Hackathon and Kudos
2020 Finalist

Hackathon and Kudos

South China Morning Post

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Category Culture and People

Overview of this campaign

After defining our six core values, we established multiple staff committees to enhance our company culture, and create peak and extra-ordinary moments. We have since organized regular celebrations and introduced awards recognizing colleagues who exemplify our values. Our recent Value & Culture survey shows more attention is needed in “Curious & Courageous” and “Together, Transparent & Trustworthy”. Here are some highlights of new initiatives this year.


To strengthen our “Curious & Courageous” value, we organize annual Hackathon. Colleagues were encouraged to form cross-department teams to brainstorm project ideas. To support project ideation, we facilitated brainstorming sessions, and arranged design thinking training and coaching to help participants refine their ideas and pitches. During the hackweek, senior managers also provided individual team coaching and guidance.

Projects pitched ranged from business strategy recommendations, new products, to internal process improvements, to fun workplace gadget ideas. Winning teams walked home with attractive souvenirs and cash prizes. To encourage wider participation, every colleague can vote for their favorite project for the “People’s Choice” award after watching the live streamed final pitches to the judging panel.

Kudos Program

To reinforce our “Together, Transparent & Trustworthy” value, and cultivate a culture of appreciation, we launched the Kudos program. Colleagues were encouraged to publicly show appreciation to fellow colleagues through messages of appreciation, which were collected continuously and released every Friday via Slack, our internal communication platforms, as well as displayed on TV screens around the office. We hope that colleagues would feel good about what they do, and foster better relationships and trust across the entire organization. This is a simple yet uncommon planned program.

Collaborative Culture and Environment

To nurture a happy and collaborative atmosphere, we established themed social hubs on every floor where colleagues could meet for quick business discussions, play a game of table tennis or snooker, organize activities like cooking workshops or yoga sessions, or simply a change in scenery away from their work desks. This flexible environment supports our overall culture of agility and vibrancy.


Results for this campaign

Along with other concurrently running programs and staff committees, these programs are good platforms where colleagues can live out and experience our values, and enhance our corporate culture and employee experience.


The Hackathon process allows us to understand our business better as it requires us to create new ideas to solve recurring problems or bring our customer-facing products to the next level. It unlocked our collective creativity and problem-solving capabilities. It also helps to break down department silos. Many of the project teams consist of colleagues from at least three departments. Colleagues are very enthusiastic about taking part. Our Hackathon got around 10% more participants submitting around 30% more project ideas compared to last year. Over 20% of our staff community participated in this Hackathon, including project teams and “People’s Choice” voters. The three winning projects, after further coaching from senior management, were included in the following business initiatives, and are on track for implementation soon, covering recommendations for new product features and enhancements to business processes.

Kudos Program

The Kudos Program was launched in August 2019, and we received a very positive response over the first week. In the four months since, we have seen the adoption of the platform across departments and seniority, and the number of colleagues who now actively use this platform to publicly acknowledge their peers has doubled. We are also pleased to see that many have already formed the habit of giving thanks to colleagues for professional excellence, joyful collaboration experiences, as well as personal acts of kindness. As colleagues continue to influence each other, we have seen a quadruple amount of appreciation messages on our platform. We will continue this program, and continue to foster this celebratory atmosphere of happiness, togetherness, and appreciative mindset.


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