Bulk Employee Updates Using CSV Export/Import

How to add/remove/update employee records in bulk using the Bulk Employee Import tool

Brian Deyo avatar
Written by Brian Deyo
Updated over a week ago

Step 1 - Prepare and Upload your employee file

Download existing employee list

To get an exact template of your column headers and existing employee details, start by downloading the your "Active Employees" by clicking the button below (upper right side of the page.

This will export a CSV file that can be opened using Excel or imported to Google Sheets to modify. Do not change any of the columns in this file before you do your import.

If you have a source system where your information is accurate and up to date and you are using the organization_employee_id for your employees, you can use an export from your own system, but column values and formatting must match the export from Emplify exactly for Step 4. Read more about Organization_employee_id here

Add and remove employees from your list

New employees can be added by adding a new row to your spreadsheet.

If you are using the Organization Employee ID setting, each employee MUST have a unique ID in the organization_employee_id column. If you are not using this setting, you can leave the emplify_employee_id column blank and an ID will be assigned when the employee is imported.

Modify employee details

You can modify any information about the employee in your spreadsheet including their group memberships. Please reference the Employee CSV Column Formatting help article for specifics on acceptable values for each column.

The group membership columns are those after the employment_status column. You can modify any value in these columns. If the import detects a new group value, it will create the group automatically. Pay close attention to formatting here, any text change will be seen as a new group (e.g. "marketing" is different than "Marketing").

If you want to add a new Group Type (new column), you can do so in settings>group management

Upload the CSV

Once you've prepared your file and made all the necessary changes, you can save it as a CSV and upload it to the bulk importer. To upload, click the New Upload button and select the file to import or drag and drop the file into the blue box.

Immediately, you'll see a setting that determines if the importer will recognize removed employees automatically. If this toggle is on, any employee not matched in the sheet will be automatically recognized for removal (you'll be able to review in step 3).

Step 2 - Review Errors

It is possible your file will have no errors and skip right to updating employees, but more often than not here are a few. There are three different categories of errors.

  1. Column errors

  2. Employee record errors

  3. Formatting errors

Column Errors

Each import must have EVERY column. You can read about each column in our CSV Column article. Very few columns require information in them, but each column must match and be formatted perfectly. For example "Start Date" will throw an error because the column name is "start_date"

If you have an error that has no details, it is because you have extra columns in your CSV. To resolve this, highlight all of the empty columns to the right of your last column and delete them.

Employee Record Errors

There are a few different reason that an employee record might not be found or might error. Most often, this is because of duplicate phone, email, or organization_employee_id fields. These fields must be unique for each employee. If you have duplicates, the error will point out which rows are duplicated and you must resolve the duplicates and then reimport.

If you are using the Organization Employee ID setting you must have a value for every employee. Any missing value will cause an error.

One of the most common errors is the "Duplicate Employee" error. This happens when we attempt to create an employee, but one is found in the system already with the same phone_number, email_address, or organization_employee_id. In these cases, the error will point to the employee that was found already existing in the system and indicate their emplify_employee_id. These errors often happen when an employee has returned to the company after previously being deactivated and is found in our system (we do not delete employees only deactivate them). The way to resolve these errors is to copy the emplify_employee_id from the error and paste it into your CSV in the first column (so that our system will update the already existing employee's record) OR modify the matched employee's information so that it does not conflict with the new employee. You can typically do this by searching for the employee and removing their phone number or email address.

Step - 3 Review new employees, employee updates, and employment changes

Once you've cleared all errors, a button will appear that says "Review and Confirm"

You will be presented with three different screens to review. The first shows all new employees that will be created. You can specify if these new employees should receive surveys. If this is set to yes and there is an assessment open, they will be added to the open assessment when they are created. The second shows the changes to existing employees. And the last allows you to review employees that are being reactivated and those being deactivated implicitly because they weren't in the file. These changes will not be processed until you click "Confirm" on the review screen.

If at any time you see something wrong with the import, make the change in your file and reimport it.

Step 4 - Review Groups

The final and most critical step is to review the group movements between the current employee list and the new updates.

This view shows a selection at the top to pick the group type you are reviewing and then the first column shows the number of employees in each group and change in count in the group. On the right hand side you can see employees who were added or removed from the group.

If you need to make a change to a group name so that the new group lines up to the existing group you can either change it in your file (by using find and replace) or update it by finding the appropriate group that it should be matched to using the drop down.

If you find an error in the groups and you've already processed employee changes AND you are using the emplify_employee_id as your unique identifier, subsequent uploads will error because the new employees in your file have already been created and they won't have an emplify_employee_id in your file. The easiest way to resolve this is to copy and paste the emplify_employee_id into the sheet for each employee or export existing employees and do a vlookup on the employee's email address to match them.

If you need help with this or any of the above please reach out to support@15five.com or feel free to attach your file via the Attachments page in the Settings menu and our Implementation team can provide more pointed feedback and direction.

Did this answer your question?