Hallelujah! Microsoft Teams Praise is here

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A new message in the Microsoft Office 365 Admin Message centre (MC176548) on March 27, announces a new feature: Microsoft Teams Praise. This was on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap with ID: 49172. It will be rolled out to all organisations by late April 2019.

“Praise is a new Microsoft Teams feature that gives users the option to send Praise badges to their colleagues, and we are beginning the rollout starting today. This feature is on-by-default and requires administrator action to disable.”

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Microsoft Teams Praise is an employee recognition tool. Praise enables team members to share a badge of recognition for a job well done. Why not celebrate the success of your team with Praise?

With Microsoft Teams Praise, people will be able to recognize their colleague’s contributions by sending various badges their way, such as “Leadership,” “team player,” and “problem solver” are just a few options. Giving Praise can be done in a private Chat or in a Team Conversation. It will be available for Teams desktop, browser and mobile app.

There is a (for now?) limited list of badges you can add in the conversation or chat, to express your particular type of praise. It would be great if we could create custom badges which could be aligned to the organisations’ goals, values, strategy, vision and mission. Another great enhancement would be to allow organisation rewards: badges that can be given by specific people, such as HR or your manager.

Why a High-Engagement Culture Matters

Every employee needs some motivation now and then. This is why employee recognition should be part of your company’s culture. Acknowledge your staff’s exemplary work, and reinforce particular behaviours, practices, or activities that result in better performance and positive business results. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the Employee of the Year Award handed out by HR. It does not have to be a top-down recognition. In fact, getting recognised by your peers is often a much bigger motivation. What’s not to like about being respected by your colleagues?

Employee recognition makes employees:

  • HAPPIER – which often results in higher productivity
  • WANT TO STAY in your company longer (employee retention)
  • CREATE A CULTURE OF SELF-IMPROVEMENT which, of course, results in higher productivity and better outcomes

How do Employees Become Disengaged?

Even good employees can be disengaged. It doesn’t make them bad employees. It doesn’t make them highly productive and effective either. Some reasons for becoming disengaged at work are:

  • Not getting direct feedback from your manager or peers
  • Lack of socialising with your peers
  • No good understanding of, (or not aligned to) company mission, vision, and values
  • Feeling underappreciated for your work

Back in 2015, I wrote an eBook ‘Improve Employee Engagement Through Recognition & Reward for Microsoft Office 365, Yammer & SharePoint 2013‘. Although some of the content may be outdated (particularly around examples of recognition in LinkedIn and SharePoint), the core message about recognition & reward is still very active.

Read the Microsoft Support Article ‘Teams Praise’ here.

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