Post: The 9 Best Employee Recognition Software Programs to Thank and Reward Your Employees

You know it – Work is hard. It takes a lot of our time and energy daily, and sometimes it feels like it’s never-ending. That’s why it’s so important to recognize your teammates’ efforts properly and to be able to say thank you for a job well done. 

Many employee appreciation programs have sprouted in recent years and provide businesses with the opportunity to genuinely and adequately recognize their employees.

In this blog post, we will detail the best employee recognition software available out there and give you an overview of each one. We hope this information helps you find the perfect software to show your employees how much you appreciate them!

What is the Best Employee Recognition Software?

We believe Nectar is the best employee recognition software if you need a free version to get started.

Bonusly is a robust tool based on prices, integrations, possibilities, and easy-to-use aspects and can adapt to different company sizes and budgets if you’re willing to invest more.

But the best rewards and recognition program overall is VantageCircle, with its comprehensive offering of not one but four – employee reward programs.

Of course, there’s no definite answer to this question, as the best employee recognition software depends on each company’s needs and preferences.

Let’s have a look at the main ones below.

Table of Contents

A quick look at our top picks competing for the title of the best employee recognition platform

  1. Vantage Circle
  2. Nectar
  3. Bonusly
  4. Kazoo
  5. Awardco
  6. Motivosity
  7. Guusto
  8. Kudos
  9. Reward Gateway

1/ Vantage Circle

employee recognition software program VantageCircle home page screenshot

Overview

The Vantage Circle software is an easy-to-use employee recognition platform allowing companies to recognize and reward collaborators, get employee feedback, and invite them to participate in wellness initiatives.

Their ultimate goal is to help you compensate and incentivize employees for good work, as well as participate in making them feel appreciated, empowered, and satisfied.

Top Features

  • Minimum group size: no minimum set.
  • Programs available: Recognition, rewards, celebration, feedback, and employee discounts.
  • Integrations: Vantage Circle integrates with Slack, Teams, Workplace, and Yammer as collaboration tools, Okta, Azure, and Office 365 for SSO. For HRIS platforms, you’ll be able to easily integrate with People strong, Zoho people, Freshteam, and SAP.
  • The bonus: A panel award that can support your employee of the month system!
  • Trial: Free trial is available, as well as a demo.

Clients

Clients include Accenture, Capgemini, WesternUnion, or Paypal, for instance.

Pricing

Prices start at $4 per employee/month. Over 100 users, price starts to decrease gradually.

Note that you can get a 10% discount if you pay yearly and high volume discounts for more than 250 users.

Our take

Vantage Circle is an exciting all-in-one employee recognition platform with no minimum users required!

It successfully combines Vantage Recognition, Vantage Rewards, and Vantage Perks to enjoy corporate discounts. Vantage Fit for their wellness program and Vantage Pulse ensures easy continuous performance management and data follow-up on employee feedback or engagement. A complete option!

2/ Nectar

Nectar home page screenshot

Overview

Nectar is an employee reward and recognition platform that helps companies show their employees how much they are valued.

With Nectar, companies can create custom recognition programs, set goals and objectives, and track progress.

Top Features

  • Minimum group size: There’s no limit for the free plan, 30 employees for the standard plan, and 40 employees minimum for the Plus plan.
  • Programs available: Recognition, awards, rewards, incentives, celebration, special offers & discounts.
  • Trial: You can try the Nectar platform for free or get a demo to see how the rewards platform works.
  • Integrations: This employee recognition software integrates with the most commonly used applications for easy implementation in your company. The major ones are covered, from Microsoft Teams to Slack to the Google Suite!

Clients

Among the most famous clients of Nectar, you can find Heineken, Major League Baseball, Teachable, and more.

Pricing

The first plan starts for free with basic functions such as peer-to-peer recognition and a real-time feed of the recognition messages.

The middle entry plan, costing between $2.50 and $2.75 per employee, will allow you to integrate Nectar with its partners to get the milestones reminders or incentives discounts.

Finally, the higher plan costs between $3.75 to $4.25 provide access to the most extensive options (Amazon reward catalog, reward performance management, the possibility to organize challenges among the team to boost employee engagement, etc.).

Note that companies over 500 people could get volume discounts on pricing.

Our take

Nectar is one of the best free employee recognition software that can adapt to any company size and budget while remaining user-friendly and efficient.

The integrations with the most commonly used applications make it easy to implement, while the wide range of options and features allow you to create tailor-made programs for your employees. A must in our ranking!

3/ Bonusly

Bonusly home page screenshot

Overview

Outed as one of the most popular employee recognition software, Bonusly is a platform that allows companies to give rewards and incentives for a job well done, all in all with a fun touch.

All employees get a certain amount of bonuses to give every month. They can use them to thank or cheer for others’ actions with personalized messages, emojis, gifs, or others that will appear on a public feed: “+10 for helping me with the survey”, “+20 for that great report you created”, “+250 for biking to work”…

After some time, any team member can redeem their points from an extensive rewards catalog. This way, everyone is excited to participate!

Top Features

  • Minimum group size: no minimum set.
  • Programs available: recognition, communication, rewards, feedback, coaching, and incentives.
  • Integrations: Bonsuly integrates with communication software programs like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zapier. Single Sign-On (SSO) tools are also available for programs like Google Suite, Office 365, and Linkedin.
  • The bonus: An open platform for everyone on the team and the opportunity to give out bonuses to others and select your own rewards.
  • Trial: Free trial is available, as well as a demo.

Clients

Major clients use Bonusly, such as Hulu, Ziprecruiter, or SurveyMonkey.

Pricing

The lowest plan starts at $2.48 per employee/month if billed annually, while the highest plan goes up to $4.14 per employee/month (or even $4.60 if billed monthly).

Note that a custom plan can be available depending on companies’ recognition and employee engagement strategy.

Our take

Bonusly is an attractive and fun employee recognition software that allows employees to recognize one another in a lighthearted way.

Its bonus system, which includes team members as part of the rewards and recognition program, has a real edge over other recognition platforms with higher employee engagement.

4/ Kazoo

Kazoo home page screenshot

Overview

Kazoo is an employee recognition software that helps companies create performance and direct feedback, a fundamental part of the company culture.

With Kazoo, businesses can set goals and follow up with them to ensure continuous performance management.

You recognize and reward employees for their achievements thanks to a redeemable point system giving them access to a curated selection of physical presents, digital gift cards, experiences, and more.

Enhance communication and conversation between team members and their managers; participate in missions to increase employee engagement in making the office a better place, all in one place.

Top Features

  • Minimum group size: 100 users.
  • Programs available: feedback, KPI’s, recognition, communication, rewards, and incentives.
  • Integrations: Messaging apps, Outlook, Google Suite, Slack, several Single Sign-On, iOS & Android app environments, and more!
  • The bonus: The Goal and tracking are great added characteristics to this recognition tool.
  • Trial: No free trial is available, but you can have a one-on-one demo.

Clients

Their clients include global corporations like Kia, Allianz, or Hitachi.

Pricing

All-in-one comes at a price. You can start using Kazoo’s recognition platform at $5 per employee/month if billed annually, valid until 250 people.

With Kazoo, the more employee you get, the cheaper you pay. If you operate a company with 250 to 1000 employees, the next plan charges $4.25 per employee/month. Over 1000, a quote is necessary.

A one-time onboarding fee of $1,500 applies to a small plan and rises to $4,000 for the most expensive.

Our take

Best for large companies, Kazoo is an excellent employee recognition software if you have over 600 people, a high budget, and are looking for an all-in-one solution that covers different aspects of the employee experience and keeps track of it!

5/ Awardco

Awardco home page screenshot

Overview

From peer-to-peer to manager-to-peer recognition, from points to monetary rewards, from celebrations to challenges and onboarding, Awardco is an easy-to-use and customizable employee recognition platform facilitating employee appreciation to be integrated into the company’s core values.

Top Features

  • Minimum group size: 100 users.
  • Programs available: Recognition, rewards, celebrations, incentives.
  • Integrations: No iOS or Android application for mobile phones.
  • The Bonus: A partnership with Amazon Business so that your employees can have direct access to their extensive rewards catalogue; No markups on potential employee rewards.
  • Trial: There isn’t a free trial, but you may try the software for free by requesting a demo.

Clients

Awardco convinced some of the biggest corporations such as Amazon, Check-fil-A, Pinterest, Zillow, Ford, and more.

Pricing

Pricing is not disclosed on their website but it would appear the minimum annual cost to enjoy that recognition solution is $5,000. To have a better idea of their plans, we recommend you ask for their demo and get in touch with their commercial team directly.

Our take

In a nutshell, Awardco appears to be an easy-to-use rewards and recognition platform, making it simple for companies to recompense their workforce with an Amazon-wide range of rewards without any markup on prices.

Not as complete as other employee recognition software options, it does include goals and tracking as some do.

6/ Motivosity

Motivosity home page screenshot

Overview

Motivosity is a cloud-based software that allows employees to be recognized and rewarded for their hard work via social recognition, real dollars rewards, and an innovative VISA card called the #thanksmatters Card.

After fellow teammates or bosses have given “influence currency” to another peer for their efforts, this individual may spend it as they see fit in Motivisity’s store. Digital services, charities, restaurants, or local stores, they can pick the one they want!

The platform also encourages managers’ leadership and feedback listening so that they can make it a better place to work. A win-win!

Top Features

  • Minimum group size: No minimum.
  • Programs available: Recognize, reward, feedback collection, connect people, celebrate, listen to the team.
  • Integrations: Motivosity integrates with the leading communication apps such as Slack and Microsoft Teams BUT doesn’t cover the Single Sign-On.
  • The Bonus: Option letting the top managers understand how the workforce is feeling and satisfied with the company thanks to employee surveys and NPS tracking + Coaching is available to help managers become leaders.
  • Trial: You can start with the free plan to get a feeling of the platform and ask for a demo.

Clients

Their clients include some of the best places to work like Fujifilm, Toyota, KPMG, Bosch.

Pricing

The first plan starts for free, allowing you to connect your employees, let them the opportunity to recognize their coworkers and build meaningful relationships.

You then have the option of 3 different plans that can be added to the free version, that are:

  1. Recognize plan: $5 per employee/month to allow access to the reward shopping platform and the #Thanksmatters cards.
  2. Lead plan: $6.50 per employee/month to give managers more options to lead their team.
  3. Listen plan: $2 per employee/month to allow the company to know more about people’s satisfaction and opinion on the workplace culture.

Note that there are no implementations fees for Motivosity.

Our take

Motivosity combines employee recognition and meaningful rewards through their “influence currency” to provide a tangible recompense and higher employee satisfaction. We also believe the lead and listen plans are a great added characteristic to enhance company values and go further.

The tool cannot be integrated into the most common Single Sign-On though, making the experience less seamless.

7/ Guusto

Guusto home page screenshot

Overview

Guusto is an employee recognition software that helps you to say thank you and show your appreciation to employees, customers, or partners by easily sending gifts.

They provide a pay-forward function, allowing users to pass the present on to someone else.. In addition, the company’s reward system also includes a claiming period, so if someone does not claim their present, the money will be returned to the company, avoiding any loss.

But overall, its functions are limited compared to other rewards software.

Top Features

  • Minimum group size: no minimum set.
  • Programs available: Recognition, reward, celebration, goals, awards, incentives.
  • Integrations: No third-party integration.
  • The bonus: Every gift sent is financing 1 day of clean drinking water with One drop foundation.
  • Trial: Free trial is available as well as a demo.

Clients

Guusto’s clients include The body shop, Marriott, Carlton cards, and more.

Pricing

Start for free with a single-user account, perfect for small-size companies that want to try the system out and give access to one manager only.

If you want to get all the team involved, you will have to choose the “Teams plan” starting at $1.50 per employee/month, whereas the “Enterprise plan” is more fitted if you want to use that reward platform for the full company.

Note that peer-to-peer recognition is not included but is available through add-ons.

Our take

Not as user-friendly, inclusive, and dynamic as other platforms, Guusto isn’t our first choice as an employee recognition platform but is a simple and great option if you want to combine it with corporate gifting for your partners.

8/ Kudos

Kudos home page screenshot

Overview

Kudos is an employee recognition software that helps companies show their appreciation to employees through different types of rewards such as cheering messages, awards for outstanding achievements, and redeemable points to obtain a Kudos’ partner gift or a company custom reward.

Kudos is mainly focused on building peer-to-peer social community and enhancing the company values.

Top Features

  • Minimum group size: 500 users.
  • Programs available: Recognition, Reward, Awards, Celebration.
  • Trial: No free trial is available but you can request a demo.
  • The bonus: An analytics board lets you see easily the main qualities of each employee, orienting you on your feedback and efforts to build a better team.
  • Integrations: Possibility to connect with Microsoft Teams, Slack, Microsoft Outlook, Skype, major SSO like Google, Oracle, Office or Linkedin, and more.

Clients

Kudos counts on DHL, Engie, Chewy, Make a Wish as part of their clientele.

Pricing

Pricing is not communicated but can be given upon request.

Our take

Kudos is an employee recognition platform that has been designed with the goal of reinforcing the company core values and the relationships between employees, creating a special community.

The experience is enhancing continuous recognition and performance more than rewards. Even if its seamless integrations make it easy to implement, Kudos is not accessible to all companies, especially small and middle-size corporations.

9/ Reward Gateway

RewardGateway home page screenshot

Overview

Reward Gateway is an employee engagement platform that gives companies access to employee recognition, discounts, communications, surveys, analytics, and well-being services.

Their recognition and reward system is based on 4 pillars: peer-to-peer recognition, employee nomination, monetary rewards given by managers, and game-changer rewards. Reward Gateway also benefits from integration with Amazon to provide an easy option to redeem rewards with lots of gift options!

Top Features

  • Minimum group size: Not mentioned.
  • Programs available: Recognition, rewards, celebration, communication, feedback.
  • Integrations: Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google, Workday, Linkedin, Facebook, Okta, Bamboo HR, and others.
  • The Bonus: Custom branded solution, fitting your corporate branding, colors, and identity that can be used as a great intranet to communicate on company news and events too.
  • Trial: No free trial is available but you can request a demo.

Clients

Among their 2,000+ clients, Reward Gateway is providing solutions for Unilever, Pepsi, Databank, Comcast, Nascentia Health, and more.

Pricing

Prices are not displayed on the website. We recommend you contact them directly to get an estimate of the cost.

Our take

Reward Gateway is a good all-in-one employee recognition platform especially if you also want to use it as a branded intranet for your company, where any collaborators can take part in the discussion.

How did we review the employee recognition platforms?

Team Size

One of the important factors on how we rank our platform and that you should consider when choosing is how many employees your company has.

This can impact your choice crucially are some software is limited to a certain amount of users.

Pricing

One element to consider when choosing an employee recognition platform is pricing. Employee recognition platforms can be expensive, so pricing can definitely affect your decision if you have a limited budget.

Programs available

Another factor you should look into is the variety of programs that are offered by the employee recognition platform.

Are we talking manager recognition only or peer-to-peer recognition as well? Do they have access to rewards? Can they redeem them easily? Are there any analytics and employee survey functions you can use to improve your strategy and employee satisfaction? Is there access to corporate discounts? Are there automatic milestones reminders?

Ask yourself the right questions that will impact your daily employee engagement strategy.

Integrations

The last factor you should look into is an Employee recognition platform’s integrations. How well does the Employee Recognition Platform work with your other tools?

The more integrated it is, the easier it is for your employees to use that new software.

FAQ: All you need to know about the Employee Recognition software

What is employee recognition?

Employee recognition is the act of formally or informally acknowledging the contributions of employees to the organization.

What are some employee recognition programs?

Employee recognition programs can take many forms including public recognition, private recognition, monetary recognition, and event recognition.

Learn more about the different employee recognition programs you could implement in our dedicated blog post.

How do top companies recognize their employees?

Top companies typically use an employee reward and recognition platform to help them implement an efficient, easy-to-use, and attractive program.

How do employee recognition software work?

An employee recognition platform typically works by allowing employees to nominate their colleagues for awards, or managers can give rewards directly to employees, all in one place.

Why use employee recognition software?

Employee recognition software is a powerful tool to say thanks and to reward your employees for a job well done. But that’s not all!

It can help improve motivation and well-being at work, lower voluntary turnover and employee absenteeism, increase engagement, and make every person of your business part of the organizational culture.

How do I create a point system for my employees?

Creating a point system for your employees is a great way to recognize their hard work. You can either use a pre-made system or create your own. To do so, make sure to include the following:

– The types of activities that will earn points, such as finishing a mission or challenge, reaching goals

– How much the different activities are worth

– How employees can redeem their points

– The length of the program

– How often employees will be able to redeem their points.

You should also make sure that your system is easy to understand and use for all your employees.

How much does recognition cost?

Pricing for Employee Recognition software can vary, but most platforms offer discounts for companies with a larger employee base, and some are even free of charge if you only want o use basic options!

Conclusion

As you can see, different options can be considered as the best employee recognition platform depending on the type of corporation you are in:

  • For large companies, we recommend Kazoo.
  • For medium-size companies: we recommend Vantage Circle
  • For Small-size to medium-size companies: Bonusly or Nectar

We hope this detailed analysis will help you make a choice and enhance your human resources methods and strategy for the better!

Note that for future consideration, we’ll also review Assembly, Fond, O.C. Tanner, Achievers, and Bucketlist.

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