Q&A for SourceForge: helping SMBs better recognize and reward their employees
May 6, 2021
Aaron Carr, the founder and CEO of Qarrot, had the pleasure to take part in a Q&A with Sourceforge - the place developers and companies go to access the latest software and business applications. Learn about the vision and motivation behind the creation of Qarrot, the benefits of greater employee experience and engagement and how the platform's features help organizations achieve these benefits.
What type of software is Qarrot?
Qarrot is a cloud-based employee rewards and recognition software. With Qarrot, small to mid-sized organizations can implement recognition programs for their employees.
Why target small to mid-sized businesses with Qarrot?
Great question. Historically, employee recognition vendors have offered their solutions to large enterprises with thousands of employees. These types of organizations typically purchase large volumes of rewards such as merchandise and gift cards, which has long been at the core of vendors’ business models. This has left smaller organizations – who don’t purchase large volumes of rewards – without access to the sorts of recognition program capabilities available to large companies.
Accordingly, we felt it was important to create a product that could serve the needs of the small to mid-sized business. There are millions of SMEs globally and with our software-as-a-service business model, we can easily get them up and running on Qarrot at prices they can afford.
What types of benefits can employers expect using Qarrot?
Employers increasingly face challenges recruiting, developing, and retaining talent. We see this across most industries and types of work. And while many employers have recruitment and training initiatives for their staff, many still lack the tools to keep their employees engaged over the long term. That’s where employee recognition programs can be a powerful asset for most organizations.
A well-managed recognition program helps employees feel more appreciated, reinforces positive behaviors, and motivates stronger performance. As a result, employees feel more engaged and are less likely to leave the organization voluntarily. Not to mention a host of other benefits: We’ve seen customers use recognition to improve sales performance, customer service, as well as employee well-being and health.
How does Qarrot enable employers to achieve these benefits? What kinds of features does your software provide?
Qarrot is both feature-rich and easy to use. I always like to highlight this fact because ease-of-implementation and use are critical to the typical small to mid-sized business.
Qarrot helps organizations improve morale, celebrate important milestones, and motivate stronger performance. How do we do this?
It starts with the ability to encourage positive interactions amongst employees. With Qarrot both managers and employees can be enabled to recognize others for their contributions.
Often referred to as “peer-to-peer recognition”, this feature lets an employee send a message, a badge – often representing a company’s core value, as well as points to a coworker. Recognitions are displayed on a social media ‘news feed’ within the app so that all employees can learn about the recognitions of their peers, even liking or commenting on those posts.
Recognizing good performance is critical to helping employees feel valued and, by extension, improve morale. And with so many workers now doing their jobs remotely, it’s also a great way for teams to maintain a sense of connection and togetherness.
Organizations can also help celebrate important employee milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, and years of service with our milestone awards. This feature lets your program admin create automated awards that Qarrot will send to employees on the given milestone dates. These awards also are published to the social media feed, allowing others to celebrate a colleague having a birthday or important anniversary.
But, the feature that makes Qarrot “carrot” is award campaigns. This feature allows managers to motivate team performance and to align their staff around specific goals, KPIs, or tasks.
Campaigns are goal-based awards and can be used for everything from sales targets, customer service metrics, operational goals, to health and wellness challenges.
All recognitions and awards (milestone and campaign awards) can include badges that are custom-created by organizations’ program admins as well as points.
Badges are also a fun way for organizations to celebrate their culture as part of their recognition program. For example, most of our customers create a badge for each of their core values so that when an employee sends a recognition, she can choose the badge that represents the core value demonstrated by the person she’s recognizing.
And points can be redeemed for rewards! Qarrot not only offers a catalog with hundreds of leading brands in 30+ countries but customers can create their own custom rewards. These ‘company-provided’ rewards can be anything from a paid vacation day to company-branded merchandise, to local businesses not otherwise available in our platform.
In fact, most of our customers add a couple of custom rewards to their Qarrot catalog so that their employees have the choice of both the leading brands available as well as company-provided benefits.
Speaking of customization, customers can also easily customize their program using Qarrot. It’s easy to set your own point value, add your branding, as well as turn ‘on’ or ‘off’ certain features depending on what you want for your program.
Finally, I’d add that program admins also have access to data and reporting so that they can monitor employee participation and evaluate program effectiveness.
That’s great, thanks. Tell us more about a typical customer and how they’d use these features to achieve their goals.
Sure. A typical customer has around 50-200 employees and, very often, only a small number of people in a human resources role.
Typically, they’re primarily focused on improving employee engagement and strengthening their culture. But they’re also interested in celebrating employee birthdays and anniversaries as well as equipping managers to boost team performance.
To achieve these goals, the customer would enable ‘Employee-to-Employee’ recognition and create badges based on each of their core values. This lets employees recognize one another for demonstrating the core values of the organization, which not only boosts engagement but reinforces organizational culture.
The customer could also enable employees or managers to include points when they send recognitions, to enhance the motivational effect of the program.
Plus, the customer can create Milestone Awards that automatically recognize employees on their birthdays and work anniversaries.
Finally, managers can create Award Campaigns when they want to challenge their team to hit tough-to-achieve goals, KPIs, or to complete certain tasks. Campaigns include a real-time leaderboard, so employees can see how they’re doing relative to their co-workers, which is a great way of injecting some fun competition into motivating performance.
You mentioned that it’s easy to get started using Qarrot. How does a company get started?
Anyone wishing to learn more about Qarrot, can request a demo or free trial. And when they’re ready to move forward, they sign up for a ‘one-hour’ onboarding session during which one of our customer success leads will create their Qarrot account and train them on the administrative features of the software. At that point, the customer has a live account and the know-how to get started.
We also provide ongoing support, a knowledge base with lots of articles, as well as employee onboarding materials to simplify the onboarding process.
And what types of pricing plans do you offer? Do customers need to sign a contract?
Our pricing is simple. Customers pay a subscription fee per user per month as well as the cost of any gift cards redeemed through their account. The subscription fee starts at $3 per employee, but we offer volume discounts for 200 employees or more as well as monthly and annual pricing options.
Customers on a monthly plan don’t need to sign a contract. However, for customers on an annual subscription, we’ll usually put our 2-page subscription pricing agreement in place.
Finally, how can companies get in touch to learn more about Qarrot?