Employee Recognition

15 Top Employee Recognition Platforms For Companies At Every Stage

By
Nathan Ojaokomo

Employees tend to be happier and more productive when they work in organizations where their work is recognized. And we’re not only talking about the yearly “happy birthday” or “happy work anniversary” messages — even though these are also important.

You need to recognize and engage your employees more regularly, as doing so amounts to better results for your company. Also, as remote or hybrid work is here to stay, HR leaders and professionals must seamlessly find ways to weave recognition into their employees’ workflow.

This is where employee recognition platforms come in and shine.

In this article, you’ll learn what employee recognition software or platforms are and why they’re so important. We’ll also show you 15 of the best employee recognition software options so you can start using them in your organization today.

Let’s dig in.

Table of Contents

What Is Employee Recognition Software?

An employee recognition software or platform is a solution that helps organizations recognize and show they appreciate the work their employees do.

Most times, employee recognition software is either web-based or an app. However, whatever form it takes, the platform's primary goal is to offer a way to make your employees feel valued and reward them for their hard work.

When used properly, these employee recognition platforms can help you elevate your company culture, increase employee engagement, boost employee retention, and improve the relationship between employees.

Let’s consider why using employee recognition software within your team is essential.

Why Is Employee Recognition Software Important?

Here are some reasons why using an employee recognition platform or software within your organization is crucial.

  1. You can quickly use employee recognition software to identify high achievers within your organization or team. You can also use the software to identify employees who might need a nudge to improve their performance at work.
  2. Most platforms allow peer-to-peer recognition, where employees can recognize, celebrate, and reward each other — without needing to go through multiple managerial approval hoops.
  3. It’s easier to manage or track how much your company is spending on rewards when using a recognition platform. This way, HR managers can identify the rewards employees love the most and plan their budgets accordingly.
  4. Despite the rise of remote and hybrid work, employee recognition platforms allow all employees — no matter where they’re working from — to have the same reward or recognition experience.
  5. HR managers and leaders spend less time and effort setting up a rewards program with employee recognition and reward software. Instead of running around town looking for gift cards and other rewards, you can easily set up a recognition program from your office.
  6. Recognition platforms typically contain details about employees that team members and managers can use to improve connection, collaboration, and how they work.
  7. Managers and team members get to offer instantaneous recognition and rewards to each other thanks to employee recognition software. So instead of waiting for quarterly, bi-annual, or annual reviews, employees can get credit for their work the same day they finish the job.

All these reasons add to the existing advantages that improving your employee recognition culture contributes to your organization.

Now that you know why using employee recognition software is essential, let’s consider some of the best in the market today.

Top 15 Employee Recognition Software

With many options on the market, employee recognition software selection for your company can be quite a chore.

To help you, we’ve rounded up our top 15 picks. Our list shows each platform’s essential features, notable clients who use them, and what people are saying about them to help you choose the one that best aligns with your company’s goals and budget.

1. Nectar

Number of G2 Reviews: 1,800+

Pricing: Nectar’s Standard plan costs $2.75 per user/month ($3.00 if billed monthly), while the Plus plan costs $4.00 per user/month ($4.50 if billed monthly). Nectar also offers volume discounts to organizations with more than 500 users.

Nectar platform dashboard

Nectar is a 360 recognition and reward platform that encourages peer-to-peer and manager-to-employee recognition. Anyone within an organization can use Nectar to help other team members feel valued and engaged.

The platform’s user interface is welcoming, and the experience is smooth, so employees don’t get confused about what they’re doing. 

Nectar also has an extensive rewards option catalog (bolstered by Nectar’s integration with Amazon Business), where users can exchange their points for gift cards, swag, physical products, or custom rewards.

Aside from Amazon, Nectar integrates with other apps and platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams to improve engagement and HRIS/HCM and SSO providers like GSuite, Bamboo HR, Workday, Paycom, and more.

Nectar’s other key features include unlimited custom rewards and discounts depending on employee locations. One of the most loved Nectar features is challenges that allow company leaders to incentivize actions like health/wellness, employee engagement, and more.

Notable Clients: Heineken, Redfin, Major League Baseball, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Asics.

What Clients Are Saying: Here’s what Nathan, a business development manager, had to say about Nectar:

“We love Nectar! We have an incredible team committed to serving people on the highest level and we're always looking for ways to recognize them for doing just that. We found Nectar and have been happy with it ever since. Now, we have everyone on the team looking for ways they can recognize their peers––it's incredible to see the kudos they give each other everyday. And, it's fun to hear about the awesome rewards they get from redeeming their rewards. It's a sure fire way to increase and maintain a culture of catching people doing things right!"

Nectar culture banner

Do you want to see Nectar in action? Check out a peek inside our platform.

2. Fond

Number of G2 Reviews: 2,200+

Pricing: You’ll need to request a demo from Fond to get their pricing.

Fond rewards platform

Fond is an easy-to-use employee recognition platform designed to help companies create a recognition culture.

You can easily customize the platform to create awards aligned with your employees’ needs. In addition, Fond comes with a performance analysis feature that allows you to monitor your recognition program's success.

Companies that use Fond also get to choose from a large inventory of rewards, items, and experiences.

Notable Clients: Salesforce, Delta Dental, Instacart.

What Clients Are Saying: Philip, a Senior Customer Support EDI Analyst at a company with more than 1000 employees, says:

“Fond is easy to write a review to recognize my peers for the great work they do. Quick and easy to send and my peers know I appreciate their work. However, in some quarters I run out of points to give.”

3. Awardco

Number of G2 Reviews: 900+

Pricing: You’ll need to request a demo from Awardco to get their pricing.

Awardco rewards dashboard

Awardco is an employee recognition software that offers zero markups on their rewards, meaning employees get the most value from any reward they receive.

One of Awardco’s key features is Awardcodes — an offline method of recognizing employees. This is a good feature as employees can still be rewarded even when they’re not with their work computers or at the desk.

Notable Clients: JP Morgan & Chase, Zillow, Chick-fil-a, Pinterest.

What Clients Are Saying: Speaking about Awardco’s ease of use, Michelle, a Senior Solutions Engineer, says:

“Awardco is a great way to show your appreciation to your colleagues! It is quick and easy to appreciate those around you! The many rewards are easy to cash in and cause your entire team to do their best to stack up those coins!”

Michelle also mentions, “It can be challenging to distinguish between coin-producing awards and non-coin-producing awards. Most people will be disappointed to find out that their "bravo" resulted in a pat on the back rather than valuable coins.”

4. Bonusly

Number of G2 Reviews: 1,100+

Pricing: Bonusly’s Core plan costs $2.70 per user/month ($3.00 if billed monthly). The Pro plan costs $4.50 per user/month ($5.00 if billed monthly). In addition, mid-sized to large organizations can get custom pricing according to their needs.

Bonusly recognition feed

Bonusly is a rewards platform that encourages peer-to-peer recognition and employee engagement. Managers can use Bonusly to run short, quick surveys to measure employee satisfaction levels, gather onboarding/exit insights, and ascertain work environment priorities.

Bonusly comes with SSO, HRIS, and chat integrations, making it seamless to use with an organization’s existing tech stack.

Furthermore, Bonusly has reports and analytics features that make it easier for managers to collect data for leadership decisions, budget planning, etc.

Notable Clients: Hulu, SurveyMonkey, Headspace, Invision.

What Clients Are Saying: Thomas, an Operations Manager for a small business with less than 50 employees, says:

“I like the simplicity and ease of being able to appreciate someone or create a bonus opportunity for our sales team. We have overseas team members, and it's very easy to create a bonus on the spot for a sales incentive. However, I wish there were more options for overseas employees. 

Our team is a mix of US and PH team members and we greatly utilize this with our Philippine team, but the options are pretty much limited to PayPal for these members. It would be great to have options that would better suit our team members in the Philippines such as gift cards.”

5. Assembly

Number of G2 Reviews: 70+

Pricing: Assembly has a Starter plan that’s free for teams of up to 10 users. Their Lite plan costs $2.80 per user/month for up to 50 users ($3.50 if billed monthly). Assembly’s Standard plan costs $4.50 per user/month for an unlimited number of users ($6.00 if billed monthly). They also have a custom pricing plan to accommodate large organizations with unique needs.

Assembly celebrate a teammate flow

Assembly is an employee recognition and rewards software companies use to imbibe their core company values in employees.

The platform allows everyone in the company to show whenever they appreciate other team members' work. In addition, employees can get rewards like gift cards, charity donations, and so on.

Assembly also has an automation feature that ensures you never miss special occasions like a teammate’s birthday or work anniversary.

Notable Clients: Coca-Cola, Hello Tech, Quest Nutrition.

What Clients Are Saying: Sami, a small business owner, has this to say about Assembly:

“Assembly makes it easy to create a collaborative environment for our team. We are a small team of about ten dispersed in several countries and time zones. Sending kudos by email might be nice, but actually rewarding colleagues with points through Assembly is what really makes this powerful. We've also connected our Assembly with our Slack to automatically push recognition to the whole team. Love it!

Rewards are a little limited in some countries, such as Pakistan. However, they are plenty in most other countries like India.”

6. WorkTango

Number of G2 Reviews: 400+

Pricing: You’ll need to request a demo from WorkTango to get their pricing.

WorkTango activity feed

WorkTango is a simple and easy-to-use recognition platform. This software helps companies create highly-engaged teams and a workplace where employees feel inspired and happy.

You can use the platform to create personal, departmental, or company-wide goals and then reward employees as they reach these goals.

Some of WorkTango’s best features include a comprehensive catalog of products and rewards employees can choose from, social activity feed, and insight reporting.

Notable Clients: Allianz, Kia, Meredith.

What Clients Are Saying: See what Marissa, a Brand Marketing Manager, has to say about WorkTango:

“Putting faces to names and celebrating my co-workers. Seeing employees express gratitude in real time is great! I cash in my rewards all the time and often purchase more points to distribute to others. Our company does a great job adding incentives and benefits directly related to our company goals and values.

“I would love to see a more robust dashboard. It would be cool to see top performers, which departments are the most engaged, and more. Right now, we get basic stats, but it would be awesome to have internal challenges and allow folks other than supervisors with advanced views to incentivize and push others to participate. It would also be great to be able to better brand the platform to make it unique to our company.”

7. Kudos

Number of G2 Reviews: 1,100+

Pricing: You’ll need to request a demo from Kudos to get their pricing.

Kudos recognition interface

Kudos is an excellent peer-to-peer recognition platform. Many organizations use Kudos to tie recognition messages and rewards to their core values — which in turn, enhances the organizational culture.

The analytics feature on Kudos makes it easier to identify trends and measure performance and morale.

Kudos also integrates well with your employees' SSO, chat, and collaboration tools.

Notable Clients: MTN, Make-A-Wish, Engie, DHL.

What Clients Are Saying: Describing how Kudos works within his organization with 51-1000 employees, Jamie says:

“Kudos is an amazing tool for recognizing your team and coworkers. A thank-you is nice. A public thank-you is better. A Public thank-you that translates to real-world rewards is amazing!

Team engagement is a hard thing to accomplish. Kudos does remind people to praise their team, but it could be a little more often, or the algorithm could be a little better.”

8. Motivosity

Number of G2 Reviews: 800+

Pricing: Although Motivosity is free, you’ll have to pay $4 per user/month (billed annually) to enjoy the reward features.

Motivosity recognition home screen

Motivosity is an employee recognition platform that helps companies create a culture of gratitude.

Employees can use Motivosity to choose whatever reward they want from a sea of options, including branded swags, gift bags, or other local offerings. Furthermore, employees get to create custom awards and badges that promote positive competition among themselves.

Motivosity also offers a ThanksMatter card where employees can pile their spending balance and spend it wherever they want.

Notable Clients: Fujifilm, Sales Rabbit, Smoothie King

What Clients Are Saying: Steven says:

“I love the ability to give my co-workers a little bonus for doing a good job or going out of their way to help me. Everyone needs to know they are appreciated, and giving and receiving Motivosity bucks is a morale booster every time. Features like 1:1 and awards also work well with my company's needs. We have quarterly awards and weekly 1:1s that are all made easier through Motivosity.”

9. Blueboard

Number of G2 Reviews: 30+

Pricing: You’ll need to request a demo from Blueboard to get their pricing.

Blueboard admin experience

Blueboard tries to do things differently from other employee engagement platforms. 

Instead of offering gift cards and points as most platforms do, Blueboard focuses on allowing employees to choose from curated experiential rewards.

The experiences employees can choose from span various categories like in-house, wellness, entertainment, learning, domestic travel, food, drinks, etc.

Blueboard has other features like real-time analytics, automated feedback surveys, and integrations with HRIS, SSO, and collaboration tools. 

Notable Clients: GoPro, Salesforce, Glassdoor.

What Clients Are Saying: Angie, an Insurance Advisor, says:

“This was a great employee recognition program! It gave such a variety of options to choose from. With such a wide and great variety, it would fit any employee and their needs.

The one thing I disliked was some of the experiences it didn't give you places to choose from, such as hotels or spas, but the ones they chose for me were great!”

10. Reward Gateway

Number of G2 Reviews: 100+

Pricing: You’ll need to request a demo from Reward Gateway to get their pricing.

Reward Gateway eCards

Reward Gateway helps companies build a recognition culture among their employees.

The reward and recognition programs are customizable and, as such, can stand out as they help your employees get more motivated to do their best work.

Reward Gateway also integrates with Amazon Business to provide many gift options employees can choose from.

Notable Clients: Five Star Bank, Dental Care Alliance, C Space.

What Clients Are Saying: Here’s what Georgina, a Human Resource Advisor at a mid-market company says about Reward Gateway:

“The platform is really easy to use from both the front end and the administrator perspective. The discounts are for a large number of retailers. The instant award functionality is a great way to recognize staff.

The support from Reward Gateway staff has been very good. They are proactive and easy to deal with.

I would love if the smart spending app connected with the recognition wall so we could do both on the same app.”

11. Bucketlist

Number of G2 Reviews: 300+

Pricing: You’ll need to request a demo from Bucketlist to get their pricing.

Bucketlist recognition dashboard

Bucketlist’s peer and manager recognition software help companies improve productivity and retain more employees.

You can use Bucketlist to automate important work events and attach corresponding rewards to such events.

The rewards on Bucketlist also include employee experiences like lunch with the CEO and using the company car for a month.

Notable Clients: Applebee’s, First Bank, Home Instead Senior Care.

What Clients Are Saying: Rocio, who currently uses this platform, comments:

“I like that it is like a Facebook page where the work and effort of a person from the company are recognized. Earning coins thanks to your actions and being able to exchange them for different prizes seems like an excellent idea to motivate us.

Visually it is a very simple style, it works but perhaps the appearance should be improved to attract more people. Sometimes the redeem section cannot be visualized very well, perhaps making a link that redirects to the page of the prize would be better.”

12. Qarrot

Number of G2 Reviews: 200+

Pricing: Qarrot’s basic plan costs $59/month for unlimited users. The Premium plan with more features costs $3 per user/month (must have at least 20 users to use this plan). Companies with over 200 employees will need to contact Qarrot for a custom quotation.

Qarrot recognition dashboard

Qarrot is a simple employee recognition software that helps companies empower employees to show recognition to other employees.

With Qarrot, you can quickly set up awards and badges that align with your organizational goals. In addition, employees get rewarded as they work towards and achieve these goals.

Qarrot’s automation feature allows managers to onboard people with ease, monitor performance, maintain program costs, and so on.

Notable Clients: Aleva Stores, UPS, Dell EMC.

What Clients Are Saying: Tracey, a happy Qarrot user, wrote:

“It is the best way to strengthen your work environment because it allows you to create rewards to recognize and give recognition to the performance of your employees. This helps to create a better performance experience in the commitment of our entire work team. In addition, Qarrot works as a very easy-to-use and positive tool.

13. Vantage Circle

Number of G2 Reviews: 2,500+

Pricing: Vantage Circle costs $4 per user/month ($43 per user/year).

Vantage Circle dashboard

Vantage Circle is an employee recognition platform that helps businesses simplify how they recognize, engage, and reward employees.

The platform has a real-time social feed that encourages frequent appreciation. Recognizing employees and fellow workers are fun on Vantage Circle, thanks to the gamified leaderboard.

The flexible redemption options and data analytics are other features that make Vantage Circle excellent.

Notable Clients: Airtel, PWC, Tata Motors, Landmark Group.

What Clients Are Saying: About Vantage Circle, Tushar, who works in a company with over 1000 employees, says:

“Vantage Circle helps us to redeem Vantage points in the form of various vouchers. The redemption process is very smooth, with just a few clicks. In addition, customer support is excellent as they identify and resolve issues quickly.

The downside is that the voucher amounts are fixed, i.e., 100,200,1000, etc. If, by chance, I only have 99 points in my Vantage Wallet, then I would not be able to redeem these 99 points through any voucher because the minimum voucher value is 100. Therefore, flexibility in the redemption of amounts should be there.”

14. Cooleaf

Number of G2 Reviews: 500+

Pricing: You’ll need to request a demo from Cooleaf to get their pricing.

Cooleaf recognition dashboard

Cooleaf is a top-rated employee recognition platform with powerful features designed to help companies recognize and encourage their employees to do their best work.

Some of Cooleaf’s features include performance monitoring, analytics dashboards, pulse surveys, employee programs, integrations, and a ton of gift and reward options.

The platform is easy to use and also offers support at every step of the way.

Notable Clients: Orange Theory Fitness, Yokohama, Salesloft.

What Clients Are Saying: Here’s what Stuart likes and dislikes about Cooleaf:

“I love how Cooleaf lets us give recognition to others in our organization. It lets us show how much we appreciate others and their hard work, and to help celebrate others and also is a great way to earn rewards for ourselves as well. I'm always excited when I get recognition and can redeem points.

One of the main things I dislike about Cooleaf is that I wish there were a few more retailers to choose from for gift cards, such as Best Buy or perhaps being able to redeem rewards for Xbox Live or even Playstation Network cards/codes.”

15. Mo

Number of G2 Reviews: 40+

Pricing: Mo’s Starter plan for small teams costs $3.40 per user/month ($4 if billed monthly), while the Level Up plan for bigger groups costs $4.25 per user/month ($5 if billed monthly). They also have custom plans for companies with unique needs.

Mo moments feed

Mo is a rewards and recognition platform that offers a toolkit to help companies build and maintain a recognition culture.

Anyone within the organization can use Mo to celebrate wins, give spot recognitions, and appreciate colleagues to boost morale. Employees also get the chance to create meaningful, personalized experiences instead of receiving a one-size-fits-all reward. 

Furthermore, employees can create profiles — which show hobbies, working time, preferences, etc. — to help them quickly establish common grounds with other employees.

Notable Clients: NHS, Aspen, William Hill.

What Clients Are Saying: Danielle, a Mo user, says:

“It's very easy to use and a nice thing for colleagues to receive. It's also nice to see what is happening around the company. I think it's come far since the initial start-up as it was met with hesitation when our SGN way awards were taken from us (which were super easy to use)

I think there need to be more awards — the on-the-spot awards are good but I feel there should be more choices (such as a half day or day off to say thank you for your hard work).”

Choosing the Right Employee Recognition Platform for Your Company

Employee recognition platforms make your employees feel valued and appreciated. And you’ve now seen 15 of the best platforms you can start using today.

However, before making your decision, it’s vital to keep in mind that the platform you choose should:

  • Have a clean interface
  • Be easy to use and operate
  • Offer the best value for money
  • Accommodate your employee’s specific needs.

All of these and more are what Nectar provides its users. Sign up for a demo today to learn more about how Nectar can help you.

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