Organizing an awards program doesn’t seem like a lot of work on paper. You collect nominations, sift through the applicants, make selections, and announce the winners. That should be it, right? Only the process isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.
There is a lot more you need to do while managing an awards program. And since the scale is large and the time limited, the process can get overwhelming real quick.
From developing application forms and coordinating ceremonies to creating promotional content for the program, the tasks can pile on one by one. And if you are conducting the tasks manually, you will have the work cut out for you. But – don’t feel overwhelmed.
From collecting applications to the selection process, automate the entire program using awards management software.
But before we explain how, let us understand the solution in detail.
As the name suggests, awards management software is an end-to-end digital solution that allows you to manage your awards and grants programs.
It doesn’t matter if the scope of the program is 1000 participants or only 50. The software will let you automate every step involved in the process – right from pre-qualifying applicants to reviewing their applications.
It provides a centralized space where all information comes together, and is accessible to relevant authorities whenever they need it.
This not only helps the administrative staff keep a tab on the program activities, but also simplifies the application process for participants. From form filling to uploading relevant documents and paying the fee, entrants can complete the entire submission process in one place.
This makes the otherwise hectic process remarkably simpler, as you no longer require binders, forms, and tedious meetings to see the program through.
Does the awards management software sound too good to be true? Well, it is! And here are five simple ways you can use it to improve your awards program.
1. Multitask Like a Champ
You know how a Smartphone allows you to listen to music as you scroll through social media? Or switch between different applications? You can expect the same level of multitasking from the awards management software.
It allows you to automate a slew of repetitive and complex tasks like reviewing applications or sending out promotional emails to potential participants. You can essentially manage every activity related to your awards program in one place. This streamlines your workflow by a greater degree.
Let us take a few examples of how the software helps you perform multiple tasks in a jiffy.
Awards management software form builder | Source
Consolidated Responses Through Awards Management Software | Source
Collaborative Evaluation of Entries | Source
Reward announcement | Source
2. Automate Repetitive & Manual Tasks to Save Time
This is a no-brainer! By streamlining and automating time-consuming tasks, you are bound to save tons of time. In fact, using awards management software can save up to 70% to 80% of your staff’s time.
With no scope of human error, you will make fewer mistakes and find the bandwidth to introduce more awards and grant programs. It will also help you delete duplicate entries and review applications for quality. So, only the most qualified nominations make it to the judge’s panel.
And since all participant data will be accessible online, managers will have a bird’s-eye view of every program process.
3. Take Miscommunication Off the Table
Since awards management software allows you to automate responses to applicants and judges, there is no risk of miscommunication.
In most cases, you can write and use email templates for different tasks, embed registration forms, and upload them on the software's interface for everyone else to see. So, everyone involved in the program is on the same page.
With the load of such administrative duties out of the equation, you can focus on tasks that require your personalized attention. Like answering participants’ queries, reviewing applicants before they reach the judges, promoting the awards program, and more.
4. Configure for Different Types of Awards
Run one awards program or run many; awards management software can help you plan and implement multiple types of programs at the same time.
Whether you want to organize employee recognition rewards or award one-time grants and scholarships to deserving students, you can build different programs to suit your needs.
Offer and manage scholarships, one-time commissions, performance-related awards, and much more. You can even have a mix of different awards programs running simultaneously. The awards management software makes it happen smoothly.
5. Make Applicant Qualification and Recommendation Easier
Your single award, grant, or scholarship program probably has thousands of participants. If you set out to scan each profile manually, you can slow down the qualification round and may even miss out on deserving profiles.
But a good awards management software will have algorithms to sort only qualified applicants to the next round. The ones who are genuinely eligible and comply with all the rules of the rewards program will get to reap the awards’ benefit.
This will significantly reduce your administrative load and ensure the selection process is fair and unbiased.
Not all awards management software are built equal. So, how do you choose the right one for your needs? It’s simple! Your awards management tool must have the following five features.
1. Cloud Uploading and Sharing
Even if you are looking at the bare minimum, your awards management software must be compatible with all the traditional file extensions. You should not face any compatibility issues while uploading or downloading files. It should accept photos, videos, transcripts, and any other common document format with no friction.
It should support cloud-sharing as well. After all, what's the point of having a tool gather and organize data when your team cannot collaboratively view or edit it?
2. Content Builder and Embedder
A quality awards management software should provide templates and formats to build different forms of content. For example, it should offer a variety of options to type custom registration forms or create a webpage for your rewards. The content for these can come from a content partner or in-house content team.
It should also provide a platform for native email communication. So, both judges and participants can get task completion reminders and application status notifications.
3. Email Automation
Another crucial feature to help your awards program is email automation. This tool can help you handle all applicant communication swiftly. You can automate welcome emails, submission confirmation emails, status update emails, deadline reminder emails, and more.
You can also automate email invitations to judges. Thanks to the awards management software’s basic email automation feature, you won’t have to write the same email repeatedly. Simply build a template and set them as automatic responses for different situations.
4. Secure and Anonymous Online Evaluation
When choosing the software, check if it provides a user-friendly task-oriented interface that allows judges to evaluate candidates online. This eliminates the need to send email sensitive applicant information to the evaluator and makes your awards program more secure.
The software should also allow judges to enter their own evaluation scheme. This may include any type of voting or scoring system to assess the applicants.
Finally, the awards management software you select must authorize the admin to keep applicants and their responses anonymous. So, judges can do blind testing and evaluation, which culls any potential bias.
5. Customized Reporting
When running your awards program, there are multiple tasks to take care of. But how do you ensure they are happening in harmony? This is where real-time program tracking can save the day.
The ideal awards management software should give you a live admin dashboard that can act as your eyes and ears. You should be able to monitor and keep track of the entire process from a single place.
This feature will help you track the application volume, monitor applicants and judges, and review the individual and collective progress of participants. So, no vital information slips through the cracks.
These custom reports can help you prepare for future awards program strategy as well.
Take the complexity out of the awards program process with the right awards management software. And watch your programs grow consistently.
Governments, philanthropic organizations, industry associations, educational institutions, political establishments, and others have already adopted the software. If you, too, are looking for a tool to carry out end-to-end awards management, there is no better one.
Shortlist a few software based on the features listed above and schedule a demo to make the final selection.
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