An Expert Review of Nectar's Employee Recognition Tool - 2022

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Finance and Software Nerd
May 26, 2022
We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  However we may earn a small fee if you click on vendor links on this page.
Learn more

Nectar Versus the competition

Nectar's peer-to-peer employee recognition and rewards platform is made specifically for companies with 50-500 employees. They’re also one of the few solutions in the space with a free version and their analytics module is worth exploring.

Pros
  • 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.
Cons
  • 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 Review

Nectar is a 360° recognition & rewards platform, as it includes social recognition, awards, challenges, milestones, discounts, and other kinds of perks. We’ll go into more detail on what these mean, but first we must point out that Nectar also stands out for having a completely free version and being especially friendly for remote-first teams. 

Nectar's solution is built around a peer to peer recognition feed that aligns employee accomplishments with company core values. The feed itself is very much like a social network. You can mention a coworker, add a reason why you’re recognizing them in a public forum, add a certain number of points, and mention which of the operational core values (why you’d previously set) is tied to this commendation. 

As to rewards, each employee (including managers) gets a points balance each month which they can allocate to colleagues that go above and beyond. Those points don’t expire and are redeemable within the same platform. Nectar is also known to have an extensive reward selection—  Amazon products, gift cards, company swag, charities, and a whole lot more.

Then, an additional perk that sets Nectar apart is that companies can offer exclusive discounts to their employees. As of 2022, the companies that Nectar have partnered with for this offering include Airbnb, Six Flags, Papa Johns, Walt Disney World, Costco, and many more. 

Other recent features include their wellness component and their organizational network analysis tool. The latter gives HR insights into which teams recognize one another the most and is a part of their broader analytics module. 

As a final note, we’ll add that we’ve kept in constant contact with the guys at Nectar for years and have noticed that they tend to release new features and high-impact integrations with good frequency.

Who shouldn't buy Nectar

While they do offer volume discounts to companies with more than 500 employees, enterprise customers don’t really make the bulk of Nectar’s current customer base. Those looking for more of a white glove service and having more resources deployed for your account might not be the best fit for Nectar, as they’re a smaller team and definitely more on the SMB and remote-friendly end of both spectrums.

Nectar Customers

Heineken, Teachable, Major League Baseball, SHRM, Eightfold.ai

Nectar Stats

Nectar Key Features

  • Sizeable reward catalog: On demand company branded swag as rewards, plus a large variety of other rewards including gift cards, charities, etc. Amazon products are also available as rewards for millions of options plus quick shipping.
  • Analytics: A reporting module shows you the most/least active employees, Leaderboards
  • Organizational network analysis (ONA): Tied to reporting, this feature allows you to see which teams are supporting which other teams. 

Nectar also has capabilities for creating:  

  • Step count and other fitness challenges
  • Recognition for employee awards like President's club, employee of the month, etc.

Nectar Key Integrations

  • Single sign on (SSO)
  • A variety of HRIS integrations: Bamboo, Rippling, Paycor, ADP, Namely and many more
  • Slackbot that allows people to give/receive recognition via slack
  • Microsoft Teams integration where you can use the entire product within Teams

Nectar Pricing

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.

Motivosity Recognize
Motivosity Recognize
Motivosity Lead
Motivosity Listen
Free
$5 per person per month
$6.50 per person per month
$2 per person per month

Nectar Implementation

Since they have a free version, implementing Nectar at first is as easy as signing up and inviting your colleagues to join. You can start using the platform pretty much instantly. For one of the paid plans, you’d have to first book a demo so their customer success team can get a good sense of your needs and the program that you’d create within the platform. Implementation times will vary depending on the outcome of said demo and the scope of your team’s needs.

Nectar Customer Success

Companies on the Plus Plan get a dedicated account manager.

About Nectar

While many workforce engagement platforms are about peer-to-peer & manager-to-employee recognition, Nectar has always been about helping distributed teams stay connected. This philosophy has set them apart even since 2015, when remote work wasn’t as common as it is today.

Which is not to say that they can’t be a good fit for centralized companies too. It’s just that their features definitely revolve around being able to reward and recognize employees anytime and anywhere.

Now, although the philosophy behind Nectar has stayed steady over the years, the platform is constantly evolving, as we mentioned in the review and features sections of our deep dive. Working out of Orem, Utah and other parts of the US, it’s remarkable that a team of 30~ has been servicing companies like Heineken and the MLB quite successfully.

Nectar Alternatives

Motivosity combines 4 products (Connect, Recognize, Lead, and Listen) into a single platform that helps teams stay happy, connected, and motivated.
Bucketlist helps HR teams to engage employees through a customizable rewards and recognition platform that easily integrates with the apps your employees already use like Slack, Teams, Outlook.
Bonusly is easy to use and set up, comes with a large rewards catalog, and is simply a great peer-to-peer recognition platform.
Kazoo combines continuous performance management, employee recognition, rewards, and engagement surveys into one powerful platform to help you improve employee experience and by extension, company culture.
Assembly helps small and midsized companies to acknowledge employees so they can build a strong culture and reduce employee churn through peer to peer recognition.
WeGift is a smart solution for distributing gift cards at scale. They stand out for providing access to 700+ brands, bulk discounts of up to 25% off, and the ability to reclaim unspent value on expired gift cards.
They simplify rewards, recognition, and incentives thanks to their Amazon Business integration which gives them access to a huge number of employee rewards.
Not only is Guusto a top-rated (and free) recognition & rewards SaaS provider, they actually donate 1 day of clean drinking water for every gift sent.
As an employee experience platform, Cooleaf empowers companies to engage and motivate their staff by capturing employee sentiment using pulse surveys, performance incentives, and bringing employees together with recognition and virtual activities.
Workstars provides companies with a dynamic platform for highly customizable recognition programs for their employees.
Reward Gateway is an employee engagement platform (SmartHub) that combines employee recognition, surveys, communication, discounts (instant vouchers and cashback offers), and analytics in a single solution.
Kudos® have paired their employee recognition software with additional employee engagement functionality. Features like spaces and galleries and culture tools are unique to the space. They also do consulting for companies that need extra assistance.
They’ve been quick to adopt a remote-first approach to team recognition, helping you send gifts to employees, customers, or prospects to their home, for instance.
Blueboard is a one-stop-shop to create personalized and meaningful rewards for employees, most in the form of real-life memorable experiences.
Gifted is completely free, easy to set up, lets people choose their gifts, and features automated & timed gifting.
Listed in our research about the Best Employee Rewards Platforms
You might also be interested in the following buyer guides:
Applicant Tracking SoftwareEmployee Recognition SoftwareVideo Interview Software

Review Methodology

We take our research process seriously and want to make sure we are presenting our readers with the very best solutions in a given software category. Check out this guide to learn how we evaluate vendors before featuring them in our buyer guides.

Advice on buying HR tech video