Amplifying the power of recognition with Oktappreciate

When were you last recognized at work? Was it to celebrate a big achievement or milestone along the way, or for lending a helping hand? We all want to be seen and valued for our contributions. 

At Okta, we’re building a culture of recognition, and our Oktappreciate program provides a global platform for our people to express gratitude and appreciation. Recognition feels good — for the receiver, the giver, and even the observer — and reinforces the behaviors that make our business successful. Moreover, it contributes to building a positive working environment where people feel valued and are more likely to recognize others in return. 

A little recognition can truly mean a lot.

But don’t just take our word for it. Research from Deloitte shows that lack of recognition is the #1 cause of voluntary turnover. And the data also shows that employee engagement, productivity, and performance are 14% higher in organizations with recognition programs. 

At Okta, we’ve invested in ways to strengthen a culture where recognition is an essential part of how we work. 

What exactly is Oktappreciate? 

In April 2022, we launched “Oktappreciate,” an online, peer-to-peer recognition platform that helps bring visibility to the great work happening at Okta every day. Anyone can recognize anyone else, and a social feed displays all recognitions where others can comment and post emojis. 

While we emphasize that a sincere “thank you” is what’s most important, all employees are also allotted points to give to others with recognition. In our global dynamic working environment, this approach works well — it’s like buying someone a virtual cup of coffee to say, “Thanks.”

Employees can redeem points they have earned in an online store for gift cards, Amazon products, event tickets, hotels, experiences, and even donations to Okta for Good, our corporate giving program.

In addition to the day-to-day recognition, employees can nominate one another for awards aligned with our values and cultural tenets of BLOC — Builders, Learners, Owners, and Collaborators. We also run recognition campaigns throughout the year to continue engaging employees in the power of recognition.

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What’s been the impact so far?

Since launch, we’ve seen great results.

  • 240K+ recognitions
  • 84% of employees have given at least one recognition
  • Top used hashtag: #Collaborator

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We’ve also received external recognition! In August 2022 we received an award for “Best Program Launch” from our vendor, Awardco. And in August 2023, we received an award for “Best Global Strategy.” 

So we hope that this has inspired you to get involved and start recognizing the amazing work your colleagues are doing. Thanks for reading, and to finish … here are some of the awesome things our employees have said about Oktappreciate:

“The Oktappreciate program creates a focus on recognition at every level, with peers, direct reports, managers, stakeholders, and more. It's a way to build recognition, encouragement, and cooperation into our culture organically. As a leader, Oktappreciate makes creating company-wide programs with incentives seamless, even across a global company. As an employee, Oktappreciate makes me set aside time every month to reflect on the folks I get to work with and share gratitude. It's one of the highlights of my month.”

  • Neta Retter, Director of Innovation Programs, US


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“Receiving the "You've been recognized" email in my inbox feels like Christmas every time. I like that the program encourages Oktanauts to go the extra mile to say thank you and they appreciate your hard work. This past Memorial Day Weekend, I used my accrued Oktappreciate points towards an Airbnb in Pasadena, CA where I attended the CrossFit Semifinals. It was the best experience!”

  • Melissa Kittles, Lead Recruiter - G&A, US

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“After sitting in a BLOC Talk with leadership, I think it influences collaboration. Any time I log into the platform I find myself scrolling through the primary feed of everything that people are getting recognized for.” -Shaheen Rahmani, Communications Specialist - Security Awareness Program, US

“The program allows us to show appreciation for people that go beyond the extra mile to help others. It fosters the culture of helping each other and no one left behind.” -Kevin See, Principal Software Engineer, Canada


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“I appreciate that my manager is notified of something I've done to positively impact a coworker that wasn't directly associated with the work I do for my boss. I like to review my Slack messages for the day or the week to see if any interactions really stood out and use that to reward coworkers with points. Through Oktappreciate, I was able to get a Dyson (BBB gift card), Hoka running shoes (Zappos gift card), and contribute to buying my husband an Apple Watch (Apple gift card)!” -Nancy Skversky, Sr Executive Assistant, US

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“The Oktappreciate program promotes the visibility of good deeds and collaboration in the company with the "Praise should be public" principle. This improves the recognition overall and has a positive impact on the collaborative and blameless culture.” - Artiom Ciumac, Senior Software Engineer, UK

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