"We're using crowdsourced data to present the analysis back to managers in meaningful ways," said Grant Beckett, VP of product for Globoforce, which for years has competed in the market for employee recognition applications. It faces stiff completion from companies like SuccessFactors, which was acquired by SAP in December. At about the same time, Salesforce.com acquired Rypple, a specialist in peer-to-peer social recognition of employees.
The recognition field is characterized by a distinction of "the praise versus the prize," and Globoforce has traditionally focused on providing a catalog of products employees can receive as part of the recognition they receive, Beckett said. In recent years, Globoforce has put an increased focus on the social dimension of recognition, including sending and tracking peer-to-peer thank you messages, he said. It is also working on potential partnerships with social recognition specialists who want to add an option for material recognition.
A social recognition product like Rypple is "focused very much on the praise but doesn't have the weight of recognition on the back end, with the brand behind it," Beckett said. A material reward "elongates that recognition moment," he said.
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In any case, the point of Talent Maps is less about the individual rewards and recognitions than the patterns they establish, graphically depicted with the volume and velocity of recognitions on the X axis and the weighting of those recognitions on the Y axis. An employee who appears in the top right corner is someone who has attracted the most recognitions with the greatest economic value. The result is a "very strong indicator of working relationships that drive the business forward," Beckett said.
A Globoforce customer like JetBlue could color-code the results to figure out who are the most valuable employees at JFK Airport, for example, Beckett said. "Customers are telling us this is the type of data they always wanted, but they had no way to get it."
Globoforce is also "in discussions" with social software makers like Jive Software and Yammer about the potential of making the data available through their enterprise social networks, Beckett said.
A Globoforce Talent Map showing the difference in the volume and value of recognition for several employees.
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