Friday, August 31, 2012

9 Reasons You Need a Recognition App (Like SPARCET)

When we first created SPARCET (our free recognition app), it was a means to replace our manual process of giving out a SPARC ticket to recognize someone for going above and beyond. It's where the name comes from,  SPARC (as in ignite something) + TICKET (as a piece of paper you can redeem) = SPARCET.

During a month you could give a paper Sparcet (see pic below) any time you wanted to recognize someone... it worked like an old school raffle ticket. The tickets were perforated with matching numbers on either side and a spot to write in what the person did. Once a month we would have a drawing (celebration)... where we would read some of the reasons Sparcets were earned. We chose one at random and the Senior Support Team chose the other to give those people $200 (in cash) and the closest parking spot to the building (SPARCing Spot).

Since then we created SPARCET, a recognition web application that takes the whole recognition thing to a new level. We didn't know it then but this recognition app gave us a huge advantage! Here's why and why your organization could benefit as well....

Multiply the great things already happening - At every organization there are great things happening, but the sad fact is that most of these things go unnoticed, or at best as a one to one interaction. With SPARCET all these great things get multiplied and are shown to the entire organization.

Motivate high performers - Studies show that high performers need recognition 1 in 7 days, and that 50% of that should come from their direct manager. With SPARCET not only is it easier to give recognition, but it makes it real easy to let that person's manager know about it.   

Email sucks - Giving recognition through an email system sucks! (but better than not at all) Most people I know hate their email and delete emails as fast as they can. With a Sparcet you absolutely know its recognition, it gets shared with others and gives you a whole different level of excitement, energy and appreciation!

Accelerate change management - A good chunk of change management is catching someone in the act (new) and recognizing them for it. This change can take a long time as many go into a wait and see mode. With SPARCET this can be accelerated and distributed at viral speeds over traditional social mechanisms. (this one is huge! :D )   

Know the influence org chart - Using the data behind SPARCET we have been able to derive a whole new understand on how organizations works and is structured. SPARCET can show us the unpublished org chart or the influence org chart.

Get a clue to disengaged team members - SPARCET can't tell you absolutes on who is or is not engaged in your organization. SPARCET can give you some general clues... and you might want to have the manager check-in on one of the team members based on the data, or change in data.

Upward recognition - Being a leader in an organization is a tough job... moment by moment you are making sweeping changes with little to no feedback to whether the organization interprets them as positive or negative. My own personal confidence and decision making has been boosted by SPARCET.  

Build your brand - One of the cool features about SPARCET is that when someone gets a Sparcet, they have the opportunity to share it outside the organization using their favorite social network (FB, Twitter...). This is like free advertising at a social friend trust level, building a trusted brand from inside out.  

Customer engagement - SPARCET now let's anyone of your customers login and give a Sparcet to one of your people. This builds customer engagement between team members, your organization and your customers. ... the holy grail customer engagement. :D

In many of the cases above there is simply no other way to encourage these behaviors and I have yet to see anything that would give you these types of real-time insights into a workforce. The last thing I want to point out is the one fundamental difference between SPARCET and a social network.

This is a guess but, one of the reasons social networks have NOT taken off in the biz world as maybe as expected is the people have had enough of the show boats, especially at work. Social networks are all about the "me... let me tell you what I did, what I found, where I am, why I'm great....". This level of self promotion has become exhaustive (yes, I self promoted this blog on a social network :D ). The great thing about SPARCET is that it's about action and can NOT be self promoted (mostly). Someone else has to catch you in the ACT... and THEY have to talk about it. This gives visibility to all those unsung heroes that don't have the bling or glamour, but that are the foundation of the organization.

So I ask you...  are you missing out on one of the most important apps your organization could ever have or are you starting to take a deeper interest on your most valuable asset?

If you're curious, check out I promise you will want to jump onboard, too!

the very first paper based Sparcet