Unfortunately, many employers overlook the massive positive impact even the slightest acknowledgment can have on an employee’s motivation. Studies have shown that lack of recognition is still a leading factor in employee dissatisfaction.

With all of the technology available to streamline business functions, it is easy to get lost in focussing only on the data or performance of our business. The trick is combining both technology and the human touch to give much-deserved credit to our employees. Harnessing your existing business tools to do so is a great way to show your team that their hard work does not go unnoticed.

One of these tools is Trello, a collaboration tool that helps organize your projects into boards. This tool gives you and your team a clear view of what tasks require attention, who is responsible for the execution, and deadlines for each of these tasks. While Trello was designed as an effective organizational tool, it can also be a helpful tool to acknowledge your team’s accomplishments.

Trello is a great place to add kudos for your team members; it gives the whole organization visibility into the positive feedback and allows everyone to congratulate each other on their accomplishments. Kudos are a perfect example of “public praise” and a great way to boost morale.

The Different Motivators

Kudos are just one of many ways to provide recognition to your employees. Knowing which form of credit and the motivation it accounts for is key to ensuring your rewards and recognition programs have the desired outcome.

There are different types of motivation to consider when providing recognition, the two main types being extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is driven by the possibility of gaining a reward or avoiding a punishment. For example, an employee works overtime to meet their targets to receive the promised monetary incentive, or they worked overtime to avoid being reprimanded for missing the mark.

Extrinsic motivation involves employees completing a task to acquire external rewards. This form of motivation is best for motivating larger groups and can be an excellent way to push employees to get some healthy competition going in the workplace. Cash incentives, gift cards, or company merch are examples of extrinsic motivators that can be used for recognizing great work within your organization.

Intrinsic Motivation

There have been many arguments among experts as to whether kudos could be considered intrinsic. Many initially felt that all forms of praise should be regarded as an extrinsic motivator. Intrinsic motivation is self-driven and prominent in individuals who genuinely love what they do. Recent research shows that recognition creates a passionate employee and is prone to making them enjoy the work they do; this has led the experts to deem any form of praise, given without additional reward, as an intrinsic motivator.

The importance of intrinsic motivation has surged to the forefront of employee wellbeing and is considered fundamental in ensuring employee satisfaction. Advantages of including intrinsic motivation in everyday work are that it is long-lasting and can create self-motivated employees who develop a passion for their job based solely on the good feeling of being recognized for hard work.

Kudos Benefits

Now that you better understand what type of motivation employees get from kudos and other forms of recognition, it is crucial to understand how creating a kudos culture in Trello can benefit you and your employees. Some of the significant benefits of giving kudos include:

  • Increased Employee Retention: Studies indicate that 50% of employees would consider changing jobs if the new company offered more recognition. This group of employees indicated that they initially approached their current positions passionately and slowly lost interest after going virtually unnoticed by their superiors.
  • Increased Productivity: Employees who receive regular praise from their peers and management are likely to strive to exceed expectations. Like any facet in life, if you feel appreciated, your willingness to apply yourself increases.
  • Higher Quality of Work: Employees who were receiving regular recognition for their work showed a tendency to increase their efforts and produce a higher standard of output compared to those who felt underappreciated. The lack of motivation among the underrecognized employees translates into a workforce that is only willing to give the bare essentials.

Giving Kudos on Trello

As with any process or strategy you employ to improve your business, giving kudos has some guidelines to ensure you see the desired results. These are just a few strategies to use when creating a kudo company culture in Trello:

  • Be a kudo ninja: Kudos should always be a surprise; you want them to remain intrinsic motivators. Do not hint at the potential kudos to the employee in question before making it public; this increases the impact of the recognition.
  • Award kudos continuously: Kudos are a cost-effective way of keeping your team motivated and passionate. It doesn’t cost you anything to create a dedicated kudo card or board on Trello, and it only takes a few seconds to post recognition of someone’s hard work, so keep the kudos coming!
  • Public praise: All recognition should be done publicly; you want other employees to see what behavior is being recognized. Creating a kudo card with a few words of appreciation for what an employee has achieved shows their colleagues what they should replicate. Doing so also means the culture of kudos you are building expands naturally.
  • Praise behavior over outcomes: When giving kudos, it is important to focus on how the employee approached their work or their behavior when achieving the target versus the outcome of the work. You want employees to focus on the effort, attitude, and hard work that goes into completing a task instead of concentrating on finding shortcuts to reach a specific outcome.
  • Everyone can give kudos: Employees should be able to give kudos to their colleagues; in fact, it is even more important to have peers giving recognition. This kind of interaction builds a strong team dynamic and creates a culture of recognition from the ground up.


With the increase in remote workforces and constant demands for shifting schedules to provide global product or service delivery, using Trello as your platform for fundamental recognition makes more sense than ever. Harnessing the power of Trello also has the added benefit of taking an essential tool for tracking tasks and productivity and creating something for your team to look forward to.

Providing recognition goes a long way in ensuring a healthy and prosperous working environment for your employees. The minimal time you’ll spend to get started building a kudo company culture in Trello is well worth it, so don’t delay, kudo away!

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