This guide explains how to:
- Set up a limit (i.e. a receiving budget) for the number or value of recognitions employees can receive, within selected AwardNominator™ and InstantAwards™ programs, through a self-service configuration screen in Reward Manager
- Set up custom warning messages to highlight when a limit is reached. These will be shown to senders (InstantAwards™) or nominators (AwardNominator™), when they are trying to send recognition to colleagues who have a limit assigned
- Assign different budgets to different employee groups, through segmentation
- Set priorities when employees fall into multiple groups that have different budgets
This feature supports clients who need to cap recognition received for various reasons, usually connected to employee benefit taxes in any locations they are based in.
- For InstantAwards™, limits apply to awards sent both through the front end and Reward Manager
- For AwardNominator™, limits apply to nominations submitted through the form (rather than approved nominations)
Please note that AwardFilePlus™, On The Spot Recognition and Scheduled Recognition do not support setting up receiving budgets. All employees will be able to receive unlimited recognition within these programs.
Before you start, you will need...
Step 1: set up the first receiving budget
Receiving budgets can be managed on a program by program basis. If no budgets are set up on a program, eligible employees will be able to receive unlimited recognition within that program.
To set up a receiving budget for AwardNominator™ and / or InstantAwards™ programs, start by:
- Logging in to Reward Manager
- Selecting Reward & Recognition > Administer on the left hand side menu
- Selecting the Manage Budgets option next to the AwardNominator™ or InstantAwards™ program you would like to manage.
You will land on a page with the Create Budget option and a Receiving Budgets tab. This is where you can create your first receiving budget. If you have already set up budgets in the past, they will be listed on this page too.
Create Budget opens a form with all the details you need to fill in to limit the number or value of recognitions employees can receive. You can set up as many receiving budgets as you need for each program.
Start by considering these settings:
Receiving budget vs. sending budget: select Receiving budget to limit the number or value of recognition employees can receive. Sending budgets limit the number or value of recognition employees can send, and will be explained in separate guides.
Budget name: assign a unique name to the budget, to make it easier to manage it in the future
Recipient segment: select the employee group this receiving budget should apply to.
- This could be All Members, or a segment that already exists in Segment Manager, or a brand new segment (users with Segment Manager access will be able create one to through the "Create new segment" link on this page; once it's created, select Refresh segments on the budget setup form to be able to search for the new segment)
- If different budgets need to apply to different employee groups, you will need to fill in the form once per employee group.
- If the same budget needs to apply to multiple employee groups, you will be able to enter multiple segments in this field
- Employee groups that are not covered by a budget will be able to receive unlimited recognition within the program.
Limit the recognition by:
- Value: limits the total value of recognition that can be received within your selected program, for your selected time period. For example, if your budget is for a value of $10 and the time period is Monthly, every individual in the segment you've selected will be able to receive up to $10 a month in this program.
Number of recognitions: limits the total number of recognitions that can be received within your selected program, for your selected time period. For example, if your budget is for a number of 10 and the time period is Monthly, every individual in the segment you've selected will be able to receive up to 10 recognitions a month in this program, regardless of their value.
Time period: This is the refresh timeframe for the budget. It can be Monthly, Quarterly or Yearly.
- Example: you are setting up a Yearly budget of 10 InstantAwards™ received, refreshing every January. Between 1 January and 31 December, employees will be able to receive 10 InstantAwards™ from this program. The next 1 January, their budget will restart from 10, regardless of how many they had received in the previous year (i.e. unused allowances do not roll over).
Types of limit you can set up in the form:
A soft limit can be overridden by the sender
- The sender will be notified when trying to recognize a recipient who has reached their soft limit. They will still be able to complete the sending journey if they want to.
- A soft limit can be useful to clients who want to give senders more information, so they can make a decision on whether to send or not (e.g. "The business will be charged extra tax for recognition sent over the soft limit", or "You can send a non-monetary eCard instead").
A hard limit stops further recognition from being sent
- The sender will be notified when trying to recognize a recipient who has reached their hard limit. They will not be able to complete the sending journey.
- When trying to send recognition to a group, the sender will need to remove the employee who has reached the hard limit, before they can continue.
To set up the type of limit you need (for the same employee group, and with the same name and time period), tick the box next to the Soft limit or Hard limit option.
It is possible to have both a soft and a hard limit for the same employee group. For example: the client wants to start notifying senders when employees have received 8 Nominations in a month (soft limit), but wants to completely prevent them from being nominated again if they have already received 10 (hard limit).
The fields to fill in for each type of limit you've selected are:
Users can receive up to: this is the maximum number of recognitions included in the budget (e.g. 10). The limit and sender notification will be triggered every time a user tries to recognize a colleague who has already reached this number or value
Warning message to sender: this is the message users will see when they try to recognize a colleague who has reached a limit.
- Clients can customize the content of the message. A preview will appear to the right hand side of the message field (you see a Recipients field there too, because the message will always show below the recipient search bar on the platform).
- The message will always show the names of the affected recipients, so that the sender can decide whether to remove them (e.g. when trying to recognize a group). This part of the message cannot be edited.
Here's an example of a completed form.
Once you save your changes, your budget configuration will be saved on the Manage Budgets page.
Step 3: activate your budgets and set priorities
When you create a new budget, it is Inactive by default.
Employees can still receive unlimited recognition within the program, until you activate it. The choice of when to activate it is yours, because you may want to set up a budget ahead of its launch date. To activate a budget, click the grey Inactive toggle; it will turn green and the budget will show as Active. You can reverse this action at any time. The change will only go live once you activate the budget, refresh and save the budget preview page (see below).
If you have created more than one budget, you will also be able to set priorities.
Priorities are useful when you have multiple budgets for different employee groups, and employees may fall into more than one group at a time. The screenshot below provides an example:
- The budget with the highest priority ("A test limit") is at the top of the table (priority order 1). It applies to 26 users across two employee groups (RG organization, and Not RG organization)
The budget below it ("Nomination budget 1 - all members") has a priority order of 2.
- The All Members group it applies to has 26 members.
- However, all of them are already covered by the budget with priority 1
- This means that this budget will not apply to any members at this stage
If "A Test Limit" (priority 1) was deactivated or deleted, its 26 users would begin to be covered by "Nomination budget 1 - all members", because its current priority of 2 would change to priority 1.
To reposition a budget up or down the priority list, click the Move icon next to the budget you want to reorder. Priority changes will only go live once you activate the budget, refresh and save the budget preview page (see below).
Please note: an Inactive budget never has a priority number. This is because it's not live, and therefore, has no impact on user groups. The priority number will be assigned once you activate the budget, refresh and save the budget preview page (see below).
There are two more steps you need to take for any changes to go live.
- Select Refresh Budgets Preview (blue link at the top and bottom right of the table)
- Save priority and apply (green button at the bottom of the page)
Refresh budget preview calculates the impact of the changes you are making, so that you can check whether you are happy with them. This could be a combination of different actions, for example:
- You have activated an inactive budget. By refreshing the preview, you will be able to see its priority number, and how many users it affects
- You have deactivated an active budget. By refreshing the preview, you will be able to see how the priorities of any other budgets change, and how users are redistributed between the other active budgets
- You have changed the priority order of your budgets. By refreshing the preview, you will be able to see how many users your new priority order impacts
- You have edited or deleted a budget (see below). By refreshing the preview, you will be able to see your budget's new settings on the page, or check how users are redistributed after deleting a budget
Before activating and refreshing: a new budget has been created; it is Inactive by default; there are no information on how many users are affected. In this situation, Save Priority and Apply is not clickable.
After activating AND refreshing: the budget is active, has a priority, and it's possible to see how many users it affects. In this situation, Save Priority and Apply is clickable.
The Save Priority and Apply button will be available to click once you have refreshed the budget preview. This is the final step you need to take when you are happy with the impact of your changes. They will now begin to apply to employees.
If you don't click Save Priority and Apply after refreshing, changes will not go live to employees.
Step 4: more actions you can take after creating budgets
Activating, deactivating and reprioritizing budgets is possible at any time. Remember to refresh and save the budget preview page when you are ready for any changes to go live.
There are two more actions you can take once you have created one or more budgets.
- Each budget has an Edit option. This allows you to change any of the settings you've configured at Step 2 in this guide. After saving your changes, you will need to refresh and save the budget preview page before they can go live to employees
- We recommend using the Edit option for minor changes only (e.g. budget name; hard or soft limit warning message). For changes that have a significant impact on users' allowances, deactivating / deleting the budget, and creating a new one, will be the best option
- You will not be able to change a limit from Value to Number of Recognitions (or vice versa) after saving it the first time. Please use the Deactivate or Delete functions to remove budgets you no longer need, and create brand new budgets with different settings when you need them
- Each budget has a Delete option. This allows you to completely remove a budget from the list. It will no longer apply to employees. If they are in a segment covered by a different budget that is live, the new budget will apply to them; otherwise, they will be able to receive unlimited recognition in the program. After deleting a budget, you will need to refresh and save the budget preview page before it can be completely removed
You can, of course, create any number of new budgets to add to the list. To do this, select Create Budget at the top of the page, and repeat all the steps above.