10 Best Employee Recognition Platforms To Celebrate Top Talent In 2022

Employee recognition can help your team feel valued for their hard work and drive their productivity to new heights. But setting up an organization-wide rewarding system can be difficult, especially if your managers and HR department oversee a lot of people. This is why software companies developed employee recognition platforms. 

Employee recognition platforms help you identify top performers in your team, so you can reward their good work. They compile employee performance data from multiple sources, such as peer reviews, management reviews, surveys, feedback, and individual or organizational goals to help you distinguish who is great at their job, who needs coaching or training, and who deserves a reward. 

And recognition programs work. 85% of employers reward hard-working individuals to boost morale. 

Read my review to discover the 10 best employee recognition platforms you can use to reward good work in 2022. The review includes a short description of each solution that made my list, screenshots, and a comparison chart to help you determine which tool would be a good fit for your organization. 

Related Read: 4 Fun Ways To Showcase Your Personality Through Employee Recognition

The Best Employee Recognition Platform List

Here’s the list of the best employee recognition software that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. Nectar logoNectar

    Best catalog of rewards, perks, and discounts for a work culture people won't want to leave

  2. Empuls logoEmpuls

    Best for peer-to-peer rewards and recognition

  3. Assembly logoAssembly

    Best employee recognition software for improving productivity, engagement and other workflows

  4. Guusto logoGuusto

    Reward employees with digital gift cards

  5. Awardco logoAwardco

    Best all-in-one employee recognition platform for building culture and driving behavior

  6. Workvivo logoWorkvivo

    Best employee recognition platform for strengthening corporate culture

  7. Blueboard logoBlueboard

    Reward people with experiences

  8. Vantage Rewards logoVantage Rewards

    Best employee recognition software for automating employee rewards and other types of corporate gifting

  9. Know Your Team logoKnow Your Team

    Encourage employees to provide feedback

  10. Workhuman logoWorkhuman

    Acknowledge employees with points that have real-life value

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best employee recognition solution? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for tools that have a clean interface. Your managers and HR department shouldn’t waste time searching for the right functionalities. 
  2. Usability: I look for software that is friendly toward users who are not tech-savvy. Your HR professionals and employees should be able to learn how to navigate the platform with minimal training. 
  3. Integrations: I look for tools that connect to a lot of different platforms, so you can integrate them with your existing software ecosystem. 
  4. Value for $: I look for platforms that enable your HR department to accomplish multiple tasks so you take full advantage of your investment.  

Employee Recognition Platform Key Features

  1. Simple reward system – The platform should enable your managers and HR specialists to reward top team members with ease. 
  2. Peer recognition – The tool should facilitate reviews and feedback, encouraging your staff to praise their peers. 
  3. Automation – The software should leverage automation to help your managers reward high-performing employees. 
  4. Performance tracking – The platform should track multiple KPIs, so your team can pinpoint effective individuals. 
  5. Reporting – The tool should organize the data in neat reports, so your HR team can present it to management. 

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Employee Recognition Platforms

Here’s a brief description of each employee recognition app to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface. 

  • freemium version
  • From $2.50/user/month

Nectar - Best catalog of rewards, perks, and discounts for a work culture people won't want to leave

Nectar lets you recognize great work, give points, and redeem those points for awesome rewards.

Nectar is an employee recognition platform for companies with 50-500 employees. Nectar helps team members feel valued, connected and engaged no matter where they work. Team leaders can build camaraderie by celebrating wins both big and small.

Nectar is a 360 recognition and rewards platform that enables everyone (peer to peer and manager to employees) to send meaningful recognition rooted in core values. Nectar has an extensive rewards catalog so users can choose from things such as company branded swag, Amazon products, gift cards, entertainment discounts, and custom reward types.

Nectar integrates with tools like Slack and Teams.

Nectar costs from $2.50/user/month and offers a free plan option.
  • 30 days free trial
  • https://www.empuls.io/pricing

Empuls - Best for peer-to-peer rewards and recognition

Empuls promotes participation with gamification.

Empuls is an employee engagement solution that aims to improve company culture & bring the entire digital workplace to life. People leaders use Empuls to build a culture of appreciation, bring teams together, eliminate silos, and provide a voice to every employee.

Empuls comes with features for one-on-one feedback, peer & social recognition, and a wide variety of benefits like rewards & perks are handy to help anyone get started without much training.

With Empuls, your HR team can focus on strategizing rewards & recognitions and not get bogged down with operational complexities.

Empuls also gives your teams the ability to centralize internal communications with a social intranet platform and motivate employees with a reward of their choice when they deliver good performance and exceed expectations.

With Empuls you can run reward programs that power business results, align employee recognition programs with company culture and values, and make recognition frictionless, candid, social, and fun with Empuls. Measure the impact of your employee engagement initiatives and employee sentiment with real-time feedback.

Empuls integrates with HRIS, HRMS, and HCM solutions as well as single sign-on tools.

Empuls costs from $2/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial.

  • freemium version
  • Free for up to 10 members
  • From $2.80/user/month

Assembly - Best employee recognition software for improving productivity, engagement and other workflows

Celebrate your teammates publicly using Assembly’s peer-to-peer recognition tools.

Assembly is an employee recognition platform that gives you the ability to track and achieve goals and automate incentives. Assembly makes it easy to put employee appreciation at the heart of your company culture through peer-to-peer recognition and incentives. Their system also shows people that their contributions are valued, while boosting performance and retaining your best talent.

Assembly lets you gather nominations from your whole team to make sure everyone’s accomplishments are celebrated. To further reward good work, employees are rewarded points that they can redeem for a gift that makes them feel valued. You can also use their platform to keep track of other key dates, like birthdays and work anniversaries as well.

Assembly integrates with many popular tools such as BambooHR, Google G Suite, Office 365, and Slack, among others.

Assembly costs from $2.80/user/month and offers a free trial.

  • freemium version
  • From $1.5/user/month

Guusto - Reward employees with digital gift cards

Guusto helps you build a community and improve employee engagement.

Guusto is an employee recognition tool that helps people leaders modernize milestone rewards, empower managers to send rewards, or build powerful peer-to-peer programs. Guusto makes it easy to consistently reward great work and shape a workplace culture.

Guusto lets you choose what you need and what matters to the work that you and your teams do. One unique feature Guusto comes with is that it donates a day’s worth of clean water for every gift users send within the platform.

Guusto costs from $1.50/user/month and offers a free account option as well.

  • Pricing upon request

Awardco - Best all-in-one employee recognition platform for building culture and driving behavior

Reward your employees on a platform that makes it as easy as shopping on Amazon.

Awardco brings everything you love about Amazon into a platform for rewards, recognition, and incentives. Having an official partnership with Amazon Business, Awardco provides millions of reward choices, lower vendor fees, and dollar-for-dollar spend to your organization. More choice, more capability, and less spend all in one simple platform.

Many companies are dealing with high turnover in an ultra competitive labor market. Customers like Ford, JPMorgan Chase, Pinterest, and Chick-fil-A use Awardco to build culture and retain the people they can’t afford to lose. Best for organizations with over 100 employees, Awardco helps build world-class programs that make a big impact on the bottom line. With Awardco, companies cut down on expensive vendor costs, admins save time on manual tasks, and teams feel more connected.

Awardco integrates with many tools including SAML 2, and has various integrations with OKTA, Google, and single sign-on is an option.

Awardco offers pricing details upon request.

  • Pricing upon request

Workvivo - Best employee recognition platform for strengthening corporate culture

Workvivo connects employees and celebrates their achievements through shout-outs, peer-driven award nominations, and badges.

Workvivo is an employee experience app designed to foster engagement and emotional connection between employees and your company culture, no matter where they’re located. Their platform functions as a modern intranet, communications hub, and engagement and employee recognition tool, blended into a single social network experience.

Workvivo supports employee recognition through features like public shout-outs to recognize a job well done, tools to celebrate individual and team achievements, and peer-driven nominations for company awards. They also have a badge feature that enables organizations to further recognize employee achievements, which can be customized to mesh with your corporate culture. By giving employees the tools to amplify their own voice, Workvivo aims to foster a deeper connection between your workforce and your company culture, goals, and values.

Workvivo integrates with many commonly used HR tools, including payroll software, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.

Workvivo offers customized pricing details upon request, and you can request a free demo through their website.

  • Pricing upon request

Blueboard - Reward people with experiences

Blueboard helps you create custom rules and automate the rewarding process.

Blueboard is an employee recognition platform that helps managers reward their employees with personalized experiences instead of standard gift cards. The tool has a clean interface and makes it easy to automate the rewarding process.

Sending a personalized reward is easy. You can create different tiers of rewards, choose the right one for each individual, and send it. Your employee receives a notification in their email and chooses an activity that’s tailored to their taste.

The highlight of this software is that it enables your employees to select their own adventure. There are dozens of activities to choose from, so your team members can go for things they would enjoy, whether it’s taking a pottery class, joining a wellness club, or something off their bucket list, like skydiving.

Once the employee chooses the activity, Blueboard’s team handles the planning and logistics, so all your team members have to do is show up for their reward.

Blueboard offers customized pricing upon request. You can also request a demo.

  • Free demo available
  • From $4 USD/user/month

Vantage Rewards - Best employee recognition software for automating employee rewards and other types of corporate gifting

Vantage Rewards automates all your corporate gifting while giving employees a voice and tools to recognize each other socially.

Vantage Rewards is an employee recognition and digital gifting software solution that’s used by companies like PayPal, Intuit, Bosch, Infosys, and Tata. Created by Vantage Circle, it’s just one of the offerings in their suite of tools to measure employee engagement, manage employee perks and incentives, and establish a culture of wellness within organizations.

Their platform aims to create a fulfilling employee experience by recognizing employee achievements on a regular basis through social recognition and peer-to-peer appreciation tools. On top of that, their software simplifies the whole gifting process by using automation for achievements like point-based or one-click rewards and other customizable options.

Rewarded employees gain the opportunity to choose their own personalized prize from a catalog of global retail vendors, where they can select gift cards or merchandise they’ll actually appreciate. Additionally, you can use Vantage Rewards for other types of corporate gifting, including monthly awards, employee incentives, performance-based bonuses, and festive gifting. Budget management tools are also included to keep your employee recognition program in good standing with your accounting department.

Vantage Rewards integrates with many HCM and HRIS platforms, including SAP, Zoho People, Freshteam, and People Strong, as well as other commonly used software like Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Okta, Slack, Workplace, and Yammer.

Pricing for Vantage Rewards is scalable based on how many employees you have and starts at $4 USD/user/month. You can also request a free demo through their website.

  • 21 days free trial
  • From $30/month per manager

Know Your Team - Encourage employees to provide feedback

Know Your Team’s Shout-outs feature encourages a culture of recognition.

Know Your Team is an HRIS tool that helps with leadership, onboarding, recognition, and education. It enables managers to praise their team members and improve workplace culture. The platform’s Shout-outs feature facilitates peer-to-peer recognition, and it encourages your team to write authentic performance reviews or praises.

The tool gives users some tips on how to write a praise, and it sends them the occasional nodge so they won’t forget to acknowledge the efforts of their co-workers.

Know Your Team includes several sets of questions that are separated into different topics. You can ask your employees so you can get to know them better. The platform integrates with Slack, so you can share your Shout-outs in your company’s channel in real-time.

Your team members can share their thoughts without feeling pressured as they would during a standard 1-on-1 or periodic review. They can also see how other people responded to a review, encouraging them to join the conversation. This can help you learn more about your team’s attitude toward some topics, and it can help you identify initiatives that matter to your employees.

Know Your Team costs from $30/month per manager. You can test the platform for free for 21 days.

  • 6 months free trial
  • Pricing upon request

Workhuman - Acknowledge employees with points that have real-life value

Workhuman automatically records peer feedback and includes it in annual performance reports.

Workhuman is an employee recognition tool that helps with sharing employee rewards, celebrating milestones, and aligning your team behind the company’s core values.

This software has a clean interface that makes it easy to send, receive, and redeem reward points. Employees can browse the rewards catalog and redeem their points as soon as they receive them, or they can choose to collect more points in order to convert them into more valuable prizes at a later time.

The tool automatically records the feedback your employees send out to co-workers and includes them in their annual reviews, so it can help you identify individuals who constantly deliver great work.

Workhuman offers customized pricing upon request. You can also request a demo. Some of the platform’s solutions are available for a 6-months trial.

Need Expert Help Selecting The Right Employee Engagement Software?

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It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:

The 10 Best Employee Recognition Platforms Summary

Other Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. TINYpulse – Employee engagement platform that measures an organization’s culture based on your team’s answers to short but relevant questions. 
  2. Empuls.io – Software solution that enables you to design and implement engagement initiatives for continuous improvement. 
  3. Nectar – 360 recognition and rewards system that encourages employees to praise their teammates. Integrates with performance management tools
  4. Assembly – Workflow automation software that helps managers identify and reward hard-working individuals through recognition surveys. 
  5. Kazoo – Employee experience platform that tracks conversations, goals, and OKRs to help you implement recognition programs. 
  6. Motivosity – Employee engagement platform that helps managers build relationships with employees and simplifies the rewarding process. 
  7. WeGift – Employee engagement software that enables you to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and improve employee well-being with digital gift cards. 

Related Read: 10 Best Employee Evaluation Software For Performance Reviews & Recognition

What Is An Employee Recognition Program?

An employee recognition program is an employer-led initiative to reward employees who exceed expectations, reach personal or work-related milestones, or stand for the organization’s values.   

Do Employee Recognition Programs Work?

Yes, employee recognition programs work. A recent study revealed that the timely recognition of desirable behavior and performance, whether in the form of money, certificates, personal or public appreciation, leads to increased job satisfaction and employee engagement levels. 

Improve Your Company’s Culture With Employee Recognition Platforms 

Your employees want to feel appreciated. And there’s no better way of thanking them for their work than offering real-life rewards. Employee recognition platforms make the recognition process easy and transparent. They motivate your team to provide feedback, praise co-workers, and respect company values. 

You can find out more about how to track employee engagement on our blog. For more updates on how to improve your company’s culture, subscribe to the People Managing People newsletter. 

Related Read: Invisible Barriers To High-Performing Teams: Targeting In The Workplace – Could You Be Next? (Part 1)