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What to Expect With Your New Social Recognition Program

Embarking on the journey of adding a new social recognition program is an exciting time in the work life of many HR professionals.  It is a substantial project, often with a large-scale budget and high visibility within the organization. Unlike one-off and service milestone-only recognition programs, a comprehensive and cloud-based platform may have more involvement in the implementation process, including an agreement, graphics and branding, and data. Whether you are a first time go-getter or a seasoned pro with your company’s recognition needs, here are a few tips to help you feel confident in what to expect when you’re expecting a new social recognition program.

The Timeline Begins Once the Agreement is Signed
Most social recognition programs, including MTM’s cloud based all-inclusive platform, require an agreement to be completed before the implementation can officially begin. While the MTM team is happy to host demos, answer questions, and provide you with an implementation calendar, the implementation cannot truly begin until a signed agreement is in place. This may be helpful to know when discussing a potential program timeline with executives and decision makers – factor in the time it may take to have your legal team review and sign the document.

The Timeline Will Be Built Around (and Depend) on You
At the beginning of every social recognition program setup, MTM provides a detailed timeline for your implementation. The clients we work with love this document! It provides an overview of what to expect when, which weeks will likely contain a meeting, and due dates for key components of the program. However, we specifically create these timelines with YOU in mind! MTM is in the business of recognition, and we know exactly how long it will take our Creative Team to build out the graphics you request and our Data Processing Team to review your data. But many of the dates depend on your schedule. We can get the graphics back to you in a three-day turnaround time, but if it takes your team three weeks to review them, that may greatly impact our timeline. Discuss you and your team’s workload honestly and openly with your implementation manager, so she can create a realistic timeline. For reference, the majority of our social recognition customers take about 3 months to launch.

Make the Program as Comprehensive as Possible – Including Moving All Recognition onto the Platform
Imagine building a new home. Would you rather continue living in your current home while the entirety of your new home is built (it may take a few months longer), or move-in early but have construction going on in your home for the entire first year you’re there? Setting up a recognition program is actually pretty similar. Incorporating all categories of recognition from the start saves time, money, and energy. Plan to create the comprehensive program on the platform during the initial setup to get the most out of your program and start off with a bang.

Loop in Your Marketing/Branding Department from the Beginning
Your marketing and branding team will be instrumental in the creation of the site.  Creating a cohesive brand identity is vital to incorporating the new recognition program into your existing look and feel. But while our award-winning team of Creative Designers will take special care to make sure your brand standards are met, no one knows your branding quite as well as your own marketing team. Plan to loop them in early in the implementation to prevent wasted time adjusting graphics down the road.

Lean On Your Implementation Manager and Recognition Consultant for Guidance
Your Implementation Manager and Recognition Consultant work with a variety of clients in and outside of your state and business sector. They are familiar with recognition best practices, budget setup, resolving issues, and helping determine the best path based on your organization’s needs. Whenever you may find yourself needing advice or wondering which direction to go, lean on your MTM team to provide their input. We’re truly here to help!

Delegate a Back-up Decision Maker
MTM works hard on your implementation so you don’t have to. From designing the graphics and badges, to helping determine how to best use your budget, to the training sessions we host and resource tools we develop, we try to make it easy on you. But decision making is the one thing we cannot help with.  However, that is no small feat, and it has the possibility to hold up an implementation if the decision maker is unavailable. To prevent this bottleneck, it is always best to delegate a back-up decision maker whenever the key person is out of the office. Having a second-in-command not only helps to keep things running smoothly but keeps your timeline on track!

Bring in the Experts When It Comes to Data
If asked about the number one item that holds up social recognition program launches, the answer is almost always data. It may not come as a surprise, but IT teams are busy and it often takes weeks if not months for a new recognition program to move up in the queue far enough to begin work. Giving your IT/HRIS specialist a heads up that the new program is coming can save you time and energy. Expect to have a specialist present and available on all data-specific calls to help ask the right questions.

Be In-Office and Available the Week of Your Launch Date
The week of your new recognition program will likely be busy! Between sending out notices, helping answer questions, conducting training sessions, and checking reports, you may plan to dedicate quite a few hours during launch week. MTM’s team will take your launch very seriously – your Recognition Consultant, Implementation Manager, and Customer Care Associate will all plan to be in the office and available the week-of. It’s vital to the health of your program and the success of your launch that you be there too! If you know you’ll be out of the office the week of an intended launch, either have your second-in-command ready to step up, or simply change the date to a week you’ll be in-office and available.

Your Involvement in the Program Will Impact Your Program’s Success
MTM’s Social Recognition Platform is fantastic at managing itself – approvals are housed within the system and easily routed to managers, upcoming anniversaries are updated automatically each day, and the site is filled with training and tutorials to help your employees. But as with anything, you get out of it what you put into it. When our Program Administrators have a high level of involvement, we see substantially higher success and engagement rates for our clients! MTM will work with you to send suggestions, information and feature updates, but your usage of those ideas will directly impact your program’s success.

Receive Consistent Check-ins Within the First Year and Beyond
Your Recognition Program is a living and breathing system of gratitude and recognition, which will require check-ins and status updates! The MTM team is fantastic about making sure you are aware and comfortable with the system and any new features. You’ll also be provided with status updates as to the health of your program. These updates will not only be throughout the first year of your program after launch, but throughout your recognition program’s entire lifetime!

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