Bonus: Get a free t-shirt for stopping by!


Conference attendees who talk to our team at Booth #317 will get one of our incredibly comfortable t-shirts (and a super cool sticker!) for free. Score!


Can’t wait to meet us?

You can schedule a demo of Kazoo to get a sneak peek before the big event, and we’ll follow-up with you in person at the conference.

We look forward to experiencing the event with you! (P.S. Did we mention we’ll be at Booth #317?)

About Kazoo

Kazoo is the only all-in-one people management solution in the market that takes recognition, engagement, and performance and delivers them in one powerful platform. Through its Recognition & Rewards, Performance Management, and Surveys offerings, Kazoo is an award-winning, employee-first solution that increases productivity, retention, and revenue, and enables companies to build a purpose-driven culture of high engagement and high performance. With over 500 global customers, the Kazoo platform puts actionable analytics in the hands of business leaders, connecting them to what really matters. Kazoo is when work is working.



Have you ever had an experience or moment that stuck with you, to this day? It could be anything from a magical trip to a Disney resort, or a surprise birthday party. Now, imagine if you could recreate a moment like this on the spot and instantly make your day better, particularly at work. “The Power of Moments” teaches you how to make these moments happen to make work more fun – and more meaningful.

What is “The Power of Moments”?

Written by brothers Chip and Dan Heath, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact explores the idea of why some experiences are more memorable than others, regardless of how positive or negative they are. It also offers a framework for creating more of these moments in our day-to-day lives, instead of waiting for them to occur naturally.

The book lists four elements that contribute to memorable experiences: elevation, insight, pride, and connection.

Chip explains the four elements as follows (via Forbes):

  • Moments of elevation lift us above the every day, inspiring emotions such as joy, delight, and a deep sense of engagement.
  • Moments of insight rewire our understanding of ourselves or our world. These are the epiphanies, realizations, and “aha!” moments.
  • Moments of pride capture us at our best, achieving things we weren’t sure were possible or being recognized by other people for our work or our talents.
  • Moments of connection deepen our ties to other people, sometimes in personal relationships and sometimes in groups that bond by virtue of struggling together toward a common goal.

How Your Company Makes Work Fun with Kazoo

1. Befriend Your Co-workers with Customized Behavior Bonuses We all have co-workers we don’t know well because we work in different departments. They’re the people you awkwardly nod at in the break room when you go in for your third cup of coffee. Wouldn’t it be nice to branch out of your department and get to know them?

A Behavior Bonus encourages you to do just that. A Behavior Bonus is an action your company chooses to incentivize with points on the Kazoo platform. Companies can award a different number of points to each Behavior Bonus depending on how impactful they determine it is.

For example, one of our Behavior Bonuses at Kazoo is to go to lunch with someone from another department, in exchange for five points. You can also earn more points if you both walk to lunch!

Behavior Bonuses help your company create moments of connection that reflect your core values, like teamwork, in a tangible way. Companies that have multiple offices, or are physically fragmented, use Behavior Bonuses to help unify their teams into one organization. It’s an easy way for your company to enhance company culture because Behavior Bonuses are specific to your employees and what they value.

Shadow a Coworker Behavior Bonus


2. Offer Meaningful Rewards Rewards are a terrific way to boost employee morale because people look forward to them. And sometimes an experience-based reward can mean a lot more to an employee than an Amazon gift card (though we like Amazon gift cards, too).

That’s why we make it easy to customize your rewards on our platform. Experience-based rewards elevate an average day by creating joy at work. At our Kazoo office in Austin, for instance, our Account Manager Team Lead, Stuart, will clean a co-worker’s desk for only 500 points (he’s a neat freak, FYI).

Plus, it feels good to be a part of an inside joke at work. It makes people feel special and included, which creates a moment of connection between co-workers.

Coffee from the Boss Reward Elizabeth Returns a Package


3. Surprise a Co-worker with a “Point Bomb” For times when a basic recognition post isn’t enough, that’s where a “point bomb” comes in. A point bomb is a term we coined here at Kazoo, and it’s when we get a group of people to send one person recognition, but at the same time.

It’s like 20 people getting together and throwing a lot of joyful confetti on someone who deserves it, but with points. (Confetti is always fun!)


A point bomb highlights a moment of pride – you’re taking the time to recognize someone and make them feel special.


4. Use our Insights Feature for an “Aha!” Moment What better way to strike a moment of insight than with our Insights feature? Kazoo offers analytics on numerous factors, from the total number of recognitions sent in your company to the top core values being rewarded. This data can help you learn how to create a more positive experience at work for employees, by analyzing what gets them engaged and what doesn’t. Who says data can’t be fun?

We also offer an added survey feature for organizations who want to give their employees more of a voice in the company.


Are you Ready to Have Fun at Work?

These are just a few examples of how Kazoo can make any workday special. Are you ready to learn more about the Kazoo experience? Fill out a demo request today to get started!