Blueboard Expert Review, Pricing, Alternatives - 2022
Blueboard is a rewards platform that gets rid of points and gift cards and provides experiences instead. It is a one-stop-shop to create personalized and meaningful rewards for employees, in the form of several real-life memorable experiences.
- 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.
- 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.
You may already know by now that Blueboard's main difference is focusing on experiences for employee recognition instead of products or gift cards. When an employee hits a special milestone, they can get something like a family trip, a class of something they’re interested in, or even in-home experiences.
A strong goal for the company is to have experiences available that people can enjoy with their loved ones, but they do have a staggering amount of variety that you can only fathom by going to their rewards page. As to how this works on the HR end, the idea is for it to take seconds. You simply select an employee, specify what the reward is for, add a personal note, and click “send”. The recipient gets to choose their reward, which virtually eliminates all guesswork and back and forth messaging around this. What’s it like for employees? Once they choose a reward, this fact can be amplified to the company’s communication channels and celebrated by other team members. As to the reward itself, Blueboard’s concierge team handles the logistics and planning.
If your company has less than 100 employees, and is not mainly based in the US and/or Canada, it might not be the best fit.
Axon, Glassdoor, GoPro, Journey’s, NextRoll, Shake Shack, Sovos, Salesforce
- 4 worldwide offices
- 60,000+ experiences delivered
- Automated reward delivery: You can set up certain rewards around fixed dates, like birthdays and anniversaries, to be delivered on automatic. You’d choose the milestone and reward level, and consider it done.
- Microsoft Teams & Slack integrations: Another noteworthy thing about Blueboard is that it integrates with these business communication tools. By notifying a channel when a reward is received, for instance, a lot of the buzz and excitement that comes from rewarding and recognizing employees happens where most of the watercooler talk is taking place already.
- Real-time insights: Everything under the sun when it comes to rewards with Blueboard is monitored and recorded. This data on reward delivery, completion, and engagement can be presented periodically via automated reports.
- Employee feedback loop: This is a comprehensive suite with insights into program impact, scores, quotes, and shareable stories of recognition in the workplace.
Blueboard also has capabilities for:
- Personal concierge for planning, payment, and logistics
- Peer-to-Peer Recognition
- Manager-to-Peer Recognition
- Performance Management
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.
- Broadcast reward activities through Slack and Microsoft Teams
- For SSO, Okta, Google, Microsoft Azure, OneLogin, and PingIdentity
To get started with Blueboard, you’d first request a demo via their website. If your company seems like a good fit, you’d have an initial call for them to show you the platform and understand your needs. Then, if it’s a green light on both ends, you can be up and running in as little as two weeks. However, this depends on your particular goals, company size, and working with the Blueboard team to go through their onboarding plan.
Blueboard has a resources site with case studies, guides, eBooks, and webinars. Their Client Success team is dedicated to developing strong relationships with clients and promoting product adoption at each company.
Blueboard’s founders Kevin Yip and Taylor Smith got the idea to start Blueboard after experiencing recognition programs at other companies. They felt that the tried and tested methods such as gift cards or a bonus or a company pin were impersonal and even cliched. They lacked sufficient personalization to actually feel like recognition instead of a simple acknowledgement or even a mere HR requirement.
Hence, they started Blueboard with the aim of making an experiential rewards platform. In their view, if a reward isn’t special and personal then it lacks the recognition aspect. At the same time, however, they were privy to the fact that if employee rewards at companies tend to feel transactional, it’s not because people don’t want to do better, it is likely because they can’t.
Often, managers are constrained by time and budgets. In the case of remote companies, which were a good portion of Blueboard’s initial customer base, it’s also a matter of physical distance. How do you craft a nice experience for an employee if they’re in another continent?
If the search for good experiences is behind the curation of the reward catalog, then the constraints of managers are behind the design and functionality. The platform had to be very easy to use from the get-go, simple to figure out, and there had to be a team in charge of making the experience happen with as little intervention from the managers and HR as possible, in multiple locations.
The idea resonated with companies around the Bay Area and as it caught on to other parts of North America, the company secured some outside funding. This allowed Blueboard to expand to more markets, growing to $13 million in sales in 2019, up from $4 million in 2017, and almost doubling in employee count.