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Recognition & Rewards
DealerSocket, an industry-leading software for auto dealerships, was rapidly growing — and looking for a solution to bring its workforce together. The challenge doubled when DealerSocket acquired competitor Auto/Mate in early 2020. Merging two well-established businesses — and two unique company cultures — is never a small feat. And for DealerSocket, the difficulty compounded when COVID-19 shutdowns forced the company into increasingly remote work within a mere months of the merger. To protect their brand new culture, Dealersocket knew employee experience would be key.
DealerSocket had signed on with employee experience solution Kazoo [now WorkTango] in 2019 to unify culture across its expanding operations. Now, in the face of an M&A and a global pandemic, the company leaned into Kazoo [now WorkTango’s] solution to bring everything together. Administrators, managers, and employees used the platform to integrate their new team members by sending recognition in the company-wide feed, awarding Incentives for completing training and attending meetings, providing feedback, celebrating birthdays, and more. The company quickly came together in a culture of gratitude and collaboration.
When DealerSocket acquired Auto/Mate in February of 2020, the merger of the two companies created a powerhouse of tools and convenience for auto dealerships. The companies were known for two things: attentive customer service and their comprehensive software, which allows dealerships to do everything from CRM to credit checks, vehicle inventory and marketing, and more.
Merging companies of this size was no small feat. Over 100 million vehicles have been sold with the help of DealerSocket software. Auto/Mate’s employees brought with them more than 1,500 years of combined experience in franchised auto dealerships. The combined company currently supports more than 9,000 dealerships and over 300,000 active users.
As with all mergers and acquisitions, it was critically important that both teams be engaged from the beginning. That’s tough to do when combining not only two established businesses, but their unique cultures, histories, and processes into one rapidly expanding global company. In short: A stellar employee experience was mission-critical.
“We have a firm belief here that happy employees equal happy customers,” said People & Culture Specialist at DealerSocket Chelsey Kraatz. “As an organization, we understand that in order to deliver that white glove experience to our customers, we first have to start by giving that white glove experience to our own employees.”
Fortunately, DealerSocket had signed on with Kazoo [now WorkTango’s] employee experience platform the previous year. With this culture-unifying solution in their toolbelt, DealerSocket’s “culture crew” got to work, bringing their commitment to a great employee experience to their new teammates from Auto/Mate.
Quickly, the employees that had come over from Auto/Mate began to see their names pop up in Kazoo [now WorkTango’s] company-wide recognition feed. They earned Incentives for attending all-hands meetings, completing training, and participating in the company’s wellness initiatives. Management made connections with new team members through milestones, such as work anniversaries, birthdays, and achievements. In short: DealerSocket used Kazoo [now WorkTango] to make it obvious that the former Auto/Mate employees were not only seen, but highly valued.
The personal interactions added up. The culture of recognition, gratitude, and collaboration came together quickly. This turned out to be a true lifeline when, just months after the M&A, the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly turned the newly unified team fully remote.
“Without Kazoo [now WorkTango], it would be very difficult to provide our remote teams with the recognition that they deserve,” Chelsey said. “Kazoo [now WorkTango] became a central part of our culture.”
The DealerSocket team believes one of the biggest benefits they’ve seen with Kazoo [now WorkTango] is that it allows managers to provide timely, consistent feedback. As the company expanded and remote work increased, constant connection was critical. Having a platform where managers could reward incredible performance every single time meant high productivity that never missed a beat. Even with COVID shutdowns. Even with a now global workforce.
They also believe Kazoo [now WorkTango’s] rewards catalog has been key. DealerSocket has a strong culture of giving — both in terms of giving points in recognition of other employees (the great feeling of getting points often prompts employees to pay it forward) — and also in terms of charitable giving to nonprofits like Boys and Girls Club. Many employees have opted to use their points to support organizations they care about.
Since implementing Kazoo [now WorkTango], DealerSocket has seen increases in overall engagement and employee net promoter scores. One of the key questions on its biannual engagement surveys and frequent pulse checks is “Do you feel valued?” Thanks to all the intentional steps DealerSocket has taken to increase connection through the acquisition, the answer seems to be a resounding, “Yes!”
“Kazoo [now WorkTango] is really just a one-stop shop for recognition for all our employees.” – Chelsey Kraatz, People & Culture Specialist
At WorkTango, we’re revolutionizing how the world’s most forward-thinking companies engage and inspire their people. We offer the only Employee Experience Platform that enables meaningful recognition and rewards, supports alignment through goal setting and feedback, and offers actionable insights through employee surveys.
WorkTango is built for the workplace we all want to be a part of – where priorities become clear, achievements are celebrated, and employees have a voice. So if you’re ready to improve (work) lives, schedule a demo today.
“Kazoo [now WorkTango] is really just a one-stop shop for recognition for all our employees.”
of employees have sent recognition
pieces of recognition sent
of employees received recognition
of recognition was cross-departmental
rewards redeemed for charitable causes