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    Thanks and Skills for Salesforce

    • So the latest Salesforce® update has been out for a couple of weeks now and all you fanatics and eager people will have already discovered some of the new features; a few of you may have even scanned over the 323 pages of release notes.

      The major highlight for me was the official release of the Process Builder, a simpler version of Visual Workflow and replacing the need for code in many instances. However, one of the minor updates that may have skipped many people’s attention as they skimmed over it, which I think is worthy of a mention are badges and skills.Great work should always be recognised. It makes people feel like their achievements are worthwhile. They are not just pointless tasks or even just personal accomplishments, but most actions affect co-workers and some affect the business as a whole. However, in many instances, people are not aware that others, especially managers, appreciate their efforts or even notice their hard work at all. By giving praise and recognition, people are rewarded and their personal sense of achievement is raised. This raises the person’s morale; and happy employees are more willing to work harder, increasing their efficiency and reducing business turn-over. High morale also rubs off on their co-workers, and provides a more attractive place to work for existing and new talent. So praise provides nothing but benefits just for rewarding hard work.

      So how does this relate to Salesforce®?

      Thanks has been available in Work.com for a while in the form of rewarding employees and co-workers with badges. The Winter ’14 release allowed Sales Cloud users to also recognise achievement via a few predefined badges that didn’t apply to many businesses. The latest release has enhanced this, providing unlimited Thanks badges and the functionality to create custom badges to all Sales Cloud users – a Work.com licence is no longer required! The only limitation to this which Work.com offers is Thanks badges cannot be linked to Rewards.

      If the work your employees and co-workers are doing is of value to you, let them know. Reward them with a Thanks badge. It seems minor, but they will feel appreciated, even if it’s only psychological.

      The other feature that is now free without a Work.com licence. This is called Skills for Salesforce. Employees can now share their professional expertise in Sales Cloud. Sharing skills allow users, including employers, to discover what knowledge and expertise employees have. The skills can be endorsed by other users, and users can use the global search bar to find employees that possess a certain skill. Who knows, a promotion may be on the cards when a manager discovers you have that skill they need. As a business owner, the benefits of implementing skills in Salesforce is also beneficial. Why hire new talent to achieve a task when one of your employees already possesses the skills for the job? You just don’t know an employee has the needed skills until they tell you. Even if we don’t look at this elevated idea of using skills, if someone just needs help completing a day-to-day task but they don’t know who to ask to help them, they can just search for the skill and find out who can assist.

      Enabling ‘Thanks’ and ‘Skills’ is straight-forward for System Administrators. Both are activated through the Work.com settings in the Customize section of the setup menu. Users can then give the badges using Chatter Publisher, deciding who to give it to and writing a thanks message. A Recognition tab also appears on the Chatter Publisher section of the Profile page to see what badges you, or your co-workers have won.

      For extra help, see the following links:
      Enabling Chatter Thanks
      Recognition Overview
      Skills Overview

      Both of these features mentioned seem really small, but I believe can have an enormous impact to the employee and to the entire business. As it’s so simple, and the benefits are huge, what reason is there for not utilising these free features?