Kudos, Local Currency and 3 More Ways to Motivate a Tech Team

Gamification is based on 4 principles: motivation, promotion, status and reward. Let’s find out how UA tech companies like Intellias, Lohika, ELEKS, SBTech, and Dev-Pro integrate game elements in their work process.



A “thank you” note is a popular gamification technique in modern IT companies. Using this technique, people can express gratitude to their colleagues for their help. This is also known as giving “kudos”; businesspeople use it all over the world.

How Does It Work?

For example, in the Ukrainian company Uptech, co-workers give each other “thank you” notes every day. A successful project delivery, a good cup of coffee at the right time, or simply friendly advice can be ways to thank a colleague.

Intellias uses a different strategy. Every month employees get an equal number of kudos, which they can share however they like. Then “thank you” notes can be redeemed into “smarts” (electronic currency) which can be spent on corporate tech perks — headphones, 3D-printers, electric scooters, etc.

Lohika uses “Kudo Cards”, a special local service that sends “thank you” notes anonymously or with a signature. Technorely uses a gaming system of two teams. Members of each team create Friday reports. The winners get some tasty prizes, like pizza, sushi or pie.

Another practice addresses one of the most difficult issues — successful communication. Gamification is a great way to solve this problem. At Technorely, department leaders evaluate the work of employees according to the results of the final rating. The best workers get a 5% bonus to their paychecks. This technique not only improves communication and interaction between departments but also helps to identify existing problems of productivity within the company.


The local currency is a corporate gamification activity that allows employees to accumulate bonuses and redeem them for valuable gifts.

How Does It Work?

For example, AltexSoft rewards its best workers with bronze, silver and gold “stars”. Play money can be spent on valuable gifts like new furniture, spa or barbershop certificates, shopping in various stores and so on. Many other companies have a similar system. Intellias employees use the corporate currency “smarts”, and employees at Artjoker collect the local currency, Artcoins. Bonus points are awarded for speeches at internal events and conferences, passing educational courses and other corporate achievements.

The ELEKS company has developed a gamification platform based on blockchain technology. “Elekscoins” are designed to motivate colleagues to help each other and to produce good work. The only gift you can get today is a delicious cup of coffee, but developers are going to expand the platform and add more valuable gifts soon.

At SBTech, employees collect chips for driving their colleagues to and from work. People exchange contacts via Google Forms, meet each other and share a ride. This technology not only helps colleagues get to work faster but also establishes a team atmosphere and solidarity between colleagues.


A hackathon is an intense, fast-paced event in which a large number of computer programmers, designers, and domain experts collaborate to produce usable software or hardware.

How Does It Work?

This type of event generates a lot of energy that improves developers’ skills and creates wonderful conditions for creative growth.

The iOS department at Uptech initiated an internal hackathon that was held at the company. The main goal of this event was to develop skills and gain new knowledge. At the very beginning, all participants got together and selected ideas for the future application. At the end of the day, 3 teams presented 3 different MVP applications, which related to sporting activities and proper nutrition.

According to Mikhail Palchuk (Uptech’s iOS developer), a hackathon is a great challenge that allows you to gain valuable experience creating a high-grade product in a short time.


Badges technology shows that every team consists of unique individuals. Everyone has their own interests, hobbies, values and professional approaches to their work, but together they can make really cool products.

How Does It Work?

Badges are another type of gamification that rewards employees for various work achievements. Dev-Pro has several badges: Writer, Speaker and Interview Hero.

To get a Writer pin, a person needs to publish an article in an external resource. In addition to the badge, the author receives a corporate bomber jacket.

To get a Speaker pin, you need to speak at an external event. In addition to the badge, the speaker receives a cake and a T-shirt/sweatshirt. Someone can receive the Interview Hero badge if they answer questions about their career path and technology, posted on the Dev-Pro Facebook page. If someone takes part in all 3 activities, they’ll achieve the Dev-Pro Expert status.


A book relay races is a wonderful method that motivates employees to read business literature and develop their skills. Artjoker has organized relay races several times in the last few years.

How Does It Work?

After the HR specialist publishes a list of useful books, all interested employees have 2 months to read them. Project managers are usually the most active participants. During the book relay, all participants get together to discuss how to integrate new tools and business technologies in the work process. According to Ivan Nesterenko (Artjoker’s Project Manager), victory in the book relay taught him more about startup development.

Ivan’s favorite books are

  • “From Zero to One” by Peter Thiel,
  • “Lean Startup Method” by Erik Rees and
  • “Startup” by Guy Kawasaki.