Category All, Best Practices Top 15 Employee Recognition Software Platforms in 2021 Choosing a perfect employee recognition software platform can be a tall order for organizations. The variety of features and functionalities can make it hard to pinpoint a solution tailored for your organizations’ ultimate business goals and objectives. March 12, 2021 By Kristina Martic Choosing a perfect employee recognition software platform can be a tall order for organizations. With so many various options to choose from, organizations get confused about which software would bring them the biggest return on investment. In this blog, we will go over the best employee recognition vendors on the market, and hopefully, assist you in choosing the best solution for your company. In order to add value to this list, we segmented the solutions into 3 markets: Enterprise – total number of employees greater than 1000 Medium – total number of employees between 51 and 1000 Small – total number of employees 50 or fewer Table of contents If you wish to jump to a certain section right away, here is the table of contents: 🔵 What is an Employee Recognition Software Platform 🔵 Top 5 Employee Recognition Platforms for Enterprise Companies 🔵 Top 5 Employee Recognition Platforms for Mid-Size Companies 🔵 Top 5 Employee Recognition Platforms for Small Companies 🔵 Frequently Asked Questions About Employee Recognition Software Platforms 🔵 The Buyer’s Guide for Recognition and Rewards Software Platform Before we move forward, check out our employee appreciation quotes and employee appreciation letters to send gratitude to your colleagues. What is an Employee Recognition Software Platform Simply put, an employee recognition software or an employee recognition platform is a solution that helps total rewards and other professionals to build, implement, and manage successful recognition programs in their organizations. Employee recognition apps are designed to send and receive messages of appreciation and/or monetary rewards for employees’ accomplishments or good performance. G2 defines employee recognition tool as a solution that: “…helps improve company culture by offering tangible motivations for quality customer service, content creation, and sales performance, to name a few. These behavior-driven platforms allow administrators or management to set standards or qualifications for rewards and monitor employee progress to determine the winning recipients.” Today, there are many employee recognition solutions available on the market. Therefore, it can be hard to shortlist and choose solutions that best fit specific needs and business goals every organization has. To make your life easier, we have made a list of the best employee recognition platforms to consider. https://semoscloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/top-15-employee-recognition-software-platforms.mp4 Top 5 Employee Recognition Platforms for Enterprise Companies Enterprise organizations usually have complex organizational structures and employees distributed across the world. Because it can be hard for large companies to change their existing internal policies and procedures, it is important for them to find a flexible and scalable employee recognition software adjustable to their specific needs. Let’s take a look at the top 5 employee recognition and rewards platforms for enterprise companies. JobPts About: JobPts is a comprehensive yet flexible employee recognition and rewards platform that helps organizations to build recognition programs specific to your business goals. Built-in capabilities for employee surveys, internal communications, and employee journey management make it a powerful recognition platform that provides the tools you need to build a high performing and inspiring organizational culture. JobPts integrates with HRIS solutions such as SAP® SuccessFactors® and Oracle, enabling you to extend your existing HR technology stack and bring your human experience management (HXM) initiatives to the next level. The world-class customer success, customer support, and implementation teams act as long-term partners for success. Featured customers: SAP, OMV Group, JTI (Japan Tobacco International), Mapfre Group, DTE Energy Top rated features and functions: Integrations with other HR/business solutions Employee engagement through a Social feed Easy-to-manage employee rewards A mobile-friendly site Performance, stability, and availability Quality of support: 9.8 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.5 out of 10 Customer quotes from JobPts’ G2 profile: “I like the fact that this solution is fully integrated into our HRIS (SAP SuccessFactors) system. I really like the dynamic that the tool brings to our company. We use it a lot at SAP. It’s always fun to give a reward and rewarding to receive one.” “With JobPts, we simplified and synchronized our recognition landscape saving IT but also administration resources a lot. Recognition is a very important topic nowadays as we see on our site. The tool is one of our highest rated HR services in our company what speaks for itself.” Achievers About: With Achievers’ employee voice and recognition solutions, organizations can bring their values and strategy to life by activating employee participation and accelerating a culture of performance. Achievers leverages the science behind behavior change to deliver sustainable, data-driven business results. Featured customers: Deloitte, General Motors, Ericsson, McDonald’s, The Very Group Top rated features and functions: Peer recognition through digital badges, awards and messages Social Feedback Portal Customization User, Role & Access management Performance and availability Quality of support: 8.8 out of 10 Ease of use: 8.9 out of 10 Customer quotes from Achievers’ G2 profile: “The platform is intuitive, user-friendly and very easy to use with strong reporting capabilities. The adoption rate even without extrinsic incentives was phenomenal and it can be attributed to the user-friendliness and simplicity of the platform.” “The platform is also scalable and open to integrate with other programs or initiatives which enabled our company to unify disparate programs to reduce administrative burden and generate data to measure program success.” O.C. Tanner About: O.C. Tanner is an employee recognition software crafted specifically for large scale employee recognition programs. O.C. Tanner serves large organizations to develop strategic employee recognition and reward solutions that help people accomplish and appreciate great work. Featured customers: GE Appliances, Siemens, Bayer, Taco Bell, BASF Chemical Top rated features and functions: Performance and availability Flexible and easy-to-manage employee rewards Automation Quality of support: 9.4 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.6 out of 10 Customer quotes from O.C. Tanner’s G2 profile: “O.C. Tanner makes the administrative process easy for our team and regularly partner to identify improvement opportunities, refresh awards, improve communication materials and more!” “I love that employees get to pick from a variety of service awards. The list of awards is customizable to a small degree. You can pick the price range you want for each service year. In addition, peers are able to leave photos and comments congratulating their colleague.” Reward Gateway About: Reward Gateway helps organizations in 23 countries to attract, engage, and retain their best people with an employee engagement platform that brings strategic recognition, communications, employee benefits, discounts, and surveys into one uniquely branded unified hub. Featured customers: Unilever, IKEA, Heineken, American Express, KPMG Top rated features and functions: File sharing among users Peer recognition Performance and availability Integrations Easy internationalization Quality of support: 8.9 out of 10 Ease of use: 8.9 out of 10 Customer quotes from Reward Gateway’s G2 profile: “One of my favorite things about Reward Gateway is that employees are given the choice on how they save money. They have the option of accessing it instantly though the app via Instant Vouchers or with cashback. It is very easy to use and extremely accessible.” “I like most its versatility, it links the staff work with an easy way to identify rewards based on productivity, creativity and other skills and talents. Everyone was very satisfied using this tool, myself included as the local team manager too.” Workhuman Social Recognition About: Workhuman is an enterprise employee recognition software that empowers employees to recognize each other for great work. Using social recognition features people can thank anyone in the organization for who they are and what they do, and award moments are shared in the company’s feed so everyone can give congratulations. Featured customers: Cisco, LinkedIn, Dunkin’ Brands, JetBlue, Merck Pharmaceuticals Top rated features and functions: Not enough customer data Quality of support: 8.8 out of 10 Ease of use: 8.9 out of 10 Customer quotes from Workhuman’s G2 profile: “The system is very easy to use, well organized, and the redemption section is well stocked! our company loves the rewards feed and the flexibility with how much of the recognition we want to show.” “It is simple and effective to help with day-to-day activities. I can use it with ease and it also very simple and easy to maneuver. My employees were able to learn quick and make this something very useful for all.” Top 5 Employee Recognition Platforms for Mid-Size Companies Most employee recognition and rewards vendors for mid-sized companies can also be a good fit for small businesses. Moreover, some of them serve enterprise organizations as well. Let’s now take a look into some of the leading recognition and rewards platforms for mid-size companies. Guusto About: Guusto is a simple to setup employee rewards and recognition tool that helps engage your people and inspire great performance. With Guusto, all of your rewards budget is spent on your employees, meaning there are no markups on employee awards. Featured customers: Harry Rosen, DLA Piper, Purdy’s Chocolatier, Silverman Mortgages, Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) Top rated features and functions: Performance and availability Mobility Flexible and easy-to-manage rewards Employee engagement Interactive, centralized dashboard Quality of support: 9.8 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.7 out of 10 Customer quotes from Guusto’s G2 profile: “When you’re reading to send the gift cards to multiple people at once, you can upload one file with all the necessary information and it takes care of the rest! There are LOTS of vendor options to choose from. Customer service was great, someone was always available to answer my questions.” “I appreciate how easy it is to track gifts given out as taxable benefits for payroll, I like how everyone has their own account, and I like how easy it is to import/export data.” Awardco About: Awardco partners with Amazon Business to bring millions of reward choices, lower vendor fees and dollar-for-dollar recognition spend to your organization. More choice, more capability, and less spend – all in one simple platform. Featured customers: Komax, TaylorMade Golf, DTCC, SemGroup, SVS Vision Top rated features and functions: Easy-to-manage awards Employee engagement Performance and availability Automation of operational tasks An interactive dashboard Quality of support: 9.6 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.5 out of 10 Customer quotes from Awardco’s G2 Profile: “Awardco has made it easy to have a system wide recognition program. This has been very important to us as we have grown rapidly and creating engagement around recognition has been important.” “I like the options available to employees to choose their award for service and/or recognition points. It’s very simple for the employee to redeem their points with little intervention from the administration.” Kazoo About: Kazoo’s employee recognition software platform drives high-performing, connected culture regardless of where your employees work or what device they use. Using this easy-to-use platform, your employees become more engaged, and your managers become better leaders. Featured customers: KIA Motors, Hitachi, Allianz, Meredith Media, Patagonia Clothing Top rated features and functions: Interoperability with external systems Peer recognition Employee engagement through social feedback portal Performance and availability Easy-to-manage rewards Quality of support: 9.0 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.1 out of 10 Customer quotes from Kazoo’s G2 profile: “It has a great variety of retailers – there is something for everyone. There are also a lot of rewards for healthy lifestyle which motivates me and a lot of people to make changes in their life.” “It is very easy to use and helps boost morale. It makes the process of sending recognition simple and seamless. It also offers many options when it comes to redeeming your points. There are a lot of options for gift cards as well as many other useful products.” Fond About: Fond is a global SaaS platform that seamlessly consolidates employee rewards and recognition processes into one easy-to-use solution. Using this employee recognition platform employees and managers can recognize each other, redeem rewards, access corporate discounts, and measure success so HR departments spend less time managing programs. Featured customers: Salesforce, Marqeta, IAA Auctions, Lyft, Exeter Finance Top rated features and functions: Peer recognition and rewards Employee segmenting (geographic, demographic and role-based) User, role and access management Performance and availability Flexible rewards and social feed Quality of support: 9.2 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.3 out of 10 Customer quotes from Fond’s G2 profile: “FOND rewards are a great way to make your staff feel seen and valued. I personally use my points for Amazon gift cards, hotel and travel discounts, and of course, pizza delivery! I recommend it to anyone looking to easily and purposefully reward staff for the work they do.” “The tool can be customized to pre-fill specific principles for my company, consolidating pertinent information to make the interface for giving specific recognition user friendly and intuitive. At Lyft, we have a series of Leadership Principles, and we like to give recognition based on these categories.” Xoxoday Empuls About: Xoxoday Empuls is a comprehensive employee engagement solution. The suite includes solutions for employee recognition and rewards, pulse surveys, eNPS surveys, 1-on-1 feedback, social intranet. It is trusted by over 1000 brands across the globe because it helps organizations to encourage high performing behaviors aligned with organizational culture and core company values. Featured customers: PepsiCo, Mondelez International, Tesco, SAS Analytics Software & Solutions, Nielsen Holdings Top rated features and functions: Employee segmenting (geographic, demographic and role-based) Easy-to-manage rewards Survey customization Ability to create professional goals and challenges Peer recognition through a social, interactive dashboard Quality of support: 9.0 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.3 out of 10 Customer quotes from Xoxoday Empuls’ G2 profile: “It feels so exciting when you get rewarded or when you reward someone else. It also becomes more valuable when you have multiple options to convert your reward points on the biggest online merchants like Amazon or Flipkart.” “I find this a very user friendly and paperless thing to share giftcards. This is environment friendly as well. Multiple options to redeem points like Amazon Pay which is very useful as well. Overall, very nice!” Top 5 Employee Recognition Platforms for Small Companies Many small organizations are also driven to encourage their people to appreciate each other and send kudos to their peers. Even though employee recognition solutions for small organizations may not be as flexible and have as many features and functionalities, they are still powerful tools for building a culture of appreciation. Bonusly About: Bonusly helps organizations across the globe strengthen their team by fostering a culture of empowerment, positive feedback, and shared purpose. It empowers teams across the world to recognize and reward one another for the great work they do day in, and day out. Featured customers: SurveyMonkey, Chobani, Assent, Steinberg Diagnostic (SDMI), Dribbble Top rated features and functions: Employee engagement Easy-to-manage rewards Performance and availability An interactive dashboard Automation of operational tasks Quality of support: 9.4 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.6 out of 10 Customer quotes from Bonusly’s G2 profile: “I love how easy Bonusly is to use. It’s a great way to be able to let your teammates know what you appreciate about them and they are able to earn points to trade in for awesome prizes. It keeps everyone involved, and it is such a blast to see what others are being recognized for.” “I really enjoy adding Gifs to the messages we send each other. I also love the options we have when cashing in our bonusly points.” Kudoboard About: Kudoboard users can create group cards; contribute content; invite others to post, and then deliver to the recipient. Used by teams of all sizes (and particularly valuable when some employees are remote), Kudoboard is perfect for the special occasions that matter most: birthdays, work anniversaries, onboarding, etc. Featured customers: Shopify, LinkedIn, T-Mobile, Karat, Expedia Top rated features and functions: Performance and availability A centralized, interactive dashboard Mobility Integrations with HRIS systems and Social Media A pre-built content library Quality of support: 9.6 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.7 out of 10 Customer quotes from Kudoboard’s G2 profile: “With our office being closed due to Covid, Kudoboard was a perfect way to send around virtual office cards. You choose your background and tone. I’ve sent happy birthday, going away, and sympathy cards.” “Kudoboard brings the thought of having all team members sign a “greeting card” and spices it up x10. My team loves the fact they can create their own unique post in just a couple of minutes. It’s easy to get all team members to add to a board when working remotely.” Kudos About: Kudos empowers employees across the world to recognize the teammates and achievements that make their companies great places to work. With a lack of appreciation consistently cited as a top reason employees leave their jobs, employee recognition needs to be at the core of your employee engagement strategy. Featured customers: DHL Express, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Fortis BC, MTN Group, ATCO Top rated features and functions: Real time peer recognition through badges, awards or messages Easy management of said awards Performance and stability Mobility Employee engagement Quality of support: 9.4 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.6 out of 10 Customer quotes from Kudos’ G2 profile: “The interface is a fundamental element to save time as it is very intuitive, has very concrete and straightforward functionalities. The reward system keeps users engaged with the projects that are being done day after day.” “I like the easy-to-use system to reward others with points so that they are able to purchase item that are rewarding to them. This system is a really great way to stay connected to others that are within your department as well as those on the other side of the country.” Cooleaf About: Cooleaf blends performance incentives, employee recognition, and virtual team challenges to keep your local and virtual teams connected and engaged. Employers around the world trust this solution to help promote recognition, culture, wellness, learning, volunteering, and collaboration. Featured customers: Freshly, Synovus, Jackson & Coker, SalesLoft, Shipt Top rated features and functions: Easily manageable rewards Employee engagement A pre-built content library Robust file sharing options Automation of most operational tasks Quality of support: 9.8 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.6 out of 10 Customer quotes from Cooleaf’s G2 profile: “I think the tool is very user friendly and clear, it’s easy to use by non tech folks as well. Also helps me connect with my coworkers and get recognized for the efforts I put on a regular basis and also recognize my team and coworkers who deserve recognition.” “I love being able to take advantage of the employee wellness programs on Cooleaf and to see how others are doing. It is a great way to encourage me to stay active and healthy. Working out ‘with’ others by posting our successes gives me the accountability I need to stay engaged.” Bucketlist About: With this solution, employees or managers can easily recognize and reward their colleagues for living by their core values or for outstanding performance. This employee recognition and rewards solution makes it easy and for everyone to recognize and reward one another for specific milestones and achievements. Featured customers: Chick-Fil-A, O2E Brands, Advisor Websites, FirstBank, OpSec Security Top rated features and functions: Flexible and easily manageable rewards File sharing with internal and external stakeholders A content library Automation of all operational tasks A centralized dashboard for employee engagement Quality of support: 9.7 out of 10 Ease of use: 9.8 out of 10 Customer quotes from Bucketlist’s G2 profile: “The program is simple to use and it’s fun sharing the good work that everyone does within the organization. Redeeming the points into something that can be personalized is a great option.” “Having the bucket list points and rewards system has transformed our Kudos system, it has been a great way to express our thanks to employees. The rewards system is fantastic. I encourage my team and the other team leads to use those points quarterly before they expire.” Frequently Asked Questions About Employee Recognition Software Platforms As mentioned earlier, it can be hard to find and choose an employee recognition software that best fits your organization’s specific needs. There are plenty of features and functionalities that employee recognition vendors offer, and it can be hard to understand the real value behind all these features. In general, every employee recognition and rewards solution should have the same purpose – to enable organizations to build a culture of appreciation and create meaningful moments for their employees. Let’s now take a look at some of the most common questions asked about employee recognition vendors and software solutions. How to get buy-in for implementing employee recognition software? The best way to go around getting executives’ buy-in for implementing recognition and rewards software is by presenting the benefits of employee recognition. There is plenty of research that proves the power of gratitude in the workplace. More specifically, employee recognition can positively impact some of the most important HR KPIs such as employee engagement, employee retention, and employee performance. What are the most important characteristics of high–performing recognition vendors? Because every organization’s culture, processes, and procedures are different, flexibility is one of the most in-demand characteristics of high performing solutions. This is especially true for large enterprises that may not be as agile as small ones. Such flexibility empowers employers to easily create and manage various types of recognition programs under one platform with ease. Besides the flexibility, some of the must–have features and services include: Social recognition Peer-to-peer recognition Gamification features Service anniversaries Attractive employee awards gift options Mobile-friendly interface Integrations with HRIS and internal communications solutions Platform internationalization and localization Outstanding support and customer success Consulting and strategic services How to drive internal adoption after the implementation of the software? The success of your employee recognition and rewards program will depend on how engaged your employees are and how high the program participation rate is. Besides certain features around gamification and social recognition that boost employee engagement, it is particularly important to have an efficient communication and change management plan. What is the average price for employee recognition solutions? Different recognition vendors have different pricing models. Most commonly, the pricing is based on the number of end users. Depending on the number of users and features offered, the price can range from $1 to $7 per user per month. Which departments in an organization use employee recognition tools? In most cases, there are three specific positions responsible for implementing and managing employee recognition programs. In large organizations, the buyers are usually total rewards or compensation and benefits professionals, while in smaller companies those are usually HR professionals. How many FTEs are needed to manage an employee recognition platform? The amount of time and other resources needed to run an employee recognition program mostly depend on the size of the company. While large organizations may spend more time managing the programs, the best software is the one that reduces the total cost of ownership. During our webinar with Maike Kunz, former Head of recognition at SAP, we found out that only 0.5 FTEs were needed to run a recognition program in such a large organization. Which existing solutions should recognition and rewards software integrate with? The most important integration is the one with your current HRIS system. Such implementation enables easy user-management, and it allows for better use of data and decision-making. In addition, integrations with solutions such as Slack and Microsoft Teams enable peer-to-peer recognition without employees having to leave their favorite workplace communication channels. What are the top 3 tips for implementing an employee recognition app? When implementing an employee recognition and rewards program, it is important to: Align it with core company values Make it inclusive to every employee Make it fun and engaging The Buyer’s Guide for Recognition and Rewards Software Platform On a daily basis, we talk with HR professionals and HR business partners about the benefits and best practices for implementing an employee recognition software. Now, we have transferred our knowledge to the most comprehensive R&R buyer’s guide out there. Besides just the buyer’s guide, you will also find an recognition software RFP template to help you understand which features and functionalities you should absolutely look for.