We Digitized Google’s Peer Recognition

A couple years ago Google built an internal tool to make it easy for its employees (aka Googlers) to recognize one another. It’s appropriately named gThanks. Lazlo Bock, SVP of People at Google, and his team led the charge. With gThanks anyone can tag a team member and publish it to a feed by hitting “kudos.” They can even share it to Google+.


Source: “Work Rules!” by Laszlo Bock

Why is this better than sending an email or speaking privately? Bock argues that “kudos” are posted publicly for others to see. This makes both the giver and receiver more fulfilled. It celebrates and reinforces the values of the company. Lastly, it positively inspires others to do great work.

Out-of-sight, Out-of-mind

Bock’s argument and intentions are powerful. The meaning and potential of recognition is amplified by its visibility. Nevertheless, products like gThanks classically suffer from one major problem: the concept of out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

“Personally, I like the tool,” a Google employee told us, “but [I] really only visit it when giving or receiving something. While I could look up and see what other kudos people have received, it’s not like I have a constant feed of it that I’m monitoring.”

At some level, Bock realized this. He later hacked together what he calls “The Wall of Happy.” Outside his office, he now posts printed “kudos” of his team members on his wall. This helps give more visibility to great work. Bock explains,

“Simple, public recognition is one of the most effective and most underutilized management tools.”


Source: “Work Rules!” by Laszlo Bock

At Props, we completely agree with Bock’s philosophy and take it several steps further. Capturing his intentions, our product empathizes with an individual’s workflow.

What is Props?

Props helps companies celebrate their people through the Slack platform and broadcasts it on their office TVs. Slack eliminates destination fatigue, while the TVs visualize public recognition. As a result, Props delivers truly public recognition while being directly integrated into one’s workflow.

How does Props work?

To give “props,” simply say “props to” or retroactively use our special reaction “props.” This event then gets broadcast to your office TVs. Our props reaction acts as a “like button.” The more props an event gets, the more it will be shown on your TVs.

Importance of TVs

At Props, we ran a fun test. We disabled all the TVs at the companies using us for a week. Not changing anything, our engagement immediately dropped 6x! Turning the TVs back on brought us right back up and increased our growth.


There are a few variables that explain why TVs increase engagement.

The first is the most obvious. TVs act as a visual reminder to engage — solving the out of sight, out of mind problem.

Second, messages can quickly get lost in Slack. Maybe the prop was given in #dev and you are in #sales. Maybe there have been a bunch of messages that just moved the message out of sight. The TVs tell you where the prop came from so you can easily find the message and express your support.

Third, people like seeing themselves and others on TV. In this way, our product is super fun. Before each event, we play a person’s chosen GIF. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser.

Importance of Workflow

Originally, we made the mistake of being a destination website just like gThanks and others. We had okay engagement but it wasn’t through the roof.

Then we built on top of Slack and engagement went up 1800% the first week and another 40% the next week at one company alone.


Setting up Props

Props has become engrained in the cultures of our customers. Recognition is important for retaining talent, motivating people, and creating a positive work environment.

It’s easy to set up and we are always here to help you.

Add it to your Slack today!

Happy propping!

Connecting your current recognition system

Do you already have a recognition system but really like the idea of broadcasting it? Props’ TV technology can connect to any internal or third-party service you already have in place. Contact us and we will get you started!


This entry has 0 replies

Comments open

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>