Sep 25, 2023
6 min read

5 Best Employee Recognition Software for a Happy Team

In this article:

Picture Sarah, a top performer who's been delivering exceptional results. But her hard work seems to vanish into thin air, unnoticed and uncelebrated. With each passing day, her enthusiasm fades. And boom – she decides to leave for a company that will appreciate her more. 

Research shows that employees are less likely to look for a new job when given the right amount of recognition. So, how can you show your employees you appreciate them and prevent them from leaving?

Employee recognition software might be the answer. We reviewed our five top picks to help you choose.

What is employee recognition software?

Employee recognition software is exactly what it sounds like – a system that helps you show your workers that you appreciate them and their work.  Their primary purpose is to streamline all processes that go into measuring and rewarding your team members’ contributions. These can be benchmarked against company or personal goals. 

Such software usually includes automatic birthday and anniversary celebrations, so you always remember those important dates. It also typically includes a reward system that you can customize. Let’s help you find the best employee recognition software to make your staff feel truly valued.

Why is employee recognition software important?

The main benefits of employee recognition software include:

  • Staff retention: Almost half of the surveyed workers admit they left a job where they felt unappreciated.
  • Higher productivity: The same study shows that 65% of employers will work harder if their efforts get more notice and praise.
  • Improved engagement: Engagement is 14% higher among companies with a recognition program.
  • High achiever identification: Using technology for employee engagement and productivity management makes it much easier to identify high achievers and those needing more motivation.
  • Rewards budget tracking: Managers can easily monitor how much the company is spending on rewards, identify the bonuses with the biggest popularity, and plan future budgets more efficiently.
  • Time savings: Automating the recognition process with software solutions makes it much faster and easier.

5 best employee recognition software for boosting motivation

1. Nectar

Nectar is a comprehensive 360-employee recognition program and reward platform that promotes peer-to-peer and manager-to-employee acknowledgment within organizations. This highly-rated employee recognition platform offers a user-friendly interface that ensures a seamless experience for any organization.

The employee rewards platform boasts an extensive rewards catalog, including options like gift cards, merchandise, and personalized rewards, made possible by integration with Amazon Business. Nectar also connects with various applications such as Slack and Microsoft Teams to enhance employee engagement and HRIS/HCM and SSO providers like GSuite, Bamboo HR, Workday, and Paycom.

employee recognition software Nectar

Image source: G2

Features:

  • Give a "shoutout" to a coworker using the simple employee recognition system that allows peers to send personal messages and allocate Nectar points for a job well done.
  • Offer employee rewards through integration with Amazon, whether it’s gift cards, company swag, charitable donations, or custom rewards uniquely designed by your company.
  • Automatically recognize and celebrate personal employee milestones – like birthdays and anniversaries – while simultaneously giving managers a heads-up about upcoming celebrations.
  • Challenge employees to get involved in healthy behaviors by creating challenges that reward employees for good habits.

Pricing:

  • Standard: $2.75 a month per user
  • Plus: $4 a month per user

Customer rating: 4.8/5 [GetApp]

Employee Recognition Software Nectar Review.png

- GetApp customer review

Seamless recognition with Continuous Feedback
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2. Bonusly

Bonusly offers a peer-to-peer social recognition system that enables companies to quickly show appreciation for colleagues – promoting teamwork and positive company culture. Celebrating achievements together in a public setting strengthens team bonds, even in remote or hybrid work setups.

The real-time nature of the Bonusly recognition app fosters constant connectivity that ensures people stay linked. The employee engagement platform streamlines onboarding and automation capabilities to make implementing recognitions and rewards programs effortless.

The user-friendly approach distinguishes this employee recognition program from others by boosting participation in employee surveys and making recognition messages a vital part of each employee's routine.

employee recognition software  Bonusy

Image source: Bonusly website

Features:

  • Create a shared sense of belonging by celebrating each win with peer-to-peer recognition.
  • Choose instant, meaningful rewards – including gift cards, charity donations, and monetary rewards – through the Bonusly rewards program.
  • Build incentive programs explicitly suited for your employees that encompass the company's core values and improve company culture.
  • Gain visibility into coworker connections, participation trends, and frequency of recognition through the in-depth employee analytics feature.

Pricing:

  • Core: $3 a month per customer
  • Pro: $5 a month per customer
  • Custom: price dependent on specific needs

Customer rating: 4.8/5 [GetApp]

Bonusly Employee Recognition Software Review

- GetApp customer review

3. Awardco

Awardco employee recognition software provides an extensive range of staff rewards to blend recognition, appreciation, and celebration into company culture. This platform offers smooth integration with Amazon Business, providing various potential rewards that can cater to individual employee interests. That makes it easy for everyone to find the perfect gift or experience.

This software is a great way to link recognition and provide rewards like hotel reservations, gift cards, or charity donations to hardworking employees. Another notable feature of the platform is real-time recognition Awardcodes that allow offline employee recognition from anywhere at any time.

Image source: Awardco website

Features:

  • Use the simple Awardco recognition tools – like offline Awardcodes – to easily decide the who, what, and why of employee recognition, whether you are at the office or offline.
  • Habitually celebrate every employee and their milestones with service awards, like digital memory books and carefully curated bonus boxes, that keep employee satisfaction at its best.
  • Incentivize everything from sales to survey completion with an Earn program customized to individual company values, budget, and goals.
  • Use rewards to boost productivity and strengthen workplace culture by offering event tickets, hotel reservations, gift cards, or charity donations in exchange for employee points.

Pricing:

  • Lite: $2,500 a year for up to 300 employees
  • Go: $4,000 a year for up to 300 employees (rewards & recognition program included)
  • Enterprise: prices are individually determined

Customer rating: 4.9/5 [GetApp]

Awardco Employee Recognition Software Review

- GetApp customer review

4.Guusto

If you're looking for more than just your average employee recognition platform, you should check this out. Guusto is unique because it has a philanthropic aspect, partnering with the One Drop Foundation to donate clean drinking water for every gift sent.

Unlike points-based programs, Guusto provides global reward options in over 160 countries, all with real dollar values and no minimums, markups, shipping costs, or hidden fees.

This recognition platform assists leaders in recognizing outstanding work and cultivating a positive company culture by offering modern service awards and real-time recognition programs. It allows companies to allocate budgets, send gift cards, and monitor gifting activities through a central command center catering to both frontline and office staff.

Guusto Employee Recognition Software

Image source: Guusto website

Features:

  • Start with a free account where you give managers a budget to send company awards to as many employees as they want.
  • Send rewards to anyone, whether in the system or not, without any confusion or markups and according to how many employees are being recognized.
  • Use the shoutout feature for top-down recognition or employee nominations, and strengthen participation through randomized rewards drawings without spending a penny.
  • Track employee engagement, recognition, taxable benefits, and core value performance through actionable reports and analytics.

Pricing:

  • Free: for a single user 
  • Lite: $40 a month for one user and detailed reporting
  • Essential: $80 a month for 20 users
  • Premium: $400 a month for 80 users 

Customer rating: 4.9/5 [GetApp]

Guusto Employee Recognition Software Review


- GetApp customer review

5. Kudos

Kudos is a company culture software that serves as a comprehensive recognition platform for acknowledgment, communication, and feedback. This company believes that the right employee recognition platform works when employees recognize each other and the company's core values.

Its primary goal is to enhance company culture and build meaningful employee relationships. With the Kudos employee recognition platform, employees can celebrate achievements and express gratitude, contributing to employee retention and developing a lasting culture of appreciation within the organization.

Kudos Employee Recognition Software

Image source: Kudos website

Features:

  • Foster meaningful recognition with multiple levels of acknowledgment linked to company values, culture, and performance.
  • Provide comprehensive reward programs to employees at every level that enhance engagement and cultivate a more consistent employee experience.
  • Use Kudos People analytics to provide employee feedback that measures performance and participation while enhancing recognition culture throughout the workplace.
  • Use the data-packed analytics for continuous performance management that paints a picture of your company's trajectory and organizational culture.

Pricing:

  • Plans start at $3.25 a month per user for a minimum of 500+ employees

Customer rating: 4.8/5 [GetApp]

Kudos Employee Recognition Software Review

- GetApp customer review

Best employee recognition software: Comparison table

Platform Features Pricing Best for
Nectar Employee challenges & shoutouts
Amazon integration
Personal employee milestones celebration
From $2.75 per month Startups
Bonusly Customized incentive programs
Peer-to-peer recognition
Employee analytics
From $3 per month Teams of 50-10,000
Awardco Offline Awardcodes
Customized Earn program
Service rewards
From $2.5k per year/td> Teams of 100+
Guusto Shared manager reward budgets
Shoutout feature
Actionable reports and analytics
Free plan available Teams of 200+
Kudos Comprehensive reward program
Powerful People analytics tool
Data-packed analytics for continuous performance management
From $3.25 per month Teams of 500+



Conclusion

Employee recognition platforms are the perfect way to make the workplace a happier and more productive space. These programs involve recognizing, rewarding, and analyzing employee behavior to get a good look into a company and its staff.

Whether you are looking for a way to assess annual performance reviews, gauge employee absenteeism, or enhance workplace culture, these are five of the best employee recognition platforms to get the job done.

FAQs

What is employee recognition software?

Employee recognition software is a technology solution that helps organizations acknowledge and reward their employees' achievements and contributions through a digital platform. They help recognize employee achievements, reinforce company values, and point out upcoming employee occasions.



How do the best companies recognize their employees?

The best companies have employee recognition programs that involve publicly recognizing each team member when they reach a new goal or achievement. You can use these employee recognition platforms as a reward gateway to enhance company culture through both managerial and peer recognition.

What are the 4 types of recognition?

The four types of recognition are:

  • Verbal recognition
  • Tangible recognition
  • Monetary recognition
  • Public recognition

What is a good recognition program?

A good recognition program encompasses critical elements such as meaningful feedback, inclusivity, peer recognition, a reward program, and customization. Nectar, Bonusly, Awardco, Guusto, and Kudos are five of the best employee recognition software options on the market to help celebrate employees.

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