I work at a small, but rapidly growing company (~40 people now, 100+ people in sight). We use Slack as our primary communication tool, and recently, a new channel has been created that is dedicated to public (yet internal to the company), peer-to-peer "shoutouts".
While I 100% believe that recognizing people for their hard work is absolutely essential, I'm not convinced that this approach is a good one (albeit well intentioned). To the contrary, I'm actually concerned it may have some unintended, negative side effects.
- Employees may be disappointed that their hard work isn't being recognized if they're not the ones being mentioned in the channel.
- There may be false affirmation of performing well just because you've been mentioned in the channel.
- Some people legitimately don't like public callouts, even if they are well intentioned.
To put this a different way, I feel as if this approach solves for the wrong problem. Instead we should be focused on facilitating the following:
- Management should be open and transparent to an employee about his/her performance, and relate praise when it has been given/deserved.
- When an employee does well, others should message that employee directly and/or message that employee's manager.
- 1:1s, annual performance reviews, leveling, and compensation should be structured to show how valuable the employee and his/her work has been to the company.
With this said, I have no hard evidence to back up either sides of my case here. While I may feel one way, perhaps I am wrong, and all companies should have a channel like this because it's a productive and simple way to help the team feel recognized.
Conversely, in my experience at large, successful tech firms and a variety of smaller startups - no one has done this. Why?
Does anyone have any evidence to support one side or the other? Any personal experience that directly relates? Is there a healthy balance that I'm perhaps missing?