ABC15 celebrates success with cowbells

ABC15's cowbells

How do you and your co-workers celebrate success?

ABC15 in Phoenix makes sure everyone in the building knows when an employee goes above and beyond.   They call it cowbell moments.

“Cowbells at ABC15 have become our favorite way to give immediate recognition for a job well done.  They’re fun.  They just take a few minutes and other staff members get to participate in honoring a co-worker for going above and beyond the call of duty,” said  Linda Bayley, creative services director at ABC15.

It’s not unusual to see 30 people sneak up on a co-worker and make noise with cowbells and give a round of applause to the employees for their job well done.  And the station strives for at least five cowbell moments every week.

"As journalists we are all a little nosey. So, when we hear that cowbell (it can be heard from anywhere in the building), by nature we automatically have to find out who, what, where, when and why our coworker is getting recognized," said Tara Twietmeyer, media coordinator for KNXV-TV.  "It's embarrassing, yet gratifying and whether you're beat red or smiling from ear to ear everyone knows that you are a rock star."

It’s also a huge motivator for co-workers.

A "cowbell" increases competition in the sales area.  When a sales person is cowbelled, we are all happy for that person but it inspires others to step up and be the next.  It's a fun competitive reward system,” said Jeff Burnton, director of sales.

And to make it more fun, they award their co-worker with a prize.

“These cowbell moments are like a turbo booster to your day.  No matter how your day has gone, these moments elevate you to the next level,” said Mike Dunn, LAN Administration.

cowbell moment

The prize is something small in value, such as:

Tea – Because they are tea-rific
Reese’s Pieces – Piece of wisdom
Lifesavers – They were a Lifesaver
Hershey’s Nuggets – Nugget of Wisdom
Good & Plenty – They did plenty of good
Popcorn – This may sound corny but….
Jelly beans – thanks for BEAN such an encouragement



“It’s a nice recognition. Who doesn't like to know when our work is making a difference?  So it's motivating to keep on doing more of the same! Well, and the Starbucks latte is crazy delicious.” said Patty Dixon, receptionist.

“Cowbells rally our staff; acknowledge hard work and end up being kind of fun to do. It’s a win in every way you look at it,” said Chris Kline, director of new media.