18 Best Employee Recognition Platforms - 2023

We've continuously researched the best employee rewards & recognition software, doing dozens of demos each year and talking to the smartest HR people around to come up with our shortlist

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast

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Chief People Officer, The Granite Group.

"SSR is my go-to place when it comes to researching HR tools. Their product reviews are real time-savers and trustworthy, and the online community is fantastic for bouncing questions and ideas off of others in the Talent space!"

Peter Stein
Building & Defining Recruiting Operations at Clear Street

"I trust SSR's HR Tech Reviews because they talk to so many experts, know the right questions to ask and uncover during in-depth product demos to come up with their best picks"

Stacie Justice
People + Strategy at Soundwide

We spend all day researching the best HR software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on experts to refine our recommendations.  We may earn a fee if you click on vendor links on this page. Learn more about SelectSoftware Reviews

Searching for employee recognition programs? Our extensive research and expert assessments lead us to confidently recommend Reward Gateway, Nectar, and WorkTango for your employee recognition software. These platforms check all the boxes from ROI to user interface, but most importantly, they do what they’re supposed to: they help create a culture of employee recognition.

How can we be so confident? It comes with years of research devoted to employee recognition platforms. Read on to learn who else made the list, how they got there, and everything else you need to know about employee recognition software.

The Best Employee Recognition & Rewards Program Platforms

Hand picked by our HR Technology experts after product testing, user research, and much debate - enjoy!

We love Reward Gateway's multiple offerings in a single platform. Keeping recognition, rewards, and surveys within each other's reach is just plain smart.
Employee-driven engagement culture is the standout feature of Motivosity. Instead of a top-down tool, they secured the foundation of features where we think it belongs: with the team.
Nectar has a broad slate of features to allow management and employees to give each other reward points. Our favorite features are their analytics tools, which let you see how teams are engaging with a strong recognition culture.
Bonusly operates in multiple languages, which is fantastic for shout-outs in German, French, Spanish, and (obviously) English.
WorkTango combines continuous performance management, employee recognition, rewards, and engagement surveys into one powerful platform to help improve employee experience and, by extension, company culture.
They simplify rewards, recognition, and incentives thanks to their Amazon Business integration which gives them access to a huge number of employee rewards.
Mo runs on the power of peer-to-peer recognition. We think Mo is ahead of its time by prioritizing shared moments over material rewards.
We love Kudos because they've built something into their product that is ultra-rare but should be ubiquitous: consulting. Seems obvious, right? An actual person with an objective perspective can be a game changer.
Cooleaf hits the sweet spot for leveraging employee sentiment into motivation and engagement. This can be tricky -- many well-intentioned initiatives harm employee sentiment, but customer reports indicate Coolleaf is doing it right.
Workstars has built a highly flexible tool, and that isn’t easy. We love that they recognize how well-tuned employee engagement software needs to be and take on the extra work to make it happen.
Bucketlist is constantly trying to outdo itself, and we love the frequent addition of new and improved features.
We salute Guusto's partnership with the One Drop Foundation. Win/win: clean drinking water for those in need and an impressive, free platform for the more fortunate.
WeGift gift offers cards at scale. Their tight focus has to lead to a product that executes its only purpose with aplomb.
Assembly serves an overlooked customer base.The company knows employee recognition is a must-have for a team of 20 for it to grow to a team of 200.
Blueboard handles all the logistics and helps set the tone for companies who want to recognize excellent employee performance.
Gifted is completely free, easy to set up, lets people choose their gifts, and features automated & timed gifting.

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Introduction to Employee Recognition Software

Increasingly, business leadership recognizes a fact long hidden in plain sight: the quality of the employee experience is proportional to the quality of their work. While we know employee recognition software won't "fix" a bad employee experience, we do know the right employee recognition software is a giant leap in the right direction. This guide will help you understand the relationship between productivity and engagement and how to find the right software to streamline and operationalize the recognition process in your organization. In addition to our standard research protocols and direction from CEO Phil Strazzulla, we called upon our own HR Tech expert, Alison Hunter, and Dr. Christina Moran (Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, strategist, and consultant) to get a complete understanding of this space. 

Through employee recognition programs, employers build structured appreciation (and sometimes rewards) into their company culture, which improves the quality of the employee experience. Though employee recognition platforms are relative newcomers to the HR tech scene, we've been watching the space and all the players in it since 2018.

Why is that? Because the evolution of the technology is fascinating! Early versions of employee recognition platforms were minimal compared to today's. They were an afterthought and thus did not impact retention, engagement, or culture.

Second, most modern employee recognition platforms are centered around peer-to-peer recognition. This means employees recognize each other for milestones and accomplishments. Modern employee recognition software tools integrate with Slack, Teams, Outlook, and other internal comms systems that employees use daily.

Peer-to-peer recognition is more potent than "congrats on your work anniversary!” for many reasons, but a significant factor is the tiny amount of effort it takes to kick off a pay-it-forward chain among workers. Here’s a typical scenario showing how well the process flows within daily operations:

Employee A gets a notification that they were recognized. They login to the platform, and, inspired by the positive feedback, they take a moment to acknowledge Employee B. Employee B repeats the process. A virtuous circle is born, supported by a sense of community and solidarity.

Everywhere around us we are confronted with messages to be more humane, empathetic, and kind to one another.” Says Moran. “Recognition and rewards is one way people are looking to their companies to enhance these community-building feelings in the professional realm.

Historically, roughly 10% of a company’s employees used recognition tools in a month. Now, the best-in-class vendors have 98% of employees interacting with their solutions monthly. This means HR can impact retention, values, and culture by leveraging employee recognition systems.

If you think employee recognition programs are optional, please think again! While most top companies are embracing the new workplace model that devotes focused attention to employee engagement, some companies are still holding out and losing ground.

We've learned a lot in the years (years!) we have spent with our eyes on this space, and we're here to offer suggestions for top-notch vendors and the tools you can use to explore on your own. Read on for in-depth reviews of the top vendors, a pricing guide, an ROI calculation tool, input use cases, and more. We have included everything you need to be successful when buying employee recognition software.

Our Criteria: Here's how we chose who made the cut

We take research seriously. To make sure we’re offering our readers the very best solutions in a given software category, we are methodical, rigorous, and expansive in our research. We consult with HR professionals, vendors, and industry experts. We cut through the noise to bring you a carefully curated list of vendors, along with other essential information, to help you find the right software platform for your business. 

Here’s how we chose who makes the cut: 

Product: We believe in gaining a comprehensive understanding of a product before we recommend it, so we start by getting to know the software. Whenever possible, we meet with a senior executive (CEO or Head of Product) for a demo and Q&A. We also test the product ourselves to make sure it has a solid UI, intuitive workflows, and the features to make it a best-in-class offering. 

User feedback: We go straight to the source and compile feedback on user experience. Real-world input supports our commitment to diligence in our software evaluation methods and the products we recommend. Keeping up with the everyday experience of HR pros also puts new vendors on our radar, and it keeps us close to our community so we can better connect the right products to the right people.

Financial metrics: We are certified finance nerds, so we use all the data we can get our hands on to make selections for our guides. We comb through data for concrete statistics like retention rates, growth, profitability, and scalability. We evaluate the bottom line of each product because we know making a software purchase can put your reputation on the line. 

Best for a use case: Software is never a one-size-fits-all product. Sometimes the best solution is free or cheap. Other times it’s the one that is best for global companies or the one that’s sized right for early-stage startups. Keeping this in mind, we include solutions across the spectrum so our readers can find the best fit for their unique needs.

Here's more detail if you want to read more about how we research vendors. Our dedicated staff writers rely on hard data, impartial experts, and user feedback to ensure our reviews are helpful, truthful, and hopefully a pleasure to read!

Top Employee Rewards & Recognition Software

We track thousands of HRTech solutions, these are the best employee recognition companies per our research and expert council as of 2023

Reward Gateway Dashboard Screenshot - one of the best recognition software for employees

Reward Gateway


Reward Gateway is an excellent tool for organizations that determine to have their reward and recognition program centered around retailer gift cards.

As we look into user feedback, the software provides on-the-spot tools for managers to give in-person or digital rewards, tracking benchmarks and making it possible to reward employees once they achieve the set goals.

Reward Gateway


  • Reward Gateway employee reward and recognition solutions can be purchased separately and have custom pricing.
  • Teams in the UK or Australia can opt for the “Reward Gateway for Small Business” version, which charges £6 per employee per month, with no lock-in contract.
  • You can choose to purchase solutions separately, like only the employee recognition and surveys modules, for instance, or go for the full employee engagement platform. 
  • If you happen to be in the United Kingdom or Australia, they also offer a “Reward Gateway for Small Business” version which is £6 per employee per month, with no lock-in contract.
  • The price is not revealed publicly, which means you would get a custom quote depending on your business size and needs.

Best For

Reward Gateway’s reward and recognition program works for in-office, hybrid, and remote teams. Yet mid-size companies (51-500 employees) are the ones that typically make the most out of the software.

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Motivosity's employee rewards program dashboard screenshot



Motivosity combines three products in one. Managers can connect with employees, gather performance drivers, and recognize employees for a well-done job. In addition to this model, the software facilitates peer-to-peer recognition so everyone can share feedback.

Motivosity’s top features are:

  • Performance analytics: Visual analytics of given and received recognition by individuals and departments.
  • Goal & Milestone tracking: public praise is showered upon those who achieve goals, and the system keeps track of dates.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition and rewards for everyday victories.



  • Motivosity’s Connect module is free
  • The other three paid subscriptions start at $4 per person monthly.
  • The software also offers bundles priced from $5.10 per person per month.

For more information, contact Modivosity for a quote.

Motivosity’s pricing works per module. “Connect” is included with every license of the other three. They do offer a free trial for each of them and the pricing is as follows: 

  • Connect: Free
  • Recognize: $4 per person per month
  • Lead: $5 per person per month
  • Listen: $2 per person per month

Best For

Movitosity has customers from small startups to 10,000-employee enterprises. However, their sweet spot is mid-market (100-3,000 employees) companies whose culture is built around peer-to-peer recognition.

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Nectar's Employee Recognition Software dashboard screenshot



Nectar's solution is built around a peer-to-peer recognition feed that aligns employee accomplishments with company core values. Each employee (including managers) gets a points balance each month they can allocate to colleagues that go above and beyond.

The software also has an extensive reward selection — employees can redeem rewards for Amazon products, gift cards, company swag, charities, etc.

They also have a new wellness component and are quickly releasing high-impact integrations and features, such as their organizational network analysis tool, which gives HR insights into which teams recognize one another the most.



Nectar has three plans:

  • Free subscription for unlimited users and redemptions.
  • Standard Plan is $2.50 per employee, and the minimum monthly charge is $99.
  • Plus Plan is $3.50 per employee, and the minimum monthly payment is $165.

Nectar offers a free tier that is unlimited and designed to help companies showcase the value of recognition to senior management.

Their Standard Plan is $2.50 per employee per month ($2.75 if billed monthly) and includes key features like manager to employee recognition, Slack/Teams integration, recognition automation for birthdays/anniversaries, and analytics.

Their Plus Plan is $3.75 per employee per month ($4.25 if billed monthly) and includes key features like customer branding, SSO, HRIS integrations, wellness challenges, and on demand company swag as a reward option.

Lastly, Nectar has volume discounts for organizations with 500+ users.

Best For

Nectar is best for smaller companies (<1,000 employees) that value employee recognition to build culture.

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Bonusly’s peer-to-peer employee recognition platform is an excellent tool for teams who want to recognize and reward employees with shoutouts tied to company values, gift cards, cash, and donations.

Bonusly’s recognition and rewards platform is easy for employees to access from existing tools. When asked about their experience with Bonusly’s integrations, users reported that it works better with Slack than with MS Teams.

Bonusly has good user ratings in the App Store and the Google Play Store, and our user researchers also reported high satisfaction with both the iOS and Android apps.

The platform also offers a company swag option. Employees can redeem their points for company swag directly from the Bonusly reward catalog.



Pricing details when billed annually:

  • Core plan starts at $2.70 per user per month
  • Pro plan costs $4.50 per user per month
  • Custom plan has custom pricing.

The pricing details of Bonusly are as follows:

  • Core: This plan costs $2.70 per user per month when billed annually.
  • Pro: This plan costs $4.50 per user per month when billed annually.
  • Custom: This plan is designed for large organizations and has custom pricing.  

Note: Free trials and demos are available

Best For

Most businesses using Bonusly have between 50-5,000 employees. The software is also an excellent choice for remote and hybrid teams where peer-to-peer recognition is critical to supplement team cohesion.

Bonusly in Action
Cara Nelson
Cara Nelson
People and Culture Generalist
out of 10

We created a slack channel so you can see who is receiving points every day. I give out points to coworkers about 5x a month until my allotted amount is used up. You can easily integrate with slack, use the browser, or the app. Anytime someone helps me out, I send a few points over to say thank you!

How likely are you to recommend this tool?
What do you like about this tool?

I like that I can recognize coworkers that help me out and that the whole company will see it. I also like that I can get a sense of what each department is working on and with. It allows you to see all that is being done in the company, not just the specific people you work with. Lastly, you can redeem your points for cash prizes which is a great benefit. It is a great engagement tool for the company!

What do you dislike about this tool?

I really don't have any complaints about Bonusly. The Slack integration could use some slight improvements but nothing major. I have not found an auto-billing setting that would save me some time. There could be more email reminders to employees who are not engaging on Bonusly.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Since going fully remote, our company struggled with building culture and engagement. We also wanted a way to show recognition for all the hard work being done on a daily basis. We started using Bonusly 6 months ago and have had a fantastic experience so far. Bonusly allows our team to stay engaged, have fun with each other, see the different projects going on all over the company, and feel valued for their work. It's easy to use and does exactly what we were wanting.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

They have a competitive price, easy set-up, great customer service, an easy-to-use website, and awesome options for prizes to redeem your points for.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Be sure to budget for the subscription and points you want to give out. You will want to make sure your employees have an easy way to access it. It works well for us because everyone is working on their laptop all day. Decide if you want to give out cash rewards or experiences.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

We have added more prizes to it and incorporated them into all of our cultural events. Anytime we want to reward someone or give a prize - we use Bonusly!

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Companies that work primarily on a computer. Can be for in-person or remote settings.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

Employees that do not have desk jobs would most likely not use it as much since they do not have easy assess to the website.

Worktango dashboard screenshot - the employee rewards program



WorkTango’s recognition engine is a massive part of its offering. It checks all the boxes regarding employee recognition: a company feed, a points system, a broad rewards catalog, or the option to add custom rewards.

What stands out the most is that users can create unique (or even themed) catalogs and offer them as incentives for completing a specific milestone or an internal initiative.



WorkTango has three plans. When billed annually:

  • Growth (less than 250 employees) price starts at $5.00 per employee per month.
  • Standard (250-1000 employees) starts at $4.25 per employee per month.
  • Enterprise (more than 1000 employees) has a custom quote.

WorkTango has three plans. The pricing of those plans depends on the modules included. For example, you can either purchase WorkTango's Recognition or Performance solutions individually or have them combined in a single plan (i.e. the full platform). When billed annually, the pricing of WorkTango's plans is as follows:

  • Growth: Designed for companies with 100 - 250 employees, this plan costs $5 per employee per month for the Recognition module, $9 per employee per month for the Performance module, $2.50 for surveys, and $12.50 per employee per month for the full platform (Recognition + Performance).
  • Standard: Designed for companies with 250 - 1000 employees, this plan costs $4.25 per employee per month for the Recognition module, $7.50 per employee per month for the Performance module, $2.00 for surveys, and $10.50 per employee per month for the full platform (Recognition + Performance).
  • Enterprise: Designed for companies with 1,000 or more employees, this plan has custom pricing. Contact WorkTango's Sales team for a quote.

Best For

Distributed teams, mid-sized and small enterprises in knowledge worker industries, including tech, FSI, healthcare, and business services.

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Awardco's dashboard screenshot - one of the best employee recognition company



Organizations with over 100 employees use Awardco to retain the people they can't afford to lose. Awardco offers one of the largest reward networks on the planet with Amazon and more. They also have flexible settings that enable admins to customize programs unique to their company and culture.



Awardco has a $5,000 minimum annual fee. The final pricing structure would vary according to your company size and reward needs.

Awardco has a $5,000 minimum annual fee. The final pricing structure would vary according to your company size and reward needs.

Best For

Companies with 100+ employees that want to streamline their recognition process with the power of Amazon Business.

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Our reviewer took screenshot of Mo's Employee Engagement Platform Software during the review



Mo’s rewards and recognition platform helps companies improve employee morale and reduce churn. It features Moments and Boosts, product features that recognize employees for achievements and celebrate group wins. With Mo, users can reward employees with vouchers redeemable from stores like Amazon, ASOS, and John Lewis. Teammates can also be recognized with custom, personalized rewards.

In addition to rewards from managers, the platform empowers employees' involvement with peer-to-peer nominations.



Mo has three plans, billed annually:

  • Starter costs $2.70 per user per month
  • Level Up costs $4.50 per user per month
  • Custom has custom pricing – contact Mo for a quote.

Mo has three plans. When billed annually, they are priced as follows: 

  • Starter: Designed for small teams that are getting started with recognition software, this plan costs $2.70 per user per month and packs the features you need to recognize achievements, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and more. 
  • Level Up: For $4.50 per user per month, this plan covers everything from Starter, plus the ability to hold award nominations and give rewards, as well as gain access to advanced reporting, deep insights, and third-party integrations.
  • Custom: Made for large companies, this plan has custom pricing and provides users with access to all features on other plans, plus rewards and recognition program design, advanced security, premium support, and implementation services.

Best For

Mo works exceptionally well for distributed teams who want to connect and motivate employees within established internal communications platforms like MS Teams and Slack.

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Kudos (a employee recognition platform) dashboard screenshot



Kudos’ platform is designed to engage employees through peer-to-peer recognition. Recognition sent within the Kudos platform is tied to company values and qualities, reinforcing the mission statement and enabling deep data insights into the health of workplace culture. In addition to software, they offer consulting services.



Kudos has two plans:

  • Plus costs $5 per user per month
  • Enterprise costs $7 per user per month.

Kudos has two editions which are priced as follows:

  • Plus: For $5 per user per month, Kudos Plus helps you run effective employee recognition program with features for peer-to-peer recognition, optional rewards, and a lot more. Discounts are available based on the final user count and contract term.
  • Enterprise: For $7 per user per month, Kudos Enterprise gives you everything the Kudos platform has to offer, with additional functionality to run Kudos across multiple countries, operations centers, etc. Enterprise customers also get insights from Kudos’ dedicated people analytics teams, culture programming assistance, discounts based on the final user count/contract term and more.

Best For

Great tool for large enterprises (250 to thousands) in practically any country and industry.

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Cooleaf dashboard screenshot taken during reviewing it's employee rewards solution



Cooleaf has many ways to enhance employee recognition. Users can select products, create a team store, send people on trips, or use classic gift cards or coupons to recognize exceptional work.

The platform’s expert-designed programs are focused on learning and development, health and wellness, and overall workplace culture.



Cooleaf offers custom pricing via a monthly subscription model based on the number of employees included in the program.

Cooleaf offers custom pricing via a monthly subscription model based on the number of employees included in the program. Companies using the solution have to allocate a rewards budget for employees. Of course, this budget is flexible.

Best For

Cooleaf is best for small and mid-sized businesses with an average workforce of 250+ people. Cooleaf is also a good choice for remote or hybrid teams looking to boost employee satisfaction.

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Workstars offers a free-to-launch SaaS platform that charges no fee for the setup, is simple to use, and works for both startups and global teams.

Workstars’ dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion is made evident in features like gender-neutral avatars, and they go above and beyond for global teams with a simple (but impactful) product choice. Global teams with employees in places where it is common for individuals to have multiple last names will appreciate Workstar’s search tool. It allows users to find colleagues by inputting any part of their name, rather than using the Western search convention that assumes all names come in “Last, First” format.



Workstars offers three subscription plans: Entry, Pro, and Global. Billed monthly, and their pricing strictly depends on the number of users and whether the system is for a multinational organization.

  • 50 - 250 users: Entry costs $1.81 per user per month, Pro costs $3.62 per user per month, and Global costs $4.82 per user per month.
  • 251 - 500 users: No Entry is offered. Pro costs $3.02 per user per month, and Global costs $4.10 per user per month.
  • 501 - 1000 users: No Entry is offered. Pro costs $2.41 per user per month, and Global costs $3.26 per user per month.
  • 1000+ users: No Entry is offered. Pro costs $1.93 per user per month, and Global costs $2.29 per user per month.

There are no fees for setting up the system for the client. Pricing is strictly dependent on the number of users, the number of features the client wants, and whether the system is for a multinational organization. Workstars offers three subscription plans: Entry, Pro, and Global. To give you an idea, for a company with 251-500 employees, Workstars starts at £1.25 per employee per month.

Best For

Workstars are great for scalability. Their clients have a range of 50-10,000 employees. The bigger the team, the better the price.

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Bucketlist (a employee recognition platform) dashboard screenshot



Bucketlist is among the fastest-growing employee recognition platforms on the market. In addition to the tried-and-true, the company frequently pushes product improvements, so new features are routinely available to established customers.

It’s highly customizable and can be tailored to match the customer’s workflow, and their rewards catalog is impressive, offering both tangible and intangible rewards.

Among our favorite features is the events platform. In-person and virtual events are great for team building and company culture, and with Bucketlist, users can do all the party planning within the platform.



Pricing info is not available on their website.

  • Free demo and free 14 day trial available. 
  • If you’re not happy with the tool in 90 days, they’ll refund your money.
  • The price of subscription is not revealed publicly, which means you would get a custom quote depending on your business size and needs.
  • They try to negotiate the best price for you and offer to match another offer if you find a better price.

Best For

Bucketlist works best for small and medium-sized businesses (50 to 5,000 employees).

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Our reviewer took screenshot of Guusto Employee Reward Programs's dashboard during the review



Guusto is known for being easy to set up, but what makes it rare in the market is its permanent free plan.

Guusto's forever-free plan is a good deal for those who want their entire budget spent on the gifts themselves rather than features like social feeds, integrations, or budget allocation. One catch: the free plan allows only one “giver” account.

Gifts can be selected from Guusto merchant partners by the giver or the receiver. A full refund is applied for the cost of gifts that are not used within a set claim period.

Overall, users love Guusto for its simplicity, transparent price, and custom rewards program. Another major plus for many users is Guusto’s partnership with programs that support fresh water initiatives around the world.



Guusto offers the following pricing plans:

  • Individual: Free. As a single user, you only pay for rewards.
  • Essential: Starts from $2.25 per member/month
  • Premium: Starts from $3.50 per member/month.

Worth noting: Subscription fees only apply to team members sending gifts, not to employees who may receive gifts. Some contract minimums may apply.

Guusto offer the following pricing plans:

  • Individual: Free. As a single user, you only pay for rewards.
  • Essential: Starts from $2.25 per member/month
  • Premium: Starts from $3.50 per member/month

Subscription fees only apply to team members sending gifts, not all employees. The HR team's budget will be linked to how much per employee per year you want to spend. Also, some contract minimums may apply.

Best For

A good solution for small and large companies alike. Any company looking to highlight achievers and recognize employee performance could use Guusto.

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Giving a gift card that suits someone’s taste can be tricky, but not when the recipient has options that include major brands worldwide. WeGift’s eCommerce-like platform lets users choose from hundreds of top brands, create gift cards in bulk, and send them to employees or customers in the US, UK, Europe, and beyond.

WeGift puts no limits on the number of users and rewards sent, and unused funds are returned.



WeGift has an annual fee which varies depending on your company size and budget. $12,000 per year is a typical budget.

WeGift has an annual fee which varies depending on your company size and budget. $12,000 per year is a typical budget.

Best For

WeGift best serves organizations in the UK, the US, and Europe.

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Our reviewer took screenshot of Assembly Employee Recognition App's dashboard during the review



Using the power of recognition, Assembly enables HR teams to build strong cultures with engaged employees. The tool makes it easy for employees to recognize their co-workers' wins, large and small, and broadcast the accomplishment to the rest of the company.

Assembly offers a free tier for smaller companies or small teams within an organization that want to try this before implementing it at large.



  • Starter is free for businesses with up to 10 employees.
  • Paying customers are charged between $2.80 and $6.00 per employee per month, depending on the features and monthly vs. yearly pricing plan.
  • Premium plan requires a custom quote.

Assembly offers a free version for up to 10 employees. Paying customers are charged $2.80 - $4.50 per employee per month depending on the features you're looking for and if you choose an annual vs monthly plan.

Best For

Small and medium-sized companies can benefit from its free version, and for companies running software with overlapping features, this is a good a la carte solution.

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Blueboard's employee recognition platform dashboard screenshot



Blueboard helps companies create personalized employee recognition and incentive programs that celebrate and elevate their talent.

The platform offers over 300 curated experiences, from skydiving to virtual cooking classes to family days at the zoo. It makes it easy to recognize top-performing employees.

Reward recipients can choose their favorite experience from the catalog or create one of their own, and Blueboard’s high-touch Concierge service handles all bookings, payments, and logistics.



  • Most Blueboard pricing reflects the company’s total rewards budget.
  • There are eight reward levels, starting at $150 per reward.
  • The budget does not expire. The vendor provides exact figures.

Most of Blueboard’s pricing is made up of your total rewards budget. There are 8 reward levels, starting at $150/reward. Getting started with Blueboard could range from $19,500 to $37,500, depending on your office location(s). This budget does not expire. Exact and personalized figures are provided by the vendor.

Best For

Bluebird is an excellent choice for North-America-based companies with over 100 employees who want their rewards and recognition program to be about meaningful experiences without organizing them themselves will make the most of Blueboard.

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Our reviewer took screenshot of Gifted Employee Recognition Software's dashboard during the review



Over 4,000 companies use Gifted to power their rewards and recognition program.  We always think customers vote with their dollars and so it’s worth noting they are profitable, with over 90% client retention.



  • Completely free
  • You only pay for the gifts you send
  • Completely free
  • You only pay for the gifts you send

Best For

Businesses that want to show their appreciation through gifts through a free platform.

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Benefits of the Best Employee Recognition Platform

The best employee recognition programs benefit employees, as well as the People Operations and HR teams that use them. Here are some of the ways how:

  • Increase Engagement: When you partner with the right recognition platform, your employees will be engaged on a regular basis in a positive way that also reinforces company values and helps build a stronger culture. This leads to higher output, more referrals to fill open roles, and generally a happier place to work. Of course, a dedicated employee engagement program is never a bad idea to better understand the overall state of your employee wellbeing. One pro tip here is to make sure this is all happening in real time via integrations with Slack/Teams/Email so that employees don't have to log into yet another system.
  • Increase Retention:  Increased employee engagement leads to higher retention. The cost of replacing employees is extremely high, and so anything HR can do to drive higher retention will have a huge impact on the business. Social recognition and praising team members for great work means stronger bonds at work, which means higher retention.
  • Personalization: You most likely spend money each year on company perks. Maybe it’s really good coffee, craft beer, or fun outings. However, it’s hard to make everyone happy.  Some people don't drink coffee or alcohol. Others have kids and can’t participate in many outings. An employee rewards and recognition program allows you to reallocate a part of the budget which is making only some people happy, and allow individuals to select rewards that are impactful to them.
  • Automation: Using one of the best employee recognition program platforms means that a lot of the work HR has to do in order to encourage utilization of the tool is both organic and automated. At the most basic level, this starts with employees receiving recognition for work anniversaries, birthdays, or for awards like employee of the month. In the best case scenario, the tool you pick creates a virtuous cycle of employees being recognized and recognizing one another.
  • Save Time: If your People Operations team is spending cycles planning out when and how to do employee rewards and recognition, you’re in luck. The vendors in this space all have built-in playbooks for how your rewards and recognition programs should be. Some of them even have dedicated consultants that will work to customize your program for you. That means you'll save a lot of time.

Pro Tips on Best Employee Recognition & Rewards Program Platforms

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Employee Recognition Software Pricing

There are two main pricing models for employee recognition tools. The first is the “marketplace” model. In this case, the employer pays a percentage of their spend on the platform (for example you spend $50,000/yr on employee recognition, and they take X% as their fee).  This is great because, generally speaking, the more you spend, the more your program is a success. So, this is basically value-based pricing. It’s also great because it’s usually free to start (outside of implementation fees, if applicable), making pilots very easy.

Here are some guidelines on pricing for these types of employee recognition programs:

Employee Rewards Program Pricing
EmployeesAnnual SpendFee as % of Spend Vendor Fee

The second pricing model is the standard per employee per month, which makes sense for the companies who are engaging their employees on a frequent basis. Here’s what we’ve found pricing looks like for for these types of employee recognition tools:

Employee Recognition Program Pricing
EmployeesPrice/Employee/MoTotal Annual Cost

Please note these pricing schemes are general guidelines to help with budgeting and not meant to be hard and fast rules. There are many factors that go into pricing. We’re also trying to offer advice on what to expect across several vendors, each of which charge a bit differently.

Employee Recognition Software FAQs

What is employee recognition software?

Employee recognition software helps organizations build strong culture, retain employees, and super charge their employee experience through simple to use programs which allow employees to acknowledge one another's great work.

How does employee recognition software help with employee engagement?

By recognizing achievements, providing rewards and giving useful feedback, employee recognition software will help boost employee engagement. If an employee feels that they are valued by their organization, they will be more engaged at work and stay longer at the company.

What is the difference between employee rewards and employee recognition? 

Employee rewards are gifts given upon achievement of a goal or accomplishment. Employee recognition is the praise and thankfulness employers bestow upon their employees, whether through social media, company chats or in person. Rewards systems generally focus on the gift, while recognition software will focus on the mechanism of colleagues praising one another.

What are some examples of employee recognition? 

  • An award at a company-wide celebration
  • An award for the employee of the month
  • A praise for a terrific job
  • A personalized thank you note or email
  • Peer-to-peer recognition

How do I measure the success of my employee recognition software? 

The main way to measure a recognition program's success is to look at what percentage of employees are recognizing each other each month, with a target of >90% of your employee population. You will also want to look at employee retention and engagement metrics to gauge effectiveness.

Employee Recognition Program Best Practices

Chances are implementing an employee recognition program isn’t the only thing going on in your job. Stumbling into various pitfalls when buying tools and starting one of these programs is easy. Here are the best practices we’ve collected from talking to a few dozen HR professionals about their employee recognition initiatives.

  • More Than Money: Something we found to be a tad counterintuitive is that these programs are not at all about the monetary value of the rewards given. In fact, there is very little correlation between the dollar value offered to employees and the impact of the program on retention and engagement. The simple act of recognizing an employee is the core of what drives these programs, especially when done often and from peers.
  • HRIS Integration: If your vendor doesn’t integrate with your core HR solution, be very weary.  When your recognition platform doesn’t talk to the HRIS in a seamless way (.csv’s don’t count!), it means a lot more manual work for you to continually update it every time a new employee goes through onboarding/offboarding. Plus, we all get busy… so sometimes this work doesn’t get done, which endangers the health of your program.
  • Slack/Teams/Email: Even more important than your HRIS integration is your employee recognition company's ability to integrate with employee software. If employees have to log into another system to participate in your program, it runs a much higher chance of failure.
  • Make Time: HR teams are busy, plain and simple. Most days involve some sort of fire drill. Plus, as a cost center, HR tends to be understaffed and overworked. What we’ve noticed is that even an employee rewards and recognition program that starts off strong can die over time. It’s essential to build in time on a monthly/quarterly basis to make sure your program is healthy (put a calendar invite to block off one hour per month). It’s also a best practice to build automation into your program - like people getting rewards and recognition on birthdays, anniversaries, etc. This means the program will continue to work even when you’re too busy to check in.
  • Manager Buy-in: We’ve seen cases where managers are getting $1,000 or more to give away per month to their employees, but they are too busy to do it.  Most people just need a gentle nudge. You’ll be able to see in your employee recognition dashboard who needs that nudge. The most important piece of advice here, though, is to lay out why this program is so important to managers and employees alike from the get-go. Show  research on how this will impact productivity, retention, and engagement. Getting managers to see how this will allow them to accomplish their goals and become more effective leaders is key.
  • Employee Engagement: Your employee recognition program should be working in tandem with your employee engagement platform, or might even be the same product. In addition to your regular engagement data, you should also think about how recognizing and rewarding hard work fits into performance reviews and organizational culture. This solution should be more than just an employee gifting platform!
  • Not Just Managers: Make sure your managers AND employees are able to recognize other people in the organization. Otherwise, it’s a slap in the face to employees who feel as though their opinion don't matter.
  • Culture Matters: Many companies look at employee rewards and recognition platforms as a way to fix issues with their culture. These programs can enhance your culture, but if you are getting daily negative Glassdoor reviews and generally are in the bottom quartile of companies in terms of culture, you may need more drastic measures before implementing these sort of initiatives.
  • Don’t Overthink: We’ve all been there. There’s a new project we want to run with, but we’re not sure how to get started, what to measure, etc (hopefully this page will help you with that!). So many “strategy meetings” are spent trying to solve these issues… but the best advice is to simply follow the playbook your chosen vendor lays out for you. They have all the best practices and want you to succeed in a pilot. You can spend a lot of time and effort worrying about which perks to offer, for whom, etc. Our advice? Just do it!

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