Team Kudos: How To Give Them and 20 Examples
A flock of birds on wires, representing team kudos.
20 Examples of Team Kudos for Common Workplace Scenarios
A flock of birds on wires, representing team kudos.

20 Examples of Team Kudos for Common Workplace Scenarios

It’s no secret that people like praise. On the job, being recognized for hard work is what keeps employees motivated, because there’s nothing like being seen and appreciated — two great drivers of performance. When managers take the time to offer up team kudos, a few words can go a long way. But here’s the catch: “thank you” and “great job” won’t cut it. Kudos need authenticity and specificity, or they can have the opposite effect. 

Let’s run through some best practices around giving recognition, then dive into 20 examples of team kudos for common workplace scenarios.

3 best practices for effective team kudos 

1. Be timely

Share your kudos as close to the event as possible in order for it to really resonate. That means you don’t always have to wait for the next formal team or all-hands meeting to share your praise. Try posting it in a Slack channel — or using dedicated apps for this — with other company members to make the kudos public, or call a quick (virtual) team huddle. 

2. Be specific

Avoid empty generalizations like “good work” or a simple “thank you” without a follow-up. To give meaningful kudos, be precise about what you’re praising. Noticing the details says a lot about your management style. When composing your kudos, think of the five Ws! (who, what, when, where, why).

3. Tie it to their impact

Go beyond what the recipient of your kudo did and talk about their impact. This helps your employees understand how their work affects the larger company, creating a greater sense of purpose in their day to day.

20 examples of team kudos

1. Your team reached their project goals 

Kudos on reaching your target of X% revenue from Project Y. I was especially impressed by the way you broadened the project’s scope without affecting the budget. This will have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. Thank you! 

2. Kudos for teams that recover from mistakes

Kudos on how you handled the most recent bug in the code. It was a quick recovery, but what I admire more is how you backtracked and found the gaps in our QA process, then shared your learnings with other teams. Thank you for contributing to process improvement on a company level. 

3. Kudos for teams that demonstrate empathy

Kudos to X for your demonstration of empathy in yesterday’s team retrospective. During challenging discussions it’s important to attempt to understand your teammate’s perspective. Doing this will help build a foundation of trust on the team.

4. Your team took a risk

I saw that you took a risk and put out something that deviates from what our users are used to. While the response was not stellar, I appreciate your growth mindset and the audience learnings you’re bringing in. Keep experimenting! 

5. Kudos for teams after a challenging exercise

I noticed that everyone shared ideas, asked questions and brought value to the table in our last brainstorm. Having each of your unique perspectives will bring us to the next level so keep up the great participation!

6. Your team adapted well to a big change

I understand that this shift in our strategy is going to push a lot of the projects you were working on to the back burner. This is no doubt frustrating, so I want to thank you all for being on board with this change.

7. Your team challenged the status quo 

You did your research and came prepared to the Town Hall with excellent questions. I can imagine it’s not easy to challenge your stakeholders’ strategic direction, but pushing one another to think outside the box is what is going to help our company thrive.

8. Your team navigated through conflict

Kudos to all of you for taking the time to get real and talk about what’s been going on lately. Confrontation is not always fun, but it’s necessary for building trust and you tackled it like pros. 

9. Kudos for teams who worked overtime

Thank you for your willingness to put in the extra hours for this project. While I aim to prioritize work-life balance first and foremost, I appreciate everyone’s grit and hustle to get this done. It says a lot about how much you care about your work.

10. Your team helped another team with a project

Kudos for extending your expertise and time to another team in need. Cross-team collaboration and support is essential for our company’s success! 

11. Your team gave a great presentation 

Great job on today’s presentation. It was really well organized and digestible, and you successfully made complex topics clear for everyone. Plus, giving visibility on your projects across the board will encourage other teams to do the same. 

12. Your team raised an important flag 

Thank you for bringing these issues to my attention. You did the right thing, even though I am sure it can’t be easy to admit the team has fallen behind and will miss the deadline. Transparency is the best way to go!

13. Your team onboarded a new team member successfully 

Kudos on onboarding X into the team with such warmth. I’ve had great feedback on their first few days; you’ve really helped set them up to succeed. 

14. Your team took initiative without being asked 

You all went above and beyond today and it didn’t go unnoticed. It’s not just me who notices when you go the extra mile, but other teams who feel inspired to put in the same devotion. Your engagement is contagious!

15. Your team embodied company values 

Kudos on bringing our company value of “work-life balance” to life when you encouraged one another to sign off early and take a walk. It’s easy to stay glued to the computer all day, so thanks for leading by example and reminding us to disconnect!

16. Kudos for teams that land big accounts 

You must feel really proud of having landed this big account. I am certainly proud of all the work you put into making this happen. Kudos to your efforts and the impact that this deal will have on reaching our company’s revenue target

17. Your team got creative to solve a problem 

I really admire how you approached the roadblock you encountered on the last campaign. Your out-of-the-box problem-solving skills are what kept the project going. I think it would be great to share your thought process with other teams so they can learn from your ways!

18. Your team gave you constructive feedback 

Giving feedback to your manager isn’t always easy, so kudos to you all for your courage and thank you for helping me improve as your leader.

19. Team kudos for reaching milestones

Congratulations on your two-year work anniversary! Your devotion to your expertise and team has had a big impact on the company. Most especially your implementation of X initiative and how inclusive you are with your team members.

20. Your team developed their expertise 

Kudos to those who took the time to attend the conference/training on X. Staying on top of industry trends and sharing your knowledge internally is what will keep us relevant. Thank you! 

Keep the team kudos coming

Quick refresher: you want to keep your praise authentic and fluff-free with specific examples of what you’re recognizing and a connection to impact! Then of course, you need to be consistent (a top trait of good managers). This means keeping your eye out for the moments where kudos are warranted and jumping on the opportunity to keep your team motivated and engaged. Now go out there and help your team feel appreciated!