The hardest part of running most employee recognition programs is the sheer drudgery:

  • Collecting and updating participant contact info
  • Collating and centralizing the various spreadsheets of information
  • Reporting and disseminating progress reports, leaderboards, etc.
  • Cutting and pasting from spreadsheets and emails followed by… more cutting and pasting.

If you run an employee recognition program the first step to making your life better is to eliminate this drudgery by automating your reporting.

Here’s how to do it in just two steps:

Step 1: Kill Your Spreadsheets

The key to automated reporting is to aggregate your disparate data sources like spreadsheets into a single database.

Employee-Recognition-Programs-Automation-01Stop messing around with spreadsheets! If you want to eliminate
manual drudgery (and we know that you do) then you need to rely upon a central database that can automatically import and track your relevant data. If your underlying data is spread out outcross a bunch of spreadsheets, you’re doomed to a lot of manual entry and inefficient cutting and pasting.

It doesn’t matter what the specific database is, but it needs to be a single source of truth on which you can base your rewards program.

The database should ideally:

  • Already be used by your organization for other purposes such as sales, accounting, operations, etc.
  • Tie into your human resource and/or channel partners database so that you can automatically keep track of participants as they join/leave the organization.
  • Be a relatively open and standardized platform with widely available APIs so that you can easily funnel all needed data into it.

Employee-Recognition-Programs-Automation-02 For a growing number of organizations, the primary database is likely to be Salesforce or a similar cloud-based CRM.

Using Salesforce, or a competing cloud-based CRM, provides a number of key advantages when acting as your repository of data:

  • CRMs typically already have relatively high utilization rates, especially amongst sales, support, and marketing staff so you’re not introducing yet another new application to participants that must be separately adopted, logged into, and monitored.
  • Increasing utilization of the CRM is, in itself, a goal for many sales organizations. Basing a motivation program on the CRM system can help.
  • CRMs are typically already recording many of the behaviors you’re trying to influence like sales and support efficiency… which means you don’t have to setup data exports or reports… this information is already in the system.
  • CRMs are open platforms that can easily accept data from new sources.
  • As industry standard tools, new participants are likely to be familiar with the basics of using your CRM system so it’s not yet another system they have to learn or login they have to get used to.

Once you have chosen a single repository for your data, work with your IT department and/or rewards vendor to import ALL your needed data in real-time or near-real-time, from your legacy or offline systems. No more emailing spreadsheets.

The good news is that if you have chosen a CRM system like Salesforce as your data repository, then this type of data integration work is likely already underway, or at the very least on your IT department’s roadmap.

A partner that specializes in working on top of Salesforce and/or other CRMs can help your team expedite this process. In fact, if you’re faced with that dilemma, give us a buzz, we’d be happy to help you sort through what needs to be done.

Step 2: Build Automated Reporting

Once your data is in a single place, then building automated reporting becomes relatively simple.

There are two basic choices in terms of reporting:

  1. Custom-build one-off reports that query exactly what you need for specific rewards programs. The advantage of doing this is that it’s relatively easy for a novice to build these reports. The disadvantage is that it’s not very flexible; you need to build a new report every time you change a program rule or introduce a new program.
  2. Build or utilize a reporting framework that allows for quick, flexible, and easy-to-use program creation and rule modifications. This can be more difficult to build, but should come pre-built on any sort of modern motivational reporting platform.

With data flowing automatically into your centralized database and reports easily generated, your job of administering your employee motivational program will be transformed from one of drudgery into one of strategy. 

With automation, you can spend your time designing great programs that impact behavior, measuring and proving ROI on your employee recognition programs, instead of just cutting and pasting from spreadsheets all day.

Want to know more?  Check out our 12-page eBook on
 Modernizing Your Employee Recognition Programs.