We love to celebrate successes by giving kudos! Once upon a time that meant a nomination box, a review process, me running all over town to buy gifts, and writing cute cards; it was more than a little time consuming. A little over a year ago we introduced our team to Bonusly, a peer-to-peer recognition platform, aka our new kudos program. It’s been such a hit our VP of Data Science, Mark Schwarz, sent me a note on the one year anniversary thanking me for the “important, efficient addition to our day-to-day!” I don’t recall ever implementing a tool or software that resulted in people thanking me for doing so! Certainly not to the point where people are excited to celebrate the one year anniversary of using it.

To get to the bottom of what makes Bonusly the perfect fit for Square Root’s kudos program, I interviewed our Bonusly partner, Raphael Crawford-Marks.

Square Root (SR): First of all, in your own words how would you describe Bonusly to someone that’s never heard about it?
Bonusly: Bonusly is a bonus program that actually works. Unlike annual and spot bonus programs, Bonusly empowers employees to give and receive authentic, timely recognition by frequently exchanging small “microbonuses”. This helps them feel more connected to their colleagues, learn & develop faster, and stay with your company longer.

SR: How did Bonusly come to be?
Bonusly: My co-founder John Quinn and I started Bonusly in 2012 as a side project. We wanted a tool that allowed employees to exchange meaningful recognition, and there wasn’t one on the market. After building an alpha version of Bonusly, we piloted it with a few companies and got really positive feedback. Then more and more companies started signing up and so we quit our day jobs and focused on building Bonusly full-time.

SR: How would you describe the impact of peer recognition on company culture?
Bonusly: Deploying an effective peer recognition program like Bonusly can help to create a recognition-rich culture. It’s a culture in which everyone’s daily successes are celebrated, and each contributor sees how their efforts help their colleagues and help the company meet its goals.

SR: Bonusly integrates with Slack, which has been key to our team. Using the Slack integration our team sees bonuses in real-time without going to a different platform. How important is Slack to your success?
Bonusly: We’ve made a concerted effort to meet employees where they are by integrating with the tools they use everyday, be it Slack, Hipchat, GMail, Yammer, you name it. Of course, given Slack’s meteoric rise, more and more companies are using it, so having a deep integration with Slack has been really key for us.

SR: Bonusly is big on making sure the peer-to-peer bonuses are always public. What made y’all so gung-ho about this?
Bonusly: We’re really big on making sure that recognition is visible to the teammates and supervisors of the person receiving the recognition. We do this because research shows that recognition that is visible to the whole team is much more effective at increasing employee engagement than recognition that is only 1-on-1.

SR: Bonusly has been a great way for us to bring our introverts out of their shell. Are you seeing that in other companies too?
Bonusly: Absolutely! We hear from a lot of customers that Bonusly is the most successful tool they’ve adopted in terms of participation, because even their introverted employees use it. We also hear that Bonusly has helped to reveal high performers who were previously unknown because they were so quiet.

We couldn’t agree more with what Raphael had to say. Bonusly’s been such a great way to make recognition and gratitude part of our culture. Not only is it a daily dose of kudos, but it’s bringing accomplishments tied to our values to the forefront for Radicals across the company to see. Each time a bonus is given we #hashtag a value to highlight why our values are important and create a shared understanding of what #partner looks like across the company!

Want to join Square Root and make peer recognition part of your culture? Get in touch with Bonusly today!
p.s. If Square Root’s culture of recognition sounds like your flavor of kool-aid join us today!