Kazoo's Employee Engagement Solution (Review) - 2022
In the employee experience software space, Kazoo stands out for combining engagement surveys, continuous performance management, and employee recognition into one platform. Remarkably, they are able to offer these modules stand-alone or as bundles.
- Kazoo is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Korean, although the latter is only available for the performance management module.
- You can add modules as you go and these will be charged on a prorated basis.
- 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.
Kazoo packs features for employee engagement, rewards and recognition, and performance management all into a single user-friendly platform. Their three-pronged approach allows People teams to use one vendor that seamlessly shares data across all three modules.
We at SSR have kept track of Kazoo’s evolution as a product, even when it was still YouEarnedIt and HighGround (the two merged to form Kazoo in 2019). Through in-depth research, expert interviews, and a series of conversations with their team, we’ve developed a good understanding of the product and will now shed some light on their main modules.
First off is rewards and recognition. Through a social media-like company feed, managers and all types of employees can recognize their coworkers by creating a post and tying it to a core company value. This post can include points or tokens, which are then redeemable through their rewards catalog.
The folks at Kazoo refer to their rewards module as a “global rewards engine” since employees in a myriad of countries can redeem their points for products, gift cards, experiences, or even select a charity they’d like to donate funds to. Managers can also create custom rewards and curate their own special catalogs as incentives for certain milestones or internal programs.
This of course ties in nicely with their performance module, since what better place to choose to recognize an employee than the platform you’re using to keep track of how good of a job they’re doing and do 1:1s.
The Goals and OKRs part of their platform lets you create and keep track of goals at all necessary levels. You can tie measurable results to each goal and keep track of its completion percentage, or just add a yes/no or a specific target. Of course, you can also set due dates for these.
In this manner, goals can adapt to the methodology you were previously using, or are trying to implement, such as SMART, OKRs, FAST, etc. Teammates can also work together on shared goals and tie these to broader company objectives. The way goals are connected is actually represented in a mind map-style view that is automatically generated by the platform.
Through well-thought out and complete features like these, it makes sense to us that Kazoo reportedly sees over 80% of users engaging with their platform on a monthly basis. As of 2022, they also have a customer retention rate of over 90%.
As a final note, Kazoo actually acquired Worktango at the beginning of Q2 2022. Worktango is a Toronto-based company that were already making waves in the employee feedback space.
Through the acquisition, the Kazoo platform is now able to offer a comprehensive employee survey tool. Depending on the plan, this can include several survey delivery methods like Email, SMS, Kiosk, QR Code, a range of survey templates to choose from, heatmaps, sentiment analysis, and much more.
Smaller companies (fewer than 100 employees) may have trouble fitting Kazoo into their budget or realizing the full value of such investment. Furthermore, as of 2022, Kazoo is not available in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine.
Allianz, Hitachi, Kia Motors, Meredith, Patagonia
- 95% customer retention rate
- 600+ global customers
- 1-3% average improvement in productivity
- 10-20% higher employee retention
- Visible recognition: Assign rewards, points, or tokens to employees and make this action public by having it appear on a social activity feed. Posts that can be visible to the whole company can include core company values being recognized, as well as a personal message, emojis, gifs, and images. In turn, the colleagues can react to these posts with high-fives and comments.
- Comprehensive rewards catalog: For a platform with so many other modules, it’s worth noting that Kazoo has a very complete rewards catalog. They have the traditional gift cards, points, and tokens, but also merchandise, experiences, and donations to charity organizations.
- Goal setting and OKRs: Kazoo lets you create and keep track of goals that are company-wide, departmental, or individual. You can then see how they all connect in a mind map style view and manage the progress for each of them.
Kazoo also has capabilities for:
- Talent assessment
- Pulse surveys
- Employee rewards and recognition
- Social media-like activity feed
- Reporting and detailed insights
- People directory
- Talent assessment
Kazoo integrates with many third-party business solutions including BambooHR, ADP, UKG Pro, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, Slack, and more. It also has API capabilities for custom integrations.
Kazoo has three plans. The pricing of those plans depends on the modules included. For example, you can either purchase Kazoo'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 Kazoo'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 Kazoo's Sales team for a quote.
The team at Kazoo sets you up with a personalized implementation plan and account set-up, as well as admin and employee training. They also require new customers to purchase onboarding services to use the platform. These one-time services start at $1,500 for Recognition, $2,500 for Performance, and $4,000 for the Full Platform.
Kazoo has a help center that facilitates self-service, as well as a support team that is reachable via phone or email. They also have a resource library and an updates page with news and information on the product.
Kazoo’s mission, as stated in their company website, is “to help companies put their people first”. They believe that companies should put a lot of their energy into creating a workplace where every employee can thrive. In turn, by making work better for everyone, companies can mitigate threats like high turnover rates.
Originally named YouEarnedIt, this part of Kazoo was founded in 2013 by Autumn Manning and Kenny Tomlin. Finding good traction in the HR Tech space, the company acquired HighGround, a performance management SaaS company. They then got some funding from investment firm Vista Equity Partners.
This latter company ended up acquiring them right as the merger between YouEarnedIt and HighGround happened in 2019 and the two became Kazoo. Vista Equity Partners are also the backing investors of companies like iCIMS, Pipedrive, and PowerSchool and hold over $93 billion in assets under management.
As of 2022, Kazoo acquired Worktango, the Toronto-based employee feedback tool, in order to evolve their employee surveys offering. While based in Austin, they also have offices in Chicago and remote employees scattered around the rest of the US.