Hack: Peer Appreciation Wall at Yammer

Part of an ongoing “Hack Series” — simple, actionable, replicable hacks that have helped foster high-performance collaboration in real-life situations.

Last week, I shared Yammer’s “Big Board” hack, which gives the entire company transparency on who’s working on what. This week, I want to share another Yammer hack: a peer appreciation wall.

As Yammer’s Director of User Experience, Cindy Alvarez, explains in the two-minute video above, the hack is simple: Give people an easy, low-tech way to record and share things they appreciate about their peers.

As with its Big Board hack, Yammer leverages physical space so that people see these appreciations all the time. The person who came up with this hack originally thought she needed to offer an external incentive (fresh popcorn) to encourage people to share, only to discover that people found the act of sharing these appreciations rewarding in and of itself.

At my previous company, we invented a game that evolved into a wonderful way to express how much we appreciated each other. Hacks like these simply surface what’s already there. They’re simple, but powerful.

As 2013 comes to a close, I would encourage all of you to find a simple way to express your appreciation of a peer. It could be as simple as dropping him or her a short email. As always when it comes to feedback, be specific!

Happy Holidays, thank you all for being part of my community, and see you in the New Year!