Employee reward and recognition programs help companies motivate staff and attract new talent. Effective utilization of the best recognition platforms can lead to increased employee engagement and significant time savings through automated processes.
Our team has been watching this space for years, so we’re confident that our recommendations represent the best of the best. But we want to offer more than our top picks. This article will introduce you to our methods and tools you can use to come to your own conclusion.
Read on for in-depth reviews of all the top employee rewards and recognition software vendors, a pricing guide, an ROI calculation tool, and more. With the help of industry expert Amanda Shea (founder, The New England Agency), staff writer, editor, and HR expert Alison Hunter, and, as always, SSR founder and CEO Phil Strazzulla, you’ll be guided through the process of finding the right employee recognition platform for your needs.
Employee engagement statistics and studies on employee retention all draw the same conclusions: if you keep your workers happy, they will do good work and stick around. There is a clear, causal relationship between recognition, employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
While the term “employee experience” is relatively new to the HR landscape, the days of the break room birthday cake have long since gone. Today’s employers understand that to combat stress, limit turnover, and boost productivity, you must have an employee recognition program that emphasizes well-being and company culture.
In a recent conversation, Shea cited the importance of recognition programs. She noted that modern workers expect coaching, development, and recognition, including positive feedback.
Best Employee Recognition & Rewards Programs
To select the best employee rewards and recognition software, we chatted with HR thought leaders, gathered user feedback, grilled vendors on demos, and dug into the feature set of each product. All the bells and whistles aside, the features that set a great employee rewards and recognition software apart from a good one are peer-to-peer recognition, customization options, and analytics/reporting.
- Peer-to-Peer Recognition: A best-in-class rewards and recognition software empowers your team members to recognize one another for wins, completion of projects, or for simply being awesome colleagues. Most employees love peer-to-peer recognition, and a feature like this is often enhanced with functions like automated reminders, nominations or voting, and the ability to share recognition across other platforms like Slack, Teams, and LinkedIn.
- Custom Rewards and Recognition Options: Besides predefined rewards and recognition for known milestones like start dates and birthdays, best-in-class rewards and recognition software should give you some freedom to add a personal touch by tailoring rewards/recognition to the specific recipient(s).
- Reporting and Analytics: The best rewards and recognition platforms have sophisticated reporting and analytics capabilities built in. They help you monitor the effectiveness of your programs and give you insights into engagement, recognition trends, and participation rates.
When I worked in HR for a Fortune 500 company, I shifted our strategy from being primarily rewards-driven to recognition-focused based on engagement data from more than 1,000 employees. The positive impact was substantial and was only made possible with an advanced employee recognition platform.
We try to be very thorough in our research, vetting, and selection process because of our commitment to helping fellow readers like yourself find the right software. For more information on our processes, check out our editorial guidelines.
Terryberry is perhaps the most feature-rich and seasoned solution in the business of corporate recognition. The platform has been in this space for over a century and has been the favorite pick for companies with a global presence, based in the US and the UK.
- Terryberry offers a wide range of employee engagement features, including rewards, incentives, and a wellness tracker.
- Terryberry provides customized physical goods as employee rewards.
- Customer support and account management at Terryberry are quite good. Their reps stand out for being very responsive and attentive according to user feedback.
- Terryberry’s implementation process, while six weeks long, is quite comprehensive, and you get tons of help along the way. For instance, the last two weeks consist of internal and customer testing and user training.
- Customized physical goods as employee rewards
- Wide range of employee engagement features, including rewards, incentives, and a wellness tracker.
- Customer support and account management at Terryberry are quite good. Their reps stand out for being very responsive and attentive, which is evidenced by some of the client testimonials we read.
- The implementation process, while six weeks long, is quite comprehensive, and you get tons of help along the way. For instance, the last two weeks consist of internal and customer testing, as well as user training.
- While Terryberry is easy to use, its design could look more modern and sleek.
- No open API, but on the roadmap for the end of 2023.
- No free trial at the moment.
Terryberry packs one of the broadest feature-set we’ve seen an employee recognition platform have. It includes social recognition, a feedback and communication tool, a wellness app, employee service awards & custom jewelry, performance management, incentive programs, and a global rewards catalog.
We got an inside look at this during a 2023 video demo and it was tough to get a walkthrough of the many features within a single call. If you get a demo with Terryberry, we recommend coming prepared. Identify the specific workflows that are critical for you and ask for them to be covered in detail.
Of course, it’s also worth looking into their custom awards offerings. Few companies can manufacture anything from a trophy to a belt buckle to your specification while also managing the software you’d use to identify the employees you’d like to recognize and reward.
Terryberry is used by over 40,000 customers, including Wyndham Destinations, Epsilon, General Motors, Hard Rock Casino, and Trilogy Health.
Terryberry’s pricing is scalable and varies according to your choice of subscription package. The good news is that you can opt for only certain parts of the platform and grow as you go. Their basic subscriptions start at $3 per award recipient, but to get a proper estimate, the way forward is to contact them.
Also worth mentioning is that they charge set-up fees, and an annual admin fee that’s based on employee headcount and the number of redemptions made on the reward platform.
Those best served by Terryberry are companies in the US and the UK— of any size and industry, but they do have global capabilities. It’s especially good for those with a substantial number of deskless employees for whom physical gifts are ideal.
Terryberry is also a good bet for companies who want to add performance and wellness apps into the mix without adding an additional vendor to the ecosystem. All this being said, some small businesses might find the price point a bit high if on a tight budget.
Bonusly’s specialty lies in its reward catalog: it packs an impressive number of gift cards that work in dozens of countries. Teams with 50-5000 employees, remote or in-office, can make great use of the tool. Bonusly’s discounts also make it a sound option for nonprofits.
- Bonusly has an intuitive user interface where both admin and employee users find it easy to navigate through.
- Bonusly is available in German, English, French, and Spanish.
- Bonusly supports Android and iOS.
- Bonusly provides discounts for nonprofits and educational organizations.
- Bonusly has a 14-day, full-featured free trial.
- Intuitive user interface.
- Available in German, English, French, and Spanish.
- Supports Android and iOS.
- Discounts for nonprofit and education organizations.
- 14-day, full-featured free trial.
- The Core plan which is marketed for small businesses is capped at 50 users.
- The analytics and reporting capabilities are relatively limited in functionality and customization.
- The reward options are centered around gift cards, cash, and donations rather than experiences.
- Features like requiring hashtags or showing top receivers were unnecessary according to a few users.
- Unused bonus money does not carry over; you use it or lose it.
- The starter plan is for small businesses that cap out at 50 users.
- Analytics and reporting features are relatively underdeveloped.
- The reward catalog lacks in-person experience and physical goods, and options and focuses on gift cards, cash, or donations.
- Unused bonus funds don’t roll over: users use it or lose it.
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.
Bonusly is used by over 3,250 companies, including Cerebral, Baxter, Headspace, and InVision.
Bonusly has 3 plans. When billed annually, they cost as follows:
- Core: Designed for small businesses, this plan costs $2.70 per user per month for up to 50 users.
- Pro: For $4.50 per user per month, this plan can be used by teams looking for more flexibility with reporting, permissions, and integrations.
- Custom: This plan has custom pricing and is made for larger businesses needing premium support SLA and implementation support.
Bonusly works well for companies ranging from 50 to 5,000 employees who want to build culture through recognition.
- I use the flow of recognition through values to acknowledge colleagues for their positive actions
- I use the points exchange flow to receive rewards from partners.
- I use the dashboards to identify the recognition among my team and know where I stand in comparison to my colleagues
- the reports and dashboards are useful to identify which values I have received the most recognition for and which I have received the least recognition for.
- We can use the management flow to adjust the registrations and be able to give extra bonuses to employees if a specific policy is applied that allows this action.
- I really like the possibility to recognise colleagues and use the gifs which make everything much more fun.
- I like to change the rewards for several possible vendors
- I really like to see the Dashboards that indicate the best-placed teams globally.
- They have a cool interface and are very easy to work with
We had been looking for a tool that could reinforce our values through recognition and rewards and thought to give Bonusly a try.
Having been using it for over a year now, I can say that it provides a relaxed environment for recognition and appreciation of our internal actions. It promotes satisfaction with the possibilities of exchanging rewards for benefits among several suppliers of major brands and franchises.
It also helps our employees feel at ease to express their feelings of appreciation and gratitude regarding projects or small actions that require formal recognition.
- Limitation of exchange partners for some specific regions.
- Some partners require fees for the exchange of rewards such as "PayPal".
I think Bonusly is something very unique. I don't see many vendors with similar products and the biggest difference is the integration with other products such as Slack.
People buying this type of tool should check if it:
- is practical and easy-to-use tool.
- generates engagement between employees.
- has good customer service support.
- has a global performance and with very good partners to exchange rewards.
- is flexible so that Human Resources can adapt it to their reality in terms of points provided to employees.
They have sought to improve their service, implement new tools such as Analytics and Dashboards, and also include new partners to exchange rewards.
I see Bonusly suitable for companies with a young audience, as it is a tool that uses many gifs and emojis, which generally appeals to this type of audience.
I also see it for companies seeking to create greater engagement and recognition within employees.
Companies with very traditional processes and people who do not adapt to online tools for recognition.
Companies with bureaucratic and archaic methods may not adapt to the tool.
Motivosity is the best pick for midsize businesses looking to take their employee experience to a new level via a mobile-friendly solution that incorporates straightforward recognition features, advanced reporting plus goal tracking, and eNPS into a single platform.
- Motivosity is mobile-friendly. Users can access the platform via phones, desktops, and collaboration apps like Teams and Slack.
- Motivosity offers free software (namely Connect) with fundamental features for employee engagement.
- Motivosity’s free trials are available for all paid subscriptions.
- It’s easy to give a shout-out or recognition to another colleague through the platform.
- Motivosity’s built-in reporting provides helpful insights around potential attrition, most recognized employees, and managers that need coaching.
- Motivosity’s users love the new version of the app.
- Employees can access this system from their phones, desktop, and apps they are in at work such as Teams/Slack
- One platform that combines rewards, recognition, employee engagement, and more
- Built in reporting with insights around potential attrition, most recognized employees, managers that need coaching, etc.
- Only has dollar (not points) based rewards.
- Lack of rules to regulate the distribution of points. For example, a team member could give 100% of their monthly rewards to a friend.
- Some features, including 1:1s and coaching, need more refinement.
- Only has dollar (not points) based rewards. Their research shows dollars is more effective, but many companies want points.
- Some users claimed sometimes it can be a bit buggy connecting to Slack to notify people that an appreciation came through.
- It would have broadened the number of gift card options for users to choose from.
- There could have been an easier way to integrate the software with swag stores. For now, you have to transfer funds to a card and then link that card with the swag store, which slows down a bit the process to cash in funds.
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.
Health Catalyst, Cotopaxi, Health Equity, Instructure, Ivanti
- 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.
Movitosity caters to companies ranging from 10 to 10,000 employees. But it especially suits mid-sized organizations with 100-3,000 people looking to elevate their employee experience through recognition.
Bucketlist is constantly trying to outdo itself, and we love the frequent addition of new and improved features.
- Numerous rewards are available. Some users have even mentioned that it’s hard to pick one.
- Known for adding customer suggestions to its product roadmap and delivering on them.
- Open to price negotiation and price matching.
- Web and mobile versions are easy to use.
- A 14-day free trial.
- Vast number of rewards available, some users have even mentioned that it’s hard to pick one
- The Bucketlist team has been known for adding customer suggestions to their product roadmap and delivering on them
- When it comes to pricing, they offer to match another offer if you find a better price elsewhere
- Only available in English.
- Rewards in the form of experiences are quite limited compared to cash rewards.
- Some users found shoutouts, tokens, and goal setup features challenging to use.
- Only available in English
- Little information is available as to the particularities of their concierge service for experience rewards.
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.
More than 1,000 teams use Bucketlist. Some of them are First Bank, RBC, Chick-fil-A, 1-800-GOT-JUNK, Stamford Health, and PCI Pharma.
Pricing info is not available on their website.
Bucketlist works best for small and medium-sized businesses (50 to 5,000 employees).
Awardco goes further than the average rewards platform. By packing a social feed, peer-to-peer appreciation, and extensive international reward options, Awardco is perfect for remote teams and multinational businesses looking for a complete solution for their employee engagement efforts.
- Awardco’s employee recognition features run parallel to employee rewards features.
- Awardco’s integration with Amazon gives employees a wide range of reward options redeemable in many countries.
- Awardco is available in 16 languages.
- Awardco can integrate easily with most-used software, including Slack, Teams, HRIS, and Hubspot.
- Amazon Business integration, huge reward catalog for a multitude of countries.
- The platform is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Simplified Chinese.
- Undisclosed pricing.
- Only Amazon-delivered products are available from Awardco.
- The mobile app is web-based and hosted by Progressive Web Application, not the App Store or Google Play.
- Actual pricing is not publicly available, so getting started won’t be a quick and self-service process like with other companies in the space.
- With Awardco, digital and physical gift cards are ineligible for refunds.
- Only Amazon-delivered products are available from Awardco. Goods sold by third-party vendors on Amazon are not available.
- The Awardco mobile app is only available as a Progressive Web Application, not from the App Store or Google Play, which might be less intuitive for some users.
Awardco is technically a rewards platform known for their Amazon-integrated catalog, but this tool does much more. It also has all the features you’d expect in a recognition platform, like a social media feed, an emphasis on peer-to-peer appreciation, and a general inclination toward employee engagement.
They provide flexible settings that enable admins to customize programs unique to their company culture, and they are built for use by teams in the U.S. and beyond.
Awardco has over 3 million users from known companies like Percepta, Paramount, Hertz, Pacific Life, and Aptive.
Awardco has two plans for SMBs, Lite and Go.
- Lite provides automation for service awards, birthdays, tracking, reporting, and manager notifications to establish a solid foundation for $2,500/year.
- Go builds on Lite by adding automated onboarding, peer-to-peer recognition, manager-to-employee recognition, value-driven recognition, and budget management for $4,000/year.
As for enterprises, Awardco offers plans that are more custom. The pricing for the enterprise plans depends on the features needed. Contact Awardco’s Sales team for more information.
Awardco’s comprehensive recognition offerings make the tool an excellent choice for growing teams and multinational businesses looking for a powerful and flexible solution for their reward and recognition program.
We primarily use it for years of service awards. So when someone hits a milestone they get an auto email from Awardco with our thanks to them and how for them to sign in. They can then sign in and use the points we provided them based on their years of service to provide a gift.
It's pretty user friendly. Their customer service does pretty well. And they usually assign you a rep to help.
We were previously with OC Tanner and were very disappointed with their service. This prompted us to look elsewhere. We really loved the amazon integration of the Awardco platform. This allowed us to provide whatever gift the employee wanted rather than a limited list for years of service awards.
Their report tools took me a bit to figure out. I wish we could decline recognitions that are inappropriate without the recognizer knowing. Otherwise I'm pretty happy with it.
Easier to use. Better customer service. More gift options.
Service is important. Giving something that your employees would actually like as a reward. Helpful representatives. Ease of implementation. I was happy with their ease of implementation.
I haven't seen dramatic changes in our few years with them but I also haven't felt there was a need.
Our organization has a wide variety of employee types and it has worked well for all.
People that have no understanding of technology or amazon.
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.
- Mo’s UI is easy to navigate, and users seem to appreciate the variety of gift cards they can offer through the platform.
- Pricing is transparent and reasonable compared to similar solutions in this space.
- Mo is available in twelve languages and growing.
- Responsive and helpful customer support.
- Mobile apps are available for both Android and iOS users.
- Mo’s UI is easy to navigate, and users seem to appreciate the varied choice of gift cards they can offer through the platform.
- The platform’s pricing is transparent and reasonable compared to similar solutions in this space,
- Mo is available in 12 languages and growing.
- Limited integrations (only Slack and Microsoft Teams).
- The customer support hours are limited to weekdays, 9 AM - 5 PM GMT.
- No free trials or free plans.
- Mo currently has limited integrations (only Slack and Microsoft Teams)
- The customer support hours are limited to weekdays, 9 AM - 5 PM GMT.
Mo’s rewards and recognition platform helps you improve employee morale and reduce churn. It features Moments and Boosts, which help you recognize employees for achievements either individually or on a team level. With Mo, you can reward employees with vouchers redeemable from stores like Amazon, ASOS, and John Lewis, or with personalized rewards. The platform also empowers employees' participation in the rewards and recognition process through peer-to-peer nominations.
To make all of the above even easier, Mo recently launched an Assistant tool, which automatically reminds you of important upcoming employee occasions such as birthdays and work anniversaries. The assistant will also nudge employers to share appreciation of a coworker if they haven’t done so in a while.
Mo has more than 58,000 users. Some top customers are SGN, The O2, NHS, Aspen, William Hill, and SHL.
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 works exceptionally well for distributed teams who want to connect and motivate employees within established internal communications platforms like MS Teams and Slack.
We are big fans of Guusto’s inclusive approach to employee recognition, with features that enforce a culture of recognition across all employees - from the frontline to the executive suite. The platform is also easy to set up, has a straightforward redemption process and a free plan for SMBs.
- Guusto is remote-friendly and planet-conscious: All gift cards are digital, so no plastic waste and no shipping.
- Guusto’s gifts are real dollar value – not points.
- Guusto offers both Android and iOS apps.
- Guusto’s subscription fee is for reward givers only. Free, unlimited recipients.
- Guusto partners with One Drop Foundation: the platform donates one day of clean drinking water for every gift sent.
- International rewards have grown a lot recently, with over 4,000 options available as of Spring 2023.
- They partnered with the One Drop Foundation to donate 1 day of clean drinking water for every gift sent.
- All gift cards are actually digital, meaning there’s no plastic waste. This also makes it a very remote-friendly product.
- Guusto is not a points program. All the gifts within the platform are real dollar value.
- As of early 2023, their global rewards options have grown to the thousands.
- In the process of becoming more international, gift redemptions can now be done in almost any currency within the regions they operate in.
- Accounts can only be funded with USD or CAD, although gift redemptions can be made in a variety of currencies.
- For subscriptions there is a minimum $40/month for the Lite tier, $80/month for the Essential tier, and $400/month for the Premium tier.
- Accounts can only be funded with USD or CAD
Guusto makes recognition and rewards seamless for dispersed workforces with its inclusive and automated employee recognition software. Unlike confusing point systems, Guusto uses real dollar value rewards that can be sent to any employee, even if they aren't in the system yet. To make things even better, you only need to pay for users that send recognitions; recipients can be added for free, without any limit.
For workforces without universal email access, Guusto offers SMS text messages and printable rewards - ensuring that frontline and deskless employees get appreciated too.
The software empowers managers with custom budgets to consistently recognize achievements, reinforce values, and automate milestone rewards. Peer-to-peer shoutouts boost morale across locations, automated drawings help randomly issue rewards and incentives, and employees can redeem their recognitions for hundreds of digital gift cards from top brands worldwide, company swag, donations, and more.
Staples, Compass One Healthcare, The Body Shop, Fairmont, Rexall Pharmacies
Guusto has scalable pricing:
- Free - $0/month (single user sending rewards)
- Lite - $40/month (single user sending/scheduling bulk rewards)
- Essential - $80/month (20 seats included, add seats $4/month)
- Premium - $400/month (80 seats included, add seats $5/month)
Worth noting: Volume discounts are available. Contact Guusto’s Sales team for more information.
Guusto is best for companies with frontline employees, particularly in the Healthcare, Retail, Financial Services, and Hospitality industries. They’ve also been actively updating their offering with features to suit the needs of companies with deskless workers.
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.
- Pretty simple to launch and navigate.
- Pricing is transparent—no fees for setting up the system.
- Cost-effective when compared to similar platforms.
- Culturally aware, while based mainly in the UK and the US, the Workstars team has been known to go the extra mile to adapt to the customs, expectations, and cost of living adjustments of clients in other parts of the world.
- 30-day trial with a dedicated support agent.
- Custom rewards like service awards, top performer awards, nominations, voting, etc
- Cost-effective when compared to similar platforms.
- Culturally-aware; while based mostly in the UK and US, the Workstars team has been known to go the extra mile to adapt to the customs, expectations, and cost of living adjustments of clients in other parts of the world.
- No HRMS integrations. To upload employee data, the user must either make do with XML/CSV files or set up the API integrations.
- No free plan.
- No HRMS integrations. To upload people data, you’d have to make do with XML or CSV files, or try to have IT set up an integration with an API.
- No free plan or free trial
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.
TT Electronics, Trac, and AstraZeneca are some of the many companies that use Workstars.
Workstars offers three subscription plans, billed monthly: Entry, Pro, and Global. The pricing for these plans depends on the number of user seats you need and whether you need to use the platform in multiple languages/currencies.
Workstars are great for scalability. Their clients have a range of 50-10,000 employees. The bigger the team, the better the price.
Nectar's peer recognition software is ideal for companies with 50-2,000 employees. You can engage employees through value-based shoutouts, customized challenges, and Amazon redeemable rewards.
- Transparent pricing.
- Volume discounts are available for organizations with 500+ employees.
- Only pay for the used rewards – unused pointed allowances won’t cost a dime.
- Free version available
- Volume discounts available for organizations with 500+ employees
- You pay for the rewards that are claimed. Points and allowances that remain unused won’t cost you a dime.
- The priced plans are not available to start as a self-service process. It is necessary to book a demo and pay for premium features.
- The rewards selection could feel limited to some teams, especially those looking for more experiences.
- The priced plans are not available to start off as a self-service process. You’d have to book a demo and pay to access some of the premium features.
- The rewards selection could feel limited to some teams, especially those looking for more experiences in offer.
Nectar offers a robust yet easy-to-use solution for peer-to-peer recognition aligned with company values. Its simple monthly points-based system empowers all employees, not just managers, to reward coworkers' accomplishments and behaviors.
Peer-to-peer shoutouts are shared for everyone to see via a centralized feed. As for rewards, Nectar’s catalog covers several options like Amazon purchases, gift cards, charitable donations, and company swag. Employees can quickly redeem their recognition points for rewards they value. Alongside peer bonuses, Nectar also offers performance-based rewards and spot bonuses from managers.
Nectar also offers wellness features and impactful new capabilities like network analysis, providing HR teams visibility into cross-team recognition patterns. Overall, Nectar is a solid platform with a thoughtful approach to employee recognition. They also frequently roll out updates and release new integrations to continuously improve their offering.
Nectar is used by many recognizable brands including Redfin, Heineken, Golden State Warriors, Major League Baseball, and SHRM.
Nectar has two plans. When billed annually, they cost as follows:
- Standard costs $2.50 per employee, and the minimum monthly charge is $99.
- Plus costs $3.50 per employee, and the minimum monthly payment is $165.
Nectar is best for smaller companies (<1,000 employees) that value employee recognition to build culture.
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.
- Support multiple languages, including English, Spanish, French, and German.
- SSO and API support.
- Can integrate with HRIS, HCM, collaboration tools, and on-demand software.
- Add modules as needed; the charge is prorated.
- Enhancements made to report loading times and mobile app functionality.
- Unlimited surveys available in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Korean.
- You can add modules as you go and these will be charged on a prorated basis.
- Billing is only offered annually, and all plans require a minimum agreement for a 24-month subscription.
- Several users found the rewards redeeming process counterintuitive.
- Billing is only done annually and all plans require a minimum agreement for a 24-month subscription (see our FAQs for more and their pricing page for full details).
- Several users have complained about the rewards redeeming process being not very intuitive.
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.
Allianz, Hitachi, Kia Motors, Patagonia, Kaiser.
WorkTango pricing starts at $8,000 annually. Request a demo to learn more.
Distributed teams, mid-sized and small enterprises in knowledge worker industries, including tech, FSI, healthcare, and business services.
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.
- Very user-friendly. Easy to upload, create content, and redeem rewards.
- A complete platform for employee engagement, not just rewards and recognition.
- The Slack integration is seamless– posts and recognitions are gathered within the team’s Slack channel.
- Various rewards include a team store, donations, entertainment, travel experiences, merch, products, and restaurant coupons.
- Available on both App Store and Google Play.
- Full platform for all things employee engagement, not just rewards and recognition.
- The Slack integration is very seamless. Challenges, posts, and recognitions can all be gathered within dedicated channels in your team’s Slack workplace, if you want to.
- Wide variety of rewards including a team store, donations, entertainment, travel experiences, merch, products, and restaurant coupons.
- Users cannot create workplace culture-building challenges and activities.
- Support is limited to an online form.
- Undisclosed pricing.
- No free plan or free trial.
- Login and single sign-on issues were reported with app use.
- For some of the workplace culture-building features, like challenges and activities, you can’t create your own, so you rely on how often Cooleaf’s team makes them available.
- We found the support center’s documentation to be somewhat limited in comparison to similar tools. Also, it seems like support is only done through an online form, no other channels are available.
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.
Shipt, Orangetheory Fitness, SalesLoft, Toyota, Synovus Bank, Yokohama Tire, Kids2
Cooleaf offers custom pricing via a monthly subscription model based on the number of employees included in the program.
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.
I use Cooleaf weekly to check on health and reporting within my clients' companies. It improves social and cultural collaboration. The platform is an easy to use employee management system. Cooleaf makes employee communication fun for the team. Recognizing employee accomplishments through Cooleaf has helped my clients understand employee performance and perspectives.
Cooleaf is very employee friendly. It can be difficult for larger teams to keep track of accomplishments, birthdays etc but this platform eliminates that concern. It has been instrumental in improving engagement for remote team members post-pandemic.
I have used Cooleaf to manage employees for clients since 2021. The service allows HR to track employee engagement and handle employee reporting. Cooleaf allows me to send surveys, improve peer recognition, and offer rewards for staff. It integrates with other software that we use easily. Cooleaf has a fun interface that enables the HR team to keep track of important changes on the go.
There are sometimes issues with the mobile app sending push notifications. Cooleaf’s voucher program can be tedious to track if the employee does not use their points. The voucher system could use an update with more exciting redeemable options.
Cooleaf is a fun platform. The service is affordable and user friendly. Other platforms like Guusto have slightly better features and redeemable options.
How many employees need Cooleaf access? Do you have a remote staff and will any rewards be applicable in their location?
I have used Cooleaf since 2021 and since that time, they have improved their customer service response and engagement surveys.
Cooleaf is good for small-medium sized organizations that focus on employee engagement. It is a customizable service that can get expensive if you have budgetary constraints.
I would not recommend Cooleaf to large companies because the cost can increase as you expand but it is a solid service.
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.
- Offers free version and free trials for their paid plans, with no need for a credit card or demo.
- Feature-rich for the price point.
- Make rewards and set up a points system with automated incentives.
- Month-to-month plan or a long-term contract (12-month minimum agreement). A large team with a long-term contract can get a custom deal.
- Explore the platform for free, no need for a credit card or demo
- Great set of features for the price point
- Make your own rewards and even set up a points system with automated incentives
- You have the option to go with a month-to-month plan or a long-term contract. For the latter, you can reach out to their team for a custom deal if it’s a larger team. However, keep in mind that the minimum agreement is 12 months.
- Coins and points expire and do not roll over.
- SSO is not standard for all plans. In some cases, it must be purchased as an add-on.
- iOS and Android apps are available, but this information is hard to find on the site.
- Only supports English.
- Coins and points do expire, so sometimes they’ll expire by the end of the month before you can use them, although you get more the next period.
- SSO is only included with some plans. For others, it can be purchased as an add-on.
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.
Casper, Keck School of Medicine, Perforce.
- 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.
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.
Kudos is a multilanguage interactive recognition platform that is rare for providing consulting services in addition to its recognition tools. This has made Kudos best for international teams looking to build an engaging workplace culture via peer-to-peer recognition.
- Kudos possesses a set of unique, company culture-oriented features that are present all across the platform.
- Kudos’ users love how easy it is to navigate the recognition tool.
- Kudos has all the bells and whistles as standard on both web and mobile versions.
- Kudos is available in 11 languages.
- Unique, company culture-oriented features are present all across the platform, such as in the way they approach analytics, or on the actual Culture Accelerator module.
- Excellent relation of mobile / desktop functionality. You basically get all the bells and whistles on both versions.
- An insider's help is needed to get a good idea of the Kudos app from the website, so a demo is necessary.
- The UX/UI could be improved: some users reported issues with attaching images, .gifs, and emojis.
- No free version and no trial version.
- Unless you get a demo and start exploring the tool with the help of an insider, we’d say it’s somewhat hard to get a good idea of what features are like, how they work, and even what they do, just from their website alone.
- From our research, we could gather that the points system and how this works can get a bit confusing for some users.
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.
ATCO, Bulgari, Arch Insurance, KidsPeace
Kudos offers a starting price of $3.25 per user per month, catering to organizations with a minimum of 500 employees. The actual pricing is flexible and determined by factors such as the number of users and the duration of the contract.
Kudos is best for businesses with over 500 employees looking for a rewards-focused program that supports multiple languages and diverse forms of recognition, from shout-outs to gift cards, experiences, and charity.
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.
- Excellent customer support thanks to their 24/7 help desk team and multiple communication channels
- Varied rewards, including products from Amazon, customizable ecards, and experiences.
- Employees will receive the reward budget's total value without processing or admin fees, as all rewards are provided at market pricing.
- A vast number of employee engagement modules can be purchased separately.
- Branded mobile apps are available for both Android and IOS users.
- Remarkably good customer support due to their 24/7 help desk team and multiple communication channels
- Varied rewards including products from Amazon, customizable ecards, and experiences
- You can purchase modules separately if you prefer it
- No free plan at this time.
- The reporting side of the platform could be enhanced to provide deeper insights.
- With mobile being so prevalent now, the lack of a mobile app to access Reward Gateway is a drawback. Having to log in separately on mobile is not ideal.
- At times, it can take a while for cashback earnings to be credited after a purchase.
- No free trial
- The “Reward Gateway for Small Business” version is only available for companies in the UK and Australia
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 is used by over 4000 companies, including McDonald’s, Comcast, and Pepsi.
- Reward Gateway employee reward and recognition solutions can be purchased separately and have custom pricing.
- The pricing of Reward Gateway’s “for Small Business” version starts at £6 per employee per month with no minimum price commitment.
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.
Blueboard handles all the logistics and helps set the tone for companies who want to recognize excellent employee performance.
- Arguably one of the only experiential rewards platforms.
- Their concierge team handles everything on the side of the experience.
- The photographs and description of each experience are usually very accurate.
- Blueboard rewards never expire.
- Integrates with most HRIS platforms, Slack, and MS Teams.
- Blueboard is arguably one of the only experiential rewards platforms.
- Their concierge team handles everything on the side of the experience.
- The photographs and description of each experience are usually very accurate.
- Blueboard rewards never expire.
- North America-centered, so there are better choices for clients with a high headcount in other parts of the world.
- Not the best bet for companies with under 100 employees.
- The budget must be set from the start – users cannot pay expenses as accrued.
- Only supports English.
- Doesn’t offer mobile apps.
- No free plan or free trial.
- Very North-America centered at the moment, so it might not be the most friendly for clients with a high headcount in other parts of the world.
- Not the best bet for companies with less than 100 employees.
- You have to set a budget at the start. That we know of, you can’t pay for each experience as you go.
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.
200+ enterprise customers use Blueboard. Some of them include Pinterest, Ubisoft, Otis, and Webcor.
Blueboard has custom pricing that depends on usage and rewards selected. There are eight levels of rewards, starting at $150 per reward.
Blueboard works best for mid to large North American companies wanting to give employees meaningful experiences through rewards and recognition.
- Our goal at SSR is to help HR and recruiting teams to find and buy the right software for their needs.
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- SSR lists all companies we feel are top vendors - not just those who pay us - in our comprehensive directories full of the advice needed to make the right purchase decision for your HR team.