High Fives: Feature Overview

Unlock the power of recognition and appreciation with 15Five's High Fives feature! High Fives allow individuals and teams to drive engagement and motivation in a few clicks by publicly celebrating wins, reinforcing values, and creating a culture of connection. For businesses of all sizes, incorporating high fives into your daily operations can lead to increased morale, better team cohesion, and elevated overall performance. Dive into this feature overview to discover how High Fives can revolutionize the way you recognize and motivate your team, fostering a work environment where everyone thrives.

In this article, you will learn...

Access and availability

⛔️ Required access to High Fives.
👥 This article is relevant to all roles.
📦 This feature is available in the Perform, Total Platform, and Focus (legacy) pricing packages.

What are High Fives?

High Fives are a recognition tool in 15Five that help promote a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment within an organization. At their core, High Fives allow team members to send and receive commendations, spotlight exceptional efforts, celebrate milestones, and boost morale in real-time. They're more than just a pat on the back— they're a digital way of ensuring that every win, big or small, doesn't go unnoticed.


By integrating High Fives into your daily workflow, you not only champion a culture of gratitude but also foster team solidarity, enthusiasm, and a positive work atmosphere. It takes just a moment to send a High Five, but the ripple effect on team motivation and camaraderie is invaluable.

How they work

With High Fives, you can drive engagement and motivation with a few easy steps!


  1. Send a High Five. Employees can send high fives while filling out their Check-ins or outside of Check-ins using the High Fives Feed or Slack.
  2. Recipients are notified. Once a high five is submitted, all recipients are notified. They can then react to the high five with emoji reactions or post a comment on the high five.
  3. Repeat the process. Create a culture of recognition within your organization by continuing to highlight excellent work using high fives.

How High Fives impact HR outcomes

High Fives are a way to appreciate and acknowledge the valuable contributions of team members in real-time. By embedding recognition in your company culture, you can significantly influence 15Five's HR Outcomes: maximizing employee performanceincreasing employee engagement, and decreasing regrettable turnover

Performance Engagement Turnover
  • Results from a study conducted by the American Psychological Association showed that 93% of employees who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work, compared to just 33% of those who said they do not feel valued.
  • In an experiment, participants were asked to edit a cover letter. Some received thanks, while others didn't. When asked to edit a second letter, the thanked group spent 15% more time on the task—23 minutes compared to 20—than the unthanked group.
  • When employees feel celebrated and valued, they’re more excited to work. Companies report a 23% increase in productivity when employees feel recognized for individual achievements
  • Regular appreciation gives your people fresh purpose and momentum. 81% of employees said that they are more motivated to work hard when their boss shows appreciation for them.
  • Recognition increases the likelihood of collaboration and support between employees. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant explains that if someone thanks you for your help, you’re twice as likely to help them again in the future, and more than twice as likely to help someone else.

Key components

High Fives Feed

The High Fives Feed allows you to report on and analyze high fives given within your organization. Learn more.



Use leaderboards to see who is leading the charge in giving and receiving high fives, or which company values are being tagged the most in high fives.


Slack and MS Teams integrations

Our High Fives feature integrates with Slack and MS Teams. These integrations are bi-directional, meaning that you can give high fives in Slack or MS Teams that show up in 15Five, and you can also give High Fives in 15Five that will show up in a chosen Slack or MS Teams channel.


Roles and visibility

Role permissions

As long as your company has @mentions enabled, it's possible for anyone in your organization to give high fives to: individuals, groups, or the entire company. You can also give high fives to external email addresses.


You can give either public (visible to everyone in the company) or private (visible only to the giver and receivers) high fives.

Best practices

Recognition should start at the top

According to research conducted by Nectar, 40% of employees say that recognition received from managers have the biggest impact, and 38% say that CEO/Executive feedback is the best. This said, it's vital for executives and managers to lead the charge in providing recognition— either by giving high fives or interacting with (liking/commenting on) high fives given to individuals within their organization. Doing so provides value beyond the already great recognition that is taking place.

Make high fives genuine, specific, and timely

Only give High Fives when they're truly earned, as genuine appreciation is felt more deeply and is more motivating than empty gestures. Instead of just saying "Great job!", tell them why— for example, "Great job on the presentation today, your insights into the data were especially valuable." It's also important to send High Fives soon after the noteworthy action occurs, as timely recognition has a stronger impact than delayed acknowledgment.

Give people recognition in the way they like to receive it

Research from Harvard professor Francesca Gino and Stanford professor Frank Flynn shows effective recognition isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and needs to be customized to the preferences of the receiver. Most people fall into the trap of recognizing others the way they themselves like to be recognized: if you like to be recognized publicly, you’ll most likely recognize others publicly as well. 

But when it comes to recognizing others, don’t follow the golden rule. For the biggest impact, recognize your team members the way they like to be recognized, not the way you like to be recognized. Gallup’s data reveals that the most effective recognition is honest, authentic, and highly individualized. After you’ve written an amazing high give in your Check-in, you’ll have the option to send it privately or publicly. The public or private option allows those giving a High Five to customize their recognition to the receiver’s preference.

To provoke conversations around how employees like to receive feedback, consider utilizing 15Five's Best-Self Kickoff tool. The Best-Self Kickoff is a strategic meeting that aims to help employees and managers understand each other and their work needs, building a stronger working relationship. During this meeting, an employee and their manager discuss answers to specific questions, including their preferred way of being recognized.


Practice strengths-based high fives

"Strengths-spotting" refers to the practice of identifying, recognizing, and appreciating the innate talents, abilities, and positive qualities of individuals. In a workplace or team setting, it involves observing and acknowledging the specific strengths each person brings to the table, thereby promoting their use and development to benefit both the individual and the organization.

Practicing strengths-spotting when recognizing people at work fosters heightened engagement and productivity, as it aligns with the core tenet of positive psychology to harness individual strengths for enhanced well-being and performance.

At 15Five, we use an acronym that makes give strengths-based high fives easy: S.E.A.

  • The "S" stands for "Spot." Spot the strength this person exemplifies. 
  • The "E" stands for "Explain." Explain, in detail, the behavior you observed. Details are what set apart good feedback from great feedback. Ask yourself: "What did [person] do that worked well?" and list out the specific behaviors, then tie them back to the strength you spotted.
  • The "A" stands for "Appreciation." Express appreciation for the person's strength and share the impact it had on you.


Include company values in your high fives

Company values are the guiding principles and beliefs that shape the culture, decision-making, and behavior of an organization. They are the foundation on which a company's mission and vision are built, and they represent what the organization stands for and what it aspires to be.

Using company values in high fives helps ensure that company values stay top-of-mind and provide employees with clear examples of behaviors and actions that align with your company's vision and mission.


If you want employees to be able to see a leaderboard on the High Fives Feed that shows which company values are trending, an account admin should enable the "Trending Values" Leaderboard in High Five feature settings.


Diversify recognition

Make sure that all deserving team members receive recognition over time. Avoid focusing only on a few standout performers; remember, behind-the-scenes contributions are just as valuable.

Celebrate the small wins

While significant achievements certainly warrant a high five, don't forget to acknowledge the smaller, day-to-day victories that can be equally important.

Use high fives as resources in review cycles

While writing a review in a Best-Self Review® cycle, you have access to the "Resources for your review" section. This section allows you to access information about the person you're reviewing, including high fives they've given and received. Use high fives you remind yourself of an employee's positive contributions over time.



Who can I give high fives to?

As long as your company as @mentions enabled, it's possible to give high fives to: individuals, groups, or the entire company. You can also give high fives to external email addresses.

What privacy options do I have for high fives?

You can give either public (visible to everyone in the company) or private (visible only to the giver and receiver(s)) high fives. Private high fives can only be given from within Check-ins. Private high fives are not included in reporting and will not be pushed to Slack or MS Teams. It's not currently possible to give private high fives when using the mobile 15Five app.

Can I edit or delete high fives?

Yes- by following these steps. Only the author of any given high five can edit it. Either the high five author or an account admin can delete a high five.

What integrations can I use with high fives?

Our High Fives feature integrates with Slack and MS Teams.

What sort of data can I pull on high fives?

You can use the 'High Fives Feed (in-app link) to filter, analyze, and export High Five data.

Can I manage my company's high fives settings?

Yes! Account admins can manage high fives settings, including where high fives can be given from, whether or not hashtags can be used, how high fives are shared, and whether or not the leadership is on/off.

Additional resources

Help Center articles 💡
Watch and learn 🎥
  • The Art and Science of Crafting High Fives (30 min): In this webinar, 15Five product experts share why recognition is so important, the science behind strengths-spotting, and a recipe for how to craft impactful high fives using 15Five.
  • Unlocking Growth and Success Through 15Five Core Platform Features (46 min): In this webinar, our Product Trainer and Senior 15Five executive Adam Weber trains admins and executives on best practices for implementing our Core Platform Features— Check-ins, 1on1's, HighFives, and Feedback— within your company.
  • Build a Culture of Belonging with Recognition & Feedback (60 min): Today’s workforce wants to feel connected to their company’s purpose and values. In this webinar, we will cover two key ways to achieve this: celebrating great work and delivering effective feedback. We will discuss how impact is communicated to employees through strong culture, not just a set of programs.
eBooks 📖
  • The Ultimate Guide to Gratitude in the Workplace: In this guide, we’ll walk through how to build a culture of gratitude in your workplace, covering why gratitude is important, the difference between recognition and appreciation, the state of employee recognition today, and how to leverage software to build an employee recognition program that inspires and motivates.
  • The Guide to Balancing High Performance and High Care at Work: In this eBook, we share structures and supports you can put in place in your organization to achieve a balance of high care and high performance and support a team of humans that don’t just survive, but thrive.

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