The Best Employee Recognition Software of 2021

Our employee recognition software reviews are the result of over 40 hours of research on 100+ employee recognition software companies from across the web. These reviews and our employee recognition software guide help small businesses and startups find the best employee recognition software for their business.

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The Best Employee Recognition Software Companies of 2021

Best Employee Recognition Software Badge

How We Chose the Best Employee Recognition Software

Feeling wanted and appreciated inspires employees to do more. It can increase retention and create a culture of positivity in the workplace. In turn, you’ll attract better talent and as a result, make more money. Employee recognition software is one way to ensure employees feel valued and noticed. We researched some of the most popular software titles and chose the top 10 based on the criteria that companies look for.

Employee Recognition Features

The top employee recognition software provides multiple ways to acknowledge a job well done. This includes tracking how often an employee gets noticed by others, how managers and peers can report the information when they see someone doing well, and the ability to track reward points. It should also include the option to create games among staff members to encourage friendly competition and inspire everyone to reach company goals.

Recognition Options

There are two types of recognition options: manager-to-peer and peer-to-peer. Manager-to-peer is one of the most common ways companies acknowledge what an employee is doing or has accomplished. Without recognition software, most department leads and managers address an individual’s accomplishments during periodic reviews. Manager-to-peer reviews make it easier for supervisors to note a job well done in front of others. Peer-to-peer recognition allows coworkers to comment on the people they work with.

Integrations

Pre-built integrations make it easier for human resource departments to track rewards. They also make it easier to run the software alongside communication apps so that every time an employee is praised in chat it’s noted. These peer-to-peer shout-outs offer companies an inexpensive way to recognize an outstanding job.

The 10 Best Employee Recognition Software of 2021

Bonusly

Bonusly
Bonusly is an employee recognition software program that lets peers, managers, and direct reporters view teamwork tasks performed by employees. The software includes tools that can be used on a daily basis to record milestones and show who’s staying on track with the company and team goals. It also makes it easier for others to leave encouraging feedback, which builds stronger workgroups and team relationships.

Bonusly is a web-based software program that’s accessible from anywhere there’s a reliable internet connection. There’s also a downloadable app for iOS and Android, which makes it possible to record notes and leave feedback for others while you’re traveling or working out in the field. The software offers email support and integrates with other programs such as Slack, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and Igloo.

Pricing for Bonusly starts at $2.50 per month for the Core plan when billed annually. This plan includes actionable analytics, effortless rewards, and an engaging chat tool. The Pro plan costs $4.50 per month and includes additional admin permissions plus birthday and anniversary recognition.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Core: $3/user/month, $2.70/user/month billed annually + cost of rewards

Pro: $5/user/month, $4.50/user/month billed annually + cost of rewards
Free Trial>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Email support
>Integrations
>More features at Bonusly

Pros & Cons of Bonusly Employee Recognition Software

One of the best things about Bonusly is the reporting feature, which lets you gain insights on team, individual, and company levels. This makes it possible for management to make future decisions regarding retention, raises, and professional development opportunities. Live support isn’t available for the basic software, which may make it harder to get the answers you need quickly, but the site does have a resource center with blogs on the most popular topics.

ProsCons
>Full reports
>Affordable pricing
>Live support unavailable

What Customers Are Saying

Companies enjoy how easy Bonusly is to use. One person noted, “In Bonusly, I love the familiarity of the communications option and I love how easy it is to use.” Another commented, “I love how easy it is to tag others, pick how many points you want to give them and state why.”

Guusto

Guusto
Guusto makes it easy for employees and managers to interact with one another on a positive and encouraging level. You can send gifts through one of the 60,000 partner locations and inspire employees to do more. The result is a stronger work culture where the focus is on meeting goals and building relationships. The software is web-based and also available for iOS and Android devices.

Guusto’s reporting feature lets you know at a glance who’s meeting goals and standing out in terms of work performance and actions within the company. The reports also help with future decision-making. Support is available through email and live chats, which makes it easier to get answers when issues arise with the software, or when you have a question concerning one of the features.

Guusto offers a free trial that lets you test all the options and premium features so you can decide if you need to pay for the upgrade or if the free version will work for your company. The premium package costs just $1.50 per team member per month.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Premium: $1.50/team member/monthFree Trial, Free Version Available>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Email and live chat support
>Reporting
>More features at Guusto

Pros & Cons of Guusto Employee Recognition Software

The software integrates with your company calendar, so you can get reminders to send gifts for birthdays and anniversaries. It also integrates with expense reports and other accounting software. The program doesn’t offer a software licensing option, which can make it costly for large companies that must pay for each team member’s access.

ProsCons
>Integrations with other software
>Supports peer-to-peer recognition
>Unavailable for computer download

What Customers Are Saying

Users love how easy it is to show appreciation for employees with Guusto. One person commented, “It is very simple and very user friendly. It offers a number of different ways to recognize employees and I can pass the control over to the respective team leads.”

HALO Recognition

HALO Recognition
HALO Recognition is a software program that provides an easy way to show employee appreciation and increase their engagement. The software creates a more family-like atmosphere within the workplace, one that encourages employees to work harder and with each other.

HALO Recognition is web-based, so you can access your company information from anywhere you have an internet connection. It also has a downloadable app for iOS and Android devices, so you can compliment an employee immediately even when you’re out in the field or traveling. Reports make it easy to see who needs to be recognized for their efforts, track rewards, and see who’s gotten them in the past. Manager-to-peer recognition lets team leaders and department heads comment on a job well done, which in turn can make employees feel more appreciated.

Pricing is only available by custom quote, and the total cost depends on the number of options you need. Some of the available options include a best-practices library and a recognition wall. A free demo is available, so you can walk through all the available features and see them in action before getting a cost quote.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Custom QuoteFree Demo Only>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Reporting
>Manager-to-peer recognition
>More features at HALO Recognition

Pros & Cons of HALO Employee Recognition Software

HALO offers excellent customer service, which makes it easy to get answers to any questions you might have about setup and gifting. Live support is available, so you can talk to someone and get instant answers. There aren’t any integrations available, so all information must be transferred by hand between programs, which can be time-consuming, especially if you have a larger organization.

ProsCons
>Live support available
>Mobile apps available
>Lack of integrations
>No free version

What Customers Are Saying

Users appreciate how easy HALO Recognition software is to use. One person commented, “Easy to use and friendly staff. I have been using HALO for a little over a year. The site is easy to use and the customer reps are so friendly whenever we request for help or ask a question.”

Kazoo

Kazoo
Kazoo makes it effortless to create a culture of appreciation within your organization. The program is designed to make it easy to recognize a job well done and track performance on a daily basis. It also makes it simple for everyone in the company to have a voice through manager-to-peer and peer-to-peer recognition. You can create employee surveys within minutes and hold all employees accountable for their performance.

Kazoo is web-based and includes both Android and iOS applications, so it’s accessible from anywhere. The software offers full reporting capabilities, so you can track performance and goals for use in future employee management decisions.

The software comes with a free demo, so team leads and managers can see how the program works before it’s implemented. The Growth program costs just $9 a month billed annually. It’s a good choice for smaller companies with 100-250 employees that are trying to build and encourage teams. The Standard version is ideal for larger organizations with 250-1,000 employees, and the cost is just $7 a month billed annually.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Growth: Starts at $9/employee/month billed annually
Ideal for 100-250 employees

Standard: Starts at $7/employee/month billed annually
Ideal for 250-1,000 employees
Free Demo Only>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Reporting
>Peer-to-peer recognition
>More features at Kazoo

Pros & Cons of Kazoo Employee Recognition Software

Kazoo offers excellent customer support through email, phone, and live online chat. The software also includes a large resource library with answers to some of the most common questions and a blog that offers ideas and topics of interest. While Kazoo is an excellent employee recognition software option for all businesses, it’s best suited for companies with at least 100 employees.

ProsCons
>Excellent customer support
>Integrations available
>Allows gamification
>Not ideal for companies with fewer than 100 employees
>Computer download is unavailable

What Customers Are Saying

Kazoo users agree that the software is a powerful motivational tool that works well. One person commented, “Kazoo provides a platform for employees to shout each other out. It can also be used to incentivize best practices, personally and professionally.” Another user said, “I love how this initiative actually rewards employees for supporting their coworkers in doing a great job within the company.”

Kudos Now

Kudos Now
Kudos Now helps create strong teams and encourages employee engagement and recognition. The software is considered a corporate social network and peer-to-peer recognition system. It can be accessed through an online browser or an Android app. It’s simple to use, and managers can use generated reports to see how well their workers are doing. The software also comes with excellent support through online chat, scheduled help tickets, or phone calls. There are also online blogs, white papers, and webinars available to help walk you through any issues you might have with setup and operations.

The cost of Kudos Now is available by custom quote, and the price depends on the number of options you need and the type of program your company is looking for.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Custom QuoteFree Trial>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Reporting
>Excellent customer support
>More features at Kudos Now

Pros & Cons of Kudos Now Employee Recognition Software

Kudos Now integrates with other programs, including SCIM, SAML, and APIs. These integrations make it easy to manage the software across platforms. The software doesn’t allow for gamification, so any incentive plans to boost engagement must be done in other software programs or on paper.

ProsCons
>Integrates with other software programs
>Tracks reward points
>Gamification unavailable

What Customers Are Saying

Kudos Now users enjoy how it helps all teammates within an organization get the recognition they deserve. One person stated, “Kudos promotes an environment of recognition. Most of our teammates’ efforts are recognized now, and the supervisors are now aware of collaborations and efforts that were not too visible in the past.”

Motivosity

Motivosity
Motivosity helps create a culture of celebration among employees through recognition and motivation. It gives everyone in an organization an outlet to provide praise for a job well done, whether it’s doing a task well or meeting a specific goal. As a result, people feel a sense of belonging and have more constructive relationships, which helps increase productivity.

This web-based software is also available as iOS and Android apps, so anyone with a mobile device has the ability to leave instant feedback. Reports are available, so managers can immediately see who the standouts are within the organization, which makes it easier to give promotions. It also makes it effortless for team leads to see who’s meeting goals.

The monthly cost of the software is as low as $1 per user per month for the Connect plan, which makes it an affordable option for small businesses. This plan includes features such as a visual organization chart, peer-to-peer appreciations, interest groups, and personality profiles. The highest-level Lead plan costs $6.50 per user per month and is geared towards managers and team leads. It offers performance coaching, the ability to set priorities, and succession planning.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Connect: $1/person/month
Listen: $2/person/month
Recognize: $3/person/month
Lead: $6.50/person/month
Free Trial>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Reporting
>Manager-to-peer recognition
>More features at Motivosity

Pros & Cons of Motivosity Employee Recognition Software

One of the biggest advantages of Motivosity is the ability to connect with other software programs, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Outlook, API Access, and Workday. This makes it easier to share information across platforms. However, a computer download isn’t available, so the software can’t be used off-line.

ProsCons
>Integrates with other software programs
>Affordable pricing tiers
>Computer download unavailable
>No live support available

What Customers Are Saying

The ability to recognize employees who’ve performed an excellent job makes Motivosity a favorite among team leaders. One person said, “I love how the software reminds me of who I have not recognized in a while. I can easily recognize someone in 15 to 20 seconds.”

Qarrot

Qarrot
Qarrot is a motivational tool for small to medium-sized businesses that makes recognition easy and fun. The included features help increase performance and individual engagement. The platform allows both managers and peers to comment on one another and recognize an action. Employees also have the ability to comment on each other’s recognition. The program stores birthdays and anniversaries to help an individual celebrate and feel like they belong. The software can also assign badges depending on the number of likes a profile gets. Qarrot is web-based, but apps are available for iOS and Android devices.

Monthly pricing starts at $3 per person per month for smaller companies. This plan includes award campaigns. manager-to-employee recognition, a digital rewards catalog, and analytics and reporting. Organizations with more than 200 employees can contact the company for a custom quote.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
1-199 employees: $3/person/month
200+ employees: Custom Quote
Free Trial>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Recognition tracking
>Reward points
>More features at Qarrot

Pros & Cons of Qarrot Employee Recognition Software

Customer service is available through online chat, email, and phone calls. This makes it easy to get in touch with someone to address any concerns that come up. A computer download isn’t available, so a reliable internet connection is needed to use the program and access reviews.

ProsCons
>Excellent customer support
>Mobile apps available
>No downloads available for computers

What Customers Are Saying

Employees agree that Qarrot offers a great way to track and give out rewards for jobs well done. One person reviewed the program and said, “This is a great option for employee recognition and reward.” Another person stated, “This has been the simplest and easiest rewards program we’ve used at our employer.”

SalesScreen

SalesScreen
SalesScreen is a gamification software for remote sales teams. The software helps keep groups together, encourages friendly competition, and allows peers to congratulate one another when meeting goals and performing to the best of their ability. The software is web-based and stores in the cloud. There’s also a downloadable app for Android devices. Excellent customer support is available through chat and report tickets, and the software integrates with other teamwork software programs, including Slack, Pipedrive, Salesforce, Outreach, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Pricing is offered by a custom quote, and the cost depends on the number of options a company chooses. The most popular ones include seamless CRM integration, real-time competitions, and double-pipeline generation activity.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
Custom QuoteFree Trial>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Support available through chat and tickets
>Integrations
>More features at SalesScreen

Pros & Cons of SalesScreen Employee Recognition Software

The software offers reporting, which makes it possible for managers to focus on key metrics and ensure teams are focusing on what matters most. The metrics also help with the decision-making process about promotions within the company. A computer download isn’t available, so an internet connection is required to use the software remotely.

ProsCons
>Reports available
>Manager-to-peer recognition
>Computer download unavailable
>No live support

What Customers Are Saying

Users enjoy how fun the software is to use. One person stated, “The best part is the fun it brings when someone registers a compliment.” Another person noted “We are loving the app for our office. It makes every sale a celebration.”

Xoxoday Empuls

Xoxoday
Xoxoday Empuls helps improve productivity and decrease turnover by engaging and motivating employees. This software is a web-based program that also includes an Android app. Managers can use it to connect with employees to share company goals and visions. Employees can also get feedback from both managers and peers, which can be turned into rewards of their own choosing.

A free trial of the software is available, so a company can try it out before they commit to a monthly plan. Monthly pricing is just $3 per user per month for small to medium-sized companies with up to 200 employees.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$3/user/month for up to 200 employeesFree Trial>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Reporting
>Manager-to-peer recognition
>More features at Xoxoday Empuls

Pros & Cons of Xoxoday Empuls Employee Recognition Software

Xoxoday Empuls provides excellent customer service across a variety of platforms, including email, live chat, report ticket, and phone. A demo isn’t available, but users can try a free trial of the software before signing up for a monthly contract.

ProsCons
>Excellent customer service
>Integrations available
>No demo available
>Computer download is unavailable

What Customers Are Saying

Managers love how the software encourages employees to work harder, which in turn saves the company money. One reviewer stated, “Time is money and this software targets this very principle, helping you to save your valuable time in workforce alignment on the go. Also, employees are always satisfied with the rewards.”

Zestful

Zestful
You can set goals, create games, give rewards, and provide feedback with the Zestful recognition software. This web-based program includes iOS and Android apps so you can access your own reviews or leave feedback for others from anywhere. You can also customize the points system according to your own rewards system and automate goals so that once they’ve been met, the system automatically awards the prizes.

Zestful allows for both peer-to-peer and manager-to-peer recognition, and the recognition program makes it possible for team leaders to identify employees who stand out.

Pricing starts at just $5 per person per month, and a free trial is available for organizations that prefer to test the product before signing a contract.

PriceFree Trial/DemoFeatures
$5/person/monthFree Trial>Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, and Android deployment
>Peer-to-peer recognition
>Recognition tracking
>More features at Zestful

Pros & Cons of Zestful Employee Recognition Software

Zestful integrates with other software programs like Slack that make it possible to discuss rewards and company goals. The biggest drawback is that the software doesn’t come with live support, so it may take time to get answers to questions, although there are blogs available that address common issues.

ProsCons
>Integrates with other software
>Affordable payment option
>Tracks reward points
>Live support unavailable
>Doesn't support gamification

What Customers Are Saying

Zestful users enjoy the flexible perks that come with the software. One user said, “Zestful is easy to use and gives you the flexibility to offer employees fun new perks. Traditional methods can get boring and complicated.”

What Is Employee Recognition Software?

Employee recognition software allows businesses to recognize and reward employees for meeting goals, performing a job to the best of their ability, or standing out above other workers. This program is typically a browser-based application, so managers and employees with an internet connection can give reviews on an individual’s work habits. All information is stored in the cloud, so it can be shared among multiple locations, which is ideal for chains. Based on these reviews, managers, business owners, and team leaders can analyze this information and give out monetary rewards, gifts, and future promotions. The software defines what these rewards are and turns goals and deadlines into a fun participation game.

Employee recognition software typically works in one of two ways: a continuous social media feed that lets employees see who’s recognized and for what or individual profiles where users can leave comments. It’s often other employees who see their peers hard at work, and this software gives them the ability to make comments on a daily basis. For most of these programs, employees earn electronic cash or points, which can be exchanged for actual gifts, gift cards, or company swag.

Benefits of Employee Recognition Software

Employees who feel appreciated tend to feel more positive about their jobs, happier at work, are more loyal, and are likely to work harder. Employee recognition software can help create a positive work environment where staff feels welcomed, so they look forward to coming to work. Top talent is drawn to companies with positive work cultures. They also tend to stay longer and attract others of the same caliber. This helps build a positive company culture and one where employees feel engaged. This can translate into a lower turnover rate, which reduces training expenses. Engaged employees also put forth an extra effort because they tend to be proud of where they work. Most companies have to scope out potential employees. Those with a positive work culture have candidates who reach out for employment, which helps make recruitment easier.

Employees who feel appreciated by their peers work better in team environments. Work collaborations generally yield better results so companies can reach goals much faster. Instead of competing with one another for attention, employees who feel recognized and appreciated tend to have greater mutual respect and are more likely to work toward the greater good of the organization.

Must-Have Features for Employee Recognition Software

Companies that choose employee recognition software often look for specific features, such as programs that focus on morale. We evaluated these features and considered some of the most popular ones.

  • Recognition tracking: Key performance indicators are used to gauge how effective an employee is to the organization and help identify areas that need improvement. The software should keep track of how often employees are recognized for meeting these performance goals and when they’re being rewarded.
  • Reward points: Look for recognition software that keeps a rolling total on the number of recognition points individuals receive so rewards aren’t overlooked.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition: This allows coworkers to comment on one another’s performance instead of relying solely on what the team leader views. This also makes it easier for all workers to comment on the praise and upvote the behavior.
  • Manager-to-peer recognition: Management recognition is helpful for yearly reviews. This option also makes it easier for managers to see whom to choose for future projects and upcoming promotions.
  • Integrations for HR systems: Choose software programs that integrate with collaboration tools your company already uses to help make celebrating recognition the focus of employee chats.

The Cost of Employee Recognition Software

The cost of employee recognition software varies depending on the number of users and types of options needed for your business. Most software companies charge by the month, with prices ranging from $1 to $9 per person.

These monthly plans are ideal for small companies on limited budgets. Larger businesses may opt to pay annually, which can provide savings on the monthly rates.

Regardless of the cost, employee recognition software plans charge additional fees for rewards.

There are also free plans available, but they don’t include features such as reporting and integrations. However, they may be a good choice for companies with only a few employees.

The number of advanced features an employee recognition software program offers can also affect its cost. Basic plans let you create personality profiles and offer weekly highlights and allow you to make announcements of recognition. More advanced features include awards and badges, the ability to create bonus programs, and employee turnover tracking.