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Top 20 Employee Recognition Tools in 2021

14 min read
Last Updated on
Top 20 Employee Recognition Tools in 2021

Employee recognition plays a vital role in helping businesses deliver a near-perfect employee experience. And with the rise in hybrid work, companies are redoubling their efforts to develop a robust reward and recognition program. They realize that they need to move beyond typical measures such as long service awards. They need digital tools that enable recognition in the flow of work. Here’s where the role of employee recognition tools comes in.

What Is An Employee Recognition Tool?

An employee recognition tool is a technology that helps companies automate, run, and manage recognition-based activities.

Recognition helps create a positive environment where people value others’ efforts, qualities, and strengths. With the dedicated software, employees get the freedom to appreciate the efforts of others. It makes employee recognition a daily norm, deeply impacting the company culture.

This article is a detailed comparison blog of the best employee recognition software available in the market.

Best Employee Recognition Tools in 2021

There are plenty of employee recognition software options for companies to choose from. We put together this list of recognition tools to help you find one that is right for your team, goals, and budget.

1. Vantage Rewards

Vantage Rewards is Vantage Circle’s exclusive reward and recognition platform. It uses AI and machine learning to deliver easy-to-use and effective recognition solutions. Designed to enhance productivity, it simplifies and automates the entire recognition experience. The recognition platform facilitates regular peer-to-peer recognition in a collaborative work environment. With a global catalog and various rewarding options, this platform is accessible via both web and mobile applications.

vantage-rewards-screenshot

Features:

  • Budget Management and Allocation
  • Rewards Redemption
  • Peer to Peer Recognition
  • Manager To Peer Recognition
  • Dashboard and Analytics
  • Customization
  • Integrations
  • Mobile First platform
  • Multilingual
  • Instant Recognition
  • Employee Incentivization
  • Panel Awards
  • SOLI based Rewards
  • Benchmarking
  • Rewards Catalog
  • Social Feed

Pricing: $2/Per-Month
Pricing Model: Per User

Free Version: Available
Free Trial: Available
Best For Medium and Large Corporates

Clientele: Tata Communications, Capgemini, Novartis, Wipro, Cognizant

2. Bonusly

Bonusly is a popular and easy-to-use recognition platform with a large rewards catalog and deep analytics. Designed for both users and admins, Bonusly facilitates peer-to-peer recognition that drives company values. It automates celebrations for birthdays and work anniversaries and provides customizable award options.

Features:

  • Value-based recognition
  • Point-based rewarding
  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition
  • Manager-to-Peer Recognition
  • Rewards Catalog
  • Point-Based Rewarding
  • Reward Catalog
  • Custom Rewards
  • Integrations (Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
  • Social Feed
  • Engaging Interface
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Digital Signage
  • Recognition Tracking

Pricing: $2.7/Per-Month
Pricing Model: Per User

Free Version: Available
Free Trial: Available
Best For 2000+ employees
Perk: It enables monthly allowance to employees to recognize others

Clientele: Hulu, Headspace, Zip Recruiter, Survey Monkey

3. Nectar

With its 360 recognition and rewards platform, Nectar enables team members to give frequent, meaningful, and timely recognition to each other. It helps companies reinforce their core values and, at the same time, drive employee engagement and retention. With Nectar, you can design and maintain a vibrant culture of recognition regardless of whether your workforce is centralized or distributed.

nectar

Features:

  • 360 Recognition and Rewards
  • Peer to Peer Recognition
  • Manager-to-Peer Recognition
  • On-Demand Swag
  • Integrations (Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
  • Rewards Catalog
  • Gift Cards
  • Point-based Rewarding
  • Customized rewarding
  • Celebrating Events
  • Includes Wellness Initiatives

Pricing: $2.50 per month.
Pricing Model: Based on Usage

Free Version: Available
Free Trial: Available
Best For 100-1500 employees
Perk: Only pay for Active users

Clientele: SHRM, Heineken, Lasko, Teachable

4. Quantum Workplace

Quantum Workplace offers a full suite of employee engagement solutions that help companies drive business outcomes. It allows leaders to connect engagement and performance with intuitive and user-friendly tools—including its peer-to-peer recognition tool. Through this R&R feature, teams can send and receive recognition in digital badges, awards, or messages to peers. Recognition is displayed in real-time on the platform on a live activity feed.

quantum-workplace

Features

  • Value-based Recognition
  • Spot Recognition
  • Social Feed
  • Celebrating Events
  • Manager-to-Peer Recognition
  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition
  • Analytics & Tracking
  • Customization
  • Reward Points

Pricing: Starts from $10000.00 /year

Free Version: NA
Free Trial: NA

Clientele: Fossil Group, Getty Images, BKD, Bakertilly

5. Xoxoday Empuls

Xoxoday Empuls is an all-in-one employee engagement tool that has combined recognition programs, employee feedback tools, and wellness solutions in one place. It aims to assist HRs with a holistic engagement solution to promote positive company culture. The recognition application helps companies check employee absenteeism and attrition, improves productivity and motivation.

xoxoday-empuls

Features:

  • Points-Based rewarding
  • Reward Catalog
  • Integrations
  • Data-driven insights
  • Security Compliant
  • Peer-to-Peer recognition
  • Social Feed
  • Gamification

Pricing: Starting from $3/Per-Month
Pricing Model: Per User

Free Version: NA
Free Trial: Available
Best For Anyone, Anywhere

Clientele: Adobe, Pepsi, Infosys, Freshworks

6. KazooHR

Kazoo is the all-in-one employee experience platform connecting employee recognition with continuous performance management to create an amazing employee experience. It brings together recognition, rewards, benefits, employee feedback, OKRs, and communication, all in one place, motivating employees to work in alignment with company values. Kazoo fosters a strong culture of recognition at work and does not limit it to only annual performance reviews.

kazoo

Features:

  • Point-based Rewarding
  • Remote Recognition
  • Celebrating Events
  • Social Feed

Pricing: Starting at $4.50/monthly
Pricing Model: Per User

Best for: Teams of 100–250

Clientele: Habitat for Humanity, Hitachi, Kia, Meredith

7. Kudos

Kudos is a peer-to-peer employee recognition platform designed to enhance company culture and build meaningful relationships. While rewards are a powerful part of a recognition program, Kudos especially emphasizes the value of recognition to inspire true positivity and better engagement. Employees can come together on Kudos to celebrate achievements, teamwork, and milestones, motivating each other to do their best work. It is best for companies that have more than 500 employees.

kudos

Features:

  • Peer-to-peer recognition
  • Manager-to-Peer Recognition
  • Value-based recognition
  • Custom awards, badges, and certificates
  • Celebration Events
  • Team Wall
  • Record Video Recognition
  • Customizable Rewards
  • Global & Local Rewards for Everyone
  • Digital Gift Cards
  • Third-Party Rewards
  • Flexible Rewards

Pricing: Not provided by the vendor

Free Version NA
Free Trial: Available
Only for organizations with more than 500+ employees

Clientele: Atko, MU Healthcare, Veritone, Arch Insurance

8. Motivosity

Motivosity believes in the power of social recognition in driving engagement, motivation, and satisfaction. Thus it allows employees to recognize each other on a social feed in real-time. It also enables team members to attach a dollar or two while they appreciate efforts. When the dollars add up, employees can cash out in a customizable store.

motivosity

Features:

  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition
  • Manager-To-Peer Recognition
  • Social feed
  • Influence Currency
  • Customizable Rewards
  • Spot Bonus
  • Service Awards (Milestone Tracker)
  • Awards and Badges
  • Performance Management & Tracking

Pricing: Starting from $1/Per-Month
Pricing Model: Per User

Free Version: NA
Free Trial: Available
Best For Anyone, Anywhere

Clientele: SalesRabbit, FujiFilm, Smoothie King, Adobe WorkFront

9. Guusto

There are some unique features in Guusto’s gift-based recognition platform. First, it gives flexible redemption options to employees so that they can choose their gifts. Second, it has a pay-forward option that allows employees to pass on a gift to someone else.

Its point-based redemption system allows full credit back on unclaimed gifts. Moreover, its vision is purpose-driven, where for every gift sent, one day of clean water is donated.

guusto

Features:

  • Pay Forward Option
  • Budget Reports
  • Value-based recognition
  • Actionable Reports
  • Nominations
  • Purpose-Driven (Social Impact)
  • Rewards Catalog
  • Social Recognition
  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition
  • Manager-to-Peer Recognition

Pricing: Not Provided by Vendor

Free Version: Available
Free Trial: Available
Best For 200-1000+ employees

Clientele: Harvard University, The Body Shop, Levis

10. Reward Gateway

Reward Gateway is a unified engagement platform that helps companies attract, engage, and retain their best people with strategic recognition, communications, surveys, and more. Driven by its mission to create a culture of continuous recognition, it strives to empower teams to celebrate contributions that align with company values.

rewardgateway

Features:

  • Instant recognition
  • Daily recognition
  • Peer-to-peer Recognition
  • Value-based recognition
  • Customized E-cards
  • Celebrating Events
  • Amazon Integration for rewards
  • Reporting & Dashboards

Pricing: Not Provided by Vendor

Free Version: Not Available
Free Trial: Not Available

Clientele: Orbis, Five Star Bank, ABC Medical

11. O.C. Tanner

OC Tanner is a global leader in strategic recognition solutions. It helps top companies create peak moments, appreciate great work, and inspire people to give their best. It is crafted specifically for large-scale employee recognition programs and is ideal for enterprise and global workforces. Its Culture Cloud suite of employee recognition, service award, and other culture-building solutions helps millions of people worldwide thrive at work.

oc-tanner

Features:

  • Social recognition
  • Celebrating events
  • Reward healthy habits- Virgin Pulse Integration
  • Impact Dashboard & Analytics
  • Flight Risk Model
  • Service Awards
  • Individual and Group recognition
  • Social Feed
  • Nominations
  • Integrations
  • Android and iOS
  • Budget Management
  • Store
  • 16 Languages

Pricing: Not Provided by Vendor
Pricing Model: NA

Free Version
Free Trial

Clientele: US Bank, Taco Bell, Siemens, US Army, Tech Mahindra, Halliburton

12. People Value

Moving away from the ‘one size fits all’ mindset, People Value offers flexibility in its recognition solution. It enables businesses to celebrate employees’ successes by recognizing their uniqueness. From a simple thank-you to a colleague to optimizing your existing reward schemes, the platform helps create peak moments of employee recognition. This drives company values and performances.

people-value

Features:

  • Point-based rewards
  • Peer to peer recognition
  • Celebrating events
  • Deliver gifts
  • Social Feed
  • Customized Gifts
  • Measure Impact
  • Reward Budget management
  • Individual or team recognition
  • Inbuilt feedback system
  • Share videos and photos
  • Reward Catalog

Clientele: Costa, Das UK Group, Heathrow, Civica, MyHomeMove, Ricoh

13. WorkHuman

WorkHuman Social Recognition platform aims to create a culture of excellence where everyone feels seen, heard, and appreciated for their work. Peers and managers participate in continuous recognition activities, boosting work relationships, happiness, and engagement. Leaders can gain unparalleled insights into what drives organizational goals, and HR can track employee behavior with company core values.

workhuman

Features:

  • Social Recognition
  • Community Celebrations
  • Life Events
  • Service Milestones
  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition
  • Manager-To-Peer Recognition
  • Data Analytics & Insights
  • Global e-Commerce Network
  • Point-based Rewarding
  • Inclusion Advisor

Pricing: Not provided by the vendor
Pricing Model: NA

Free Trial: Available

Clientele: Linkedin, Moderna, Cisco, Minto

14. Achievers

Achievers aims to empower every employee as an owner of organizational culture and engagement. With its dynamic employee recognition tool, Achievers enables both social and rewards-based recognition. This provides companies with a robust foundation for employee engagement.

achievers

Features:

  • Data Analytics
  • Social Feed
  • Social & monetary recognition
  • Celebrations & announcements
  • Mobile-first experience
  • Workflow integrations

Pricing: Not provided by the vendor

Free Version: Available
Free Trial: Not Available

Clientele: Panasonic, Samsung, Ericsson, GM

15. WorkVivo

Workvivo is an integrated employee communication platform designed to build meaningful bonds between teams. Its recognition feature allows companies to engage their employees in ways that traditional tools simply can't. They can interact in the social feed, post appreciative messages, and give awards for going above and beyond in the workplace.

workvivo

Features:

  • Social feed
  • Awards, Badges, and Certificates
  • Employee Recognition
  • Benchmarking

Pricing: Not provided by the vendor
Pricing Model: Flat Rate

Free Version: Not Available
Free Trial: Available

Clientele: Amazon, AIB, VMWare, Telus International, Net Gear

16. Terry Berry

Terry Berry’s 360 Recognition Platform encompasses many modules, from a peer recognition program, service anniversary awards to achievement awards. These modules work together to help build a culture of recognition in the company. It gives HR a complete picture of its overall recognition culture and pinpoints the strengths and opportunities.

terryberry

Features:

  • Milestone and Service Awards
  • Performance and Incentive Awards
  • Custom Rewards
  • Point-based Rewarding
  • Recognition Tracking
  • Rewards Catalog
  • Social Recognition
  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition
  • Manager-to-Peer Recognition

Pricing: $250/month
Pricing Model: NA

Free Version: Not Available
Free Trial: Available

Clientele: Champs Sport, Discount Tire, NSF, Little Caesars

17. Awardco

The best thing about Awardco is the access to many potential employee rewards, thanks to their Amazon Business integration. So everything you love about Amazon is now available for rewards and recognition. You can also use Awardco points for hotels, tickets, company swag stores, gift cards, and charitable donations.

awardco

Features:

  • Point-based rewarding
  • Amazon Business Integration
  • Peer to Peer Recognition
  • Manager-to-Peer Recognition
  • Nominations
  • Spot recognition
  • Social Feed
  • Celebrate Events
  • Customized Rewards
  • Gamification
  • Value-driven Recognition
  • Recognition Tracking
  • Rewards Catalog

Pricing: NA
Pricing Model: NA

Free Version: NA
Free Trial: NA
Best For 201-1000+ users
Note: Minimum company size of 100 employees

Clientele: Amazon, Ford, JP Morgan, Cornell University, Qualtrix

18. Workstars

With its integrated social employee recognition and reward platform, Workstars aims to make work rewarding and boost your employee engagement strategy. From giving simple thanks, handing out micro-bonuses, to rewarding the global workforce, Workstars ensures a great employee recognition experience in real-time.

workstars

Features:

  • Mobile Friendly
  • Insights & Reporting
  • Integrations
  • Monetary Rewards (Prepaid cards)
  • Peer-to-Peer recognition
  • Social Recognition
  • Scalable
  • Secure
  • Budgeting

Pricing: starts at $0.80/month
Pricing Model: Per user

Free Version: Not Available
Free Trial: Not Available
Best For Local and Global Teams

Clientele: AstraZeneca, University of Manchester, Parsons, Trac

19. Perkbox

Perkbox is a global rewards platform that helps companies celebrate their employees anytime, no matter where they are. The platform comes with a wide range of perks and benefits. It provides team with a personalised recognition experience and an engaging way to showcase company culture.

perkbox

Features:

  • Mobile App
  • Value-Based Recognition
  • Peer to Peer Recognition
  • Manager-To-Peer Recognition
  • Global Workforce
  • Polls and Voting
  • Custom Rewards

Pricing: Not provided by the vendor

Free Version: Not Available
Free Trial: Not Available

Clientele: Bosch, Purple Bricks, CBRE, Trainline

20. Perkspot

Perkspot's mission is to inspire people to love their work. It facilitates robust rewards and recognition programs by enabling teams to reward employees for their contributions. It offers real-time recognition so hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and it reinforces consistent engagement.

Perkspot

Features:

  • Spot Recognition
  • Leaderboard
  • Activity Wall
  • Real-time Recognition
  • Gift cards
  • Personalized Rewards
  • Service Awards
  • Celebrating Events

Clientele: Millennium Health, Uber, SouthWest, Ace Hardware

Frequently Asked Questions About Employee Recognition Tools

Q: Why should my company invest in an employee recognition tool?

A: Companies need to make a mindset shift when it comes to employee recognition. It is no longer just an HR exercise or simply a nice thing to do. It is about making a difference in employee engagement and retention, which is a difficult task in a hybrid work model.

Having a flexible, customizable, and accessible app that provides on-the-go recognition features can take motivation levels up many notches.

Leadership can use analytics to assess and measure the effectiveness of their recognition programs. Managers can use reports to link recognition with goals and ROI.

So companies must recognize the benefits of a vibrant recognition culture and the utilities of integrating digital tools in HR strategies.

Q: How to get started with a recognition tool?

A: To get started with an employee recognition tool, you’ll need to consider:

  1. Your program goals
  2. Your budget
  3. The kind of recognition and rewards features you’d want to include
  4. The technology preferences of your employees

Keeping these factors in mind, browse the list of recognition softwares and pick one that best fits your people and your goals.

Q: What are the benefits of having an employee recognition tool?

A: Here are some benefits of onboarding an effective employee recognition software. Successful implementation and adoption of a digital recognition tool lead to:

  1. Higher Employee Retention
  2. Boosted Employee Engagement
  3. Improved Work Relationships And Team Work
  4. Culture of Recognition
  5. Strengthened Company Values
  6. Stronger Employer Branding
  7. Improved Employee Motivation & Productivity
  8. More Connectedness for Remote Workers

Having a dedicated employee recognition tool will help you answer critical questions like:

  1. How many times did you provide recognition in the last 3 or 6 months?
  2. How many employees did you recognize?
  3. Which employees recognize one another on a regular basis?
  4. Does this recognition impact performance?

Thus, digital tools will streamline your recognition efforts to make recognition:

  • Timely
  • Frequent and consistent
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Inclusive
  • Flexible
  • Customized
  • Strategic
  • Measurable

Q: Are there free employee recognition softwares?

A: Yes, many employee recognition softwares come with a free version. Some also come with a free trial version that has many useful features. Check the above list to browse through the free tools.

Q: How do I measure the success of my employee recognition platform?

A: You can measure the success of your employee recognition platform in several different ways. You can take direct feedback from employees, or conduct quick polls and employee surveys.

You should consider questions like:

  1. What percentage of the workforce has adopted the tool?
  2. How many active users?
  3. What is the redemption rate of the rewards?
  4. How has recognition influenced job performance?

Employee recognition platforms come with robust tracking and analytics systems. All you need to do is establish the key metrics and the evaluation will be taken care of.

This article is written by Swati Baruah who is a content marketing specialist at Vantage Circle. She is a post-graduate in Labor Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Passionately interested in people dynamics, she enjoys writing pieces that strike conversations. To get in touch, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com