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Create Your Employee Data File

Step-by-step instructions on preparing, formatting, and saving your employee data file for a seamless import into Culture Amp

Jared Ellis avatar
Written by Jared Ellis
Updated this week

What can I learn from this page?

Step-by-step instructions on preparing, formatting, and saving your employee data file for a seamless import into Culture Amp

Who is this guide for?

Account Admins

Managing employee data effectively is key for maximizing the benefits of Culture Amp. This guide walks you through formatting your file for a smooth import, ensuring you get the most value out of using our platform features.

Preparing Your Employee Data File

Use our Employee Data File Template to format your data correctly:

  1. Include Required Demographics:

    • Column A (Name): Required. Format as "First Last."

    • Column B (Preferred Name): Optional for personalized communications.

    • Column C and D (Employee ID or Email): Required. Include one or both for unique user identification.

  2. Unlock Functionality with Recommended Demographics:

    • Column F (Start Date) and G (End Date): Required for People Analytics. Leave End Date blank for current employees.

    • Column H (Language): Optional. Specify preferred platform language; default is English or use language codes for non-English speakers.

    • Column I (Manager Email): Required for Perform and 1-on-1s to build organizational hierarchy. Leave blank for your Organizational leader e.g. CEO/Owner.

  3. Custom Demographics:

    • Columns J-U: Add your custom demographics by inserting new columns. Examples provided. Remove examples that are irrelevant to your company.

    • Roll-up Demographic: For small groups (typically 5 or less), add a roll-up demographic to enhance visibility in reporting.

☝️ Example of the Culture Amp Employee Data File Template

💡 Formatting Tips

  • Delete File Instructions: If you're using our Employee Data File Template, be sure to delete the file instructions before uploading your file.

  • Employee Status: Typically organizations include all active employees, excluding terminated or on-leave staff.

  • Demographic Values: Demographic values with the same characters but different capitalization (e.g. ‘Melbourne’ and ‘melbourne’) will be merged during your import using the first value provided.

  • Demographic Headers: Use consistent formatting for column headers. Demographic titles are case-sensitive. Using "location" as an example, if you label it as "location" in one import and "Location" in another, it will create duplicate demographics.

  • Dates: Dates in Culture Amp follow the format mmm dd, yyyy. Import in this format or alternatives like MMM DD YYYY or YYYY-MM-DD in Excel and Google Sheets.

  • Column Order: The order of columns in your file will appear the same on the employee's Demographics page of their user profile, so it's best to group similar demographic fields together (e.g., Division, then Department, then Team).

  • Column Visibility: Make sure all columns in your file are visible before saving to avoid errors during the import.

  • Text Only Headers: The first row of your file, which contains the column headers, should only have regular text. It should not include any special or invisible control characters, such as Shift-In, to avoid errors during the import process.

  • Languages: If you load language codes into Column H of the Employee Data File Template, just reply with "Ask a Person" in a Support Conversation to speak with a Product Support Specialist. They will make sure those languages are enabled at your account level.

  • Sheets: Make sure your file has only one sheet. If you used multiple sheets to compile your data, copy the final dataset to a new file with just one sheet.

  • Partial Imports: When you're importing employee data partially, include only the employees who require updates along with the relevant demographic columns. For instance, if you're updating the department for 5 employees, include their Name, Email, and/or Employee ID, along with the updated Department values. Avoid including employees who don't need updates to streamline the process.

  • Bonus Tip! Hover over the column headers in the Employee Data File Template to see additional data guidelines!

Saving Your Employee Data File

Once your file is complete, save it as a CSV (with UTF-8 encoding and a comma as the separator) or an XLSX file. XLSX handles formatting better. If you created the file in Google Sheets, click File > Download and choose your desired format.

  • File Name: Ensure the file name excludes special characters or punctuation to prevent an "Invalid data format" error. Stick to the required naming conventions.

  • No Password: Make sure there is no password for the file.


Importing Your File

Whether you're importing your data manually or through HRIS, check out our Import Employee Data into Culture Amp support guide for detailed instructions.


Additional Steps for 1-on-1 Conversations and Performance Customers

If you're using 1-on-1 Conversations (new) or (classic) or are a Performance customer, follow these steps after uploading your data:

  1. Start a Support Conversation.

  2. Reply with "Ask a Person" to connect with a Product Support Specialist.

  3. Request mapping of your Performance & 1-on-1 demographics like Manager Email, Department, and Job Title.

    • For Performance customers, additional demographic fields such as Job Title Level, Gender, Location, Business Unit, Division, Country, and Employment Type can also be mapped. Consider including these in your upload file.

    • Job Title and Job Title Level are interconnected. To display a user's Level in Performance, their Job Title must first be mapped.

📌 Note: In the new performance rebuild, which includes Self-reflections (soon to include manager reviews) and 1-on-1 Conversations (new), the below applies:

  • Validated Hierarchy: If you have a validated hierarchy, both 1-on-1 Conversations (new) and Self-reflections will use this demographic to determine a user's manager.

  • Fallback Option: If you don't have a validated hierarchy, both 1-on-1 Conversations (new) and Self-reflections will rely on the "Manager Email" demographic that you instructed our support team to map when setting up your Performance & 1-on-1 demographics.

This behavior differs from other performance modules like Manager-requested feedback, Manager reviews, Anytime feedback, and 1-on-1 conversations (classic). These modules use only the "Manager Email" demographic mapped on the Performance & 1-on-1 configuration page to assign an employee's manager.

🌐 Additional Support

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to speak with a Product Support Specialist by replying with “Ask a Person” in a Support Conversation. We are here to help make the import process as smooth as possible for you and your team.


See also:

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