Employee Recognition Software Blog Feature

12 Best Employee Recognition Software for 2024

Remember when Pam from “The Office” won the Dundie Award for having the whitest sneakers? Or when Toby was awarded for “extreme repulsiveness”?

For the uninitiated, the annual Dundies ceremony was intended as a morale booster for the employees of the TV show’s fictional paper company, Dunder Mifflin.

While the Dundies are—by all accounts—unhinged, and certain awards (like Toby’s) might not sound particularly appealing, they captured the essence of employee recognition and fostering team spirit. But with hybrid and remote work becoming the norm, hosting any kind of award ceremonies, absurd or not, makes little sense anymore.

Luckily, we have employee recognition software to give a tech-savvy twist to our old-school “pat on the back” or gold star. ⭐️

In this guide, we’ll dive into the top 12 employee recognition apps that can help your team bond, boost morale, and stay motivated—whether they’re in the office or across the globe!

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What Is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition goes beyond giving your staff an occasional “Hey, you did good!” It entails openly acknowledging, appreciating, and rewarding an employee’s effort.

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Chat view stores all of your comments in ClickUp to quickly share your appreciation and find any conversation

The concept of employee recognition is rooted in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory. It implies that once a person’s physiological requirements (like food and shelter) are met, they are more naturally inclined to pursue their self-esteem and self-actualization needs, such as:

  • Positive feedback
  • Peer recognition
  • Increased responsibility
  • Salary increments and bonuses

From a business perspective, employee recognition programs promote a sense of belonging and improve individual performance, making your best team members feel fulfilled and increasing employee retention.

Meaning and benefits of employee recognition software

Employee recognition software is a tech-based solution for helping HR managers and team leaders handle workplace incentive programs. It streamlines the process of measuring a worker’s contribution and employee engagement according to team goals and best HR practices.

Create Weekly Scorecards in ClickUp for the team to see their peer's top Goals for the week
Create Weekly Scorecards in ClickUp for the team to see their peer’s top Goals for the week

Most staff recognition platforms have features to boost employee engagement, display individual progress, and manage rewards like badges and gift cards. The benefits these tools bring to the workplace include: 

  • Positive company culture: Employees have an overview of the reward system and can stay assured that it’s free from bias or prejudice
  • Productivity enhancement: A team member will tend to strive harder when they track their progress toward the next achievement
  • Team building: Remote and in-office workers feel better connected and engaged due to a unified platform
  • Values-led behavior: Employee conduct aligns with the company mission and values without extra effort
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What Should You Look for in Employee Recognition Software?

Here’s what to keep an eye on when exploring employee recognition software options:

  • User-friendly interface: Easy navigation and accessibility for all employees
  • Goal-setting: Features to help you set defined and measurable objectives and KPIs
  • Customizations: Options to tailor rewards and recognition to correspond with company values
  • Integration with other tools: Seamless integration with existing HR or team collaboration tools
  • Analytics and reporting: Insights into performance trends and employee engagement levels that help decide which team member to reward
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12 of the Best Employee Recognition Software

Let’s find the perfect tool to compliment your recognition program on your mission to celebrate and motivate your team. We’ve handpicked the top 12 employee recognition software tools that suit diverse needs and budgets.

1. ClickUp

Create and track goals in ClickUp
Create individual or team Goals within ClickUp and set clear-cut targets to track progress

ClickUp is the cream of the crop if you’re looking for an HR-friendly team management tool. This platform stands out thanks to its wealth of features for handling employee engagement and recognition.

ClickUp puts you on the right track from the get-go with its Goals feature, allowing you to set measurable targets and KPIs for individual employees. You can define and reward clear wins with automatic progress tracking and weekly employee scorecards! ✌️

ClickUp encourages participation and celebration of individual contributions on the go with the Chat view. This in-app messaging feature centralizes your team conversation threads and categorizes them by topic, task, or group. Plus, emoji reactions and @mentioned shout-outs provide instant gratification for peer recognition!

In addition to Chat view, there are more than 15+ other views to boost your employee monitoring capabilities and gather detailed reports. For instance, the Workload view lets you set the capacity for each of your workers and track their level of effort according to criteria like time, tasks, and points. You can also group critical tasks into Milestones, and reward employees as they cross major progress checkpoints!

Worried about keeping distributed or remote teams connected? The platform makes team collaboration and engagement effortless with versatile workflow tools including built-in digital whiteboard software, a collaborative document editor, and more.

ClickUp best features

  • Goals, Dashboards, and weekly employee scorecards for insight into a member’s contributions
  • Chat view for instant peer acknowledgment through direct messages
  • Collaborative ClickUp Docs to edit alongside the team without overlap, facilitate knowledge sharing, and create a more cohesive work environment
  • Customizable Forms for polls and requests to track employee responses
  • Over 1,000 customizable templates to improve team engagement (like the Employee Engagement Action Plan and Team Survey templates)
  • Handy remote collaboration tools
  • Support for employee onboarding and development
  • Integrations with more than 1,000 other work tools

ClickUp limitations

  • Not all employee engagement features are available in the free plan
  • So many flexible features can pose a bit of a learning curve for newer users

ClickUp pricing

  • Free Forever
  • Unlimited: $7/month per user
  • Business: $12/month per user
  • Enterprise: Get in touch with the sales team for a custom plan

*All listed prices refer to the yearly billing model

ClickUp ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.7/5 (8,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (3,000+ reviews)

2. Awardco

AwardCo Product Example
Via: Awardco

Awardco is an automated reward management platform helping companies celebrate service milestones. It is the official employee recognition partner of Amazon, which gives managers an extensive pool of reward options to choose from. 

With Awardco, aligning workers’ interests with your gifting budget and company values is effortless. Employees can choose their own awards as well, further personalizing the experience.

Awardco allows employees to earn points for contributions, which can be converted into gifts. You can also set up customized rewards for birthdays, onboarding, and service anniversaries.

Awardco best features

  • Multiple recognition programs for organizations of any size
  • Special celebrations through Bonus Boxes or custom care packages
  • Custom incentive programs to encourage specific employee behaviors
  • Comprehensive insights into live programs, point usage, and performance details

Awardco limitations

  • Setting up the platform can be time-consuming
  • Some users find the integration with Amazon a bit awkward

Awardco pricing

  • Lite: $2,500/year
  • Go: $4,000/year
  • Core, Plus, and Pro: Contact for pricing

Awardco ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.8/5 (1,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.9/5 (4,000+ reviews)

3. Nectar

Nectar Product Example
Via: Nectar

Nectar is a platform specifically designed to support peer-to-peer recognition. It helps create bonds between team members by enabling managers and employees to share value-based appreciation, which translates into Nectar Points. Sweet! 🐝

Your team members will feel truly valued and cared for with a wide range of awards to choose from, including Amazon products, company-branded merch, and wellness initiatives. 

Nectar also adds a health-conscious dimension to employee recognition by allowing you to reward workers participating in wellness challenges. The platform integrates with popular collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Nectar best features

  • Hundreds of gift cards as reward options
  • Supports wellness-based rewards
  • Trackable employee engagement through pulse surveys
  • Customizable programs

Nectar limitations

  • Limited reward coverage in countries outside the U.S.
  • Some users report issues with leaving comments

Nectar pricing

  • Standard: $2.75/month per user
  • Plus: $4.00/month per user
  • Custom: Pricing available upon contact 

*All listed prices refer to the yearly billing model

Nectar ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.7/5 (3,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.8/5 (200+ reviews)

4. Bonusly

Bonusly Product Example
Via: Bonusly

If you’re on a mission to improve employee satisfaction across a large team, Bonusly could be your jam. Setting up the platform and automating rewards is a breeze—it usually takes around 1.5 hours per month to keep things running smoothly with this employee recognition tool.

The platform drives engagement with a visually pleasing social media-like interface. You can incentivize productivity, performance, and participation in surveys and wellness programs. The diverse reward catalog includes gift cards (originating from dozens of countries), charity donations, and paid day-offs! 🏖️

From its integration with Slack to support for Android and iOS, Bonusly remains highly accessible to anyone and on any device. It even offers an additional discount for nonprofits.

Bonusly best features

  • Time-saving reward management options
  • Available worldwide and in several languages
  • Informative analytics dashboard
  • 15+ integrations

Bonusly limitations

  • Some users report navigation issues
  • Limited customization options

Bonusly pricing

  • Core: $3/month per user
  • Pro: $5/month per user
  • Custom: Contact the sales team for a quote

Bonusly ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.8/5 (2,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.8/5 (1,000+ reviews)

5. Guusto

Guusto Product Example
Via: Guusto

Looking for a no-nonsense way to lift your team’s spirits? Check out Guusto’s flexible and highly inclusive platform for recognizing and rewarding your overperformers. All you need to do is create a free account and only pay for what you need as you scale up.

With Guusto, you can recognize the contributions from both frontline and office workers. The rewards and markups emphasize real dollar value instead of points, i.e., $1 on the platform equals $1 in the real world.

With a focus on sustainability, all Guusto gifts are awarded digitally, reducing plastic waste. The platform also contributes to clean water initiatives with each gift sent. 🌊

Guusto offers global rewards in 160+ countries. With no minimums, markups, shipping, or hidden fees, it’s a transparent and accessible choice for any organization!

Guusto best features

  • Scalable platform with unlimited recipients
  • The pay-forward option allows recipients to transfer their reward to someone else
  • More than 60,000 merchant locations

Guusto limitations

  • Limited choice of vendors
  • Not able to change gifts once selected

Guusto pricing

  • Free
  • Essential: $80/month for a team of 35 + $2.25/month per additional member
  • Premium: $350/month for a team of 100 + $3.50/month per additional member

*All listed prices refer to the yearly billing model

Guusto ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.9/5 (2,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.9/5 (1,000+ reviews)

6. Snappy

Snappy Product Example
Via: Snappy

A playful and intuitive gift-giving platform, Snappy relies on making recognition efforts personal and meaningful. Make the workforce feel your appreciation and enhance employee engagement with tailored gifts, automated rewards, and nominations. ❤️‍🔥

With features like curated collections, options to exchange gifts, and special tools for budget planning, Snappy stands out as a unique solution for birthdays, anniversaries, or any special occasion.

Take the guesswork out of gifting with Snappy’s AI Gifting Assistant and pick presents according to the employee’s profile!

Snappy best features

  • Reports provide insights into the latest gifting trends in the workplace
  • Personalized appreciation messages
  • Versatile catalog including products, experiences, and getaways from over 300 companies
  • AI Gifting Assistant for choosing gifts

Snappy limitations

  • Initial data input can be challenging
  • No gift card option

Snappy pricing

  • Essential: Free, only pay for gifts claimed
  • Elevated: $999/year, and only pay for gifts claimed
  • Enterprise: Custom quote available upon contact

Snappy ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.9/5 (300+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (2 reviews)

7. Cooleaf

Cooleaf Product Example
Via: Cooleaf

Cooleaf is a user-friendly employee recognition platform with two primary functions: making rewards (like trips, merchandise, and restaurant coupons) readily available and promoting learning and wellness initiatives.

Leverage public recognition to showcase meaningful work and help team members feel inspired. You get dashboards and prep metrics to review performance and employee wellbeing.

Coolleaf’s up-to-the-minute custom data collection and wellness surveys help you capture instant employee feedback and sentiment, allowing for a deeper understanding of nagging issues and areas for improvement.

Cooleaf best features

  • Data-driven recommendations to boost engagement scores
  • Automatic and customizable awards for every work anniversary
  • Virtual team-building activities for remote teams
  • Metrics for employee health and wellbeing

Cooleaf limitations

  • No direct messaging option
  • Difficult to find who “recognized” you

Cooleaf pricing

  • Available upon request

Cooleaf ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.9/5 (700+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.9/5 (100+ reviews)

8. HeyTaco

HeyTaco Product Example
Via: HeyTaco

If your teamwork philosophy is “Everyone deserves tacos” your prayers just got answered!

HeyTaco brings a delightful twist to the employee recognition software setup by using “Tacos” as a fun and engaging currency instead of reward points. It fosters a lively and upbeat team recognition culture that resonates well with the modern workforce. 

Employees give and receive virtual tacos, celebrate each other’s achievements, and climb a gamified leaderboard. 🌮

This rewards platform has built-in analytics features to help you keep an eye on the taco giving and receiving trends and patterns.

HeyTaco best features

  • HeyTaco bot allows employees to appreciate colleagues with a friendly chat interface
  • The hierarchy of Tacos allows for tiered achievements, including Super Tacos and Jalapeno Sauce
  • Built-in catalog for various experiential rewards
  • Integrates with Slack and Microsoft Teams

HeyTaco limitations

  • Some users find the interface too cluttered
  • Occasional glitches may impact the navigation experience

HeyTaco pricing

  • Team: $3.00/month per user added manually
  • Everyone: $3.00/month per user added automatically

HeyTaco ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.8/5 (300+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 5/5 (2 reviews)

9. Kudos

Kudos Product Example
Via: Kudos

Kudos is an international, interactive employee recognition software that emphasizes peer-to-peer recognition and offers unique consulting services to establish an engaging workplace culture.

Among its standout features, we like its actionable people analytics reports most. It helps you track employee morale and predict staff turnover in the coming months.

Kudos best features

  • Available in eight languages, making it highly adaptable for international teams
  • Full suite of recognition tools on both web and mobile versions

Kudos limitations

  • Employees need to collect a significant number of points to cash in

Kudos pricing

  • Custom: Contact the sales team for a quote

Kudos ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.8/5 (1,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.8/5 (900+ reviews)

10. Mo

Mo Product Example
Via: Mo

“Hey Bobby, congrats on ten years at work—here’s a gift card. Bye!”

Not a fan of forced and mechanical reward systems? Mo is all about making the recognition process more thoughtful and personal.

While Mo offers material rewards like gift cards, its primary focus is tracking weekly wins and celebrating shared experiences or “moments” with your valuable teammates. The idea behind this employee recognition software is to let your team know you care, for real.

Mo best features

  • The Assistant tool automatically reminds employers of important employee occasions and achievements, nudging them to share appreciation
  • Numerous custom rewards

Mo limitations

  • Some users find the navigation layout too complex

Mo pricing

  • Starter: $3/month per user
  • Level Up: $5/month per user
  • Custom: Pricing available upon contact

Mo ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.6/5 (200+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.9/5 (60+ reviews)

11. Slack

Via: Slack

Although Slack is primarily a communication platform, it offers the possibility of doubling as employee recognition software by creating dedicated channels for celebrating professional achievements. This enables team members to publicly appreciate one another and enhance company culture.

Slack best features

  • Slack integrates with team recognition apps, adding functionalities such as leaderboards, nominations, and rewards within the Slack environment
  • Threaded conversations keep discussions organized

Slack limitations

  • Messages and shout-outs can be difficult to track in a busy workspace

Slack pricing

  • Free
  • Pro: $7.25/month per user
  • Business+: $12.50/month per user
  • Enterprise Grid: Contact the sales team for a quote

*All listed prices refer to the yearly billing model

Slack ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.5/5 (31,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (23,000+ reviews)

12. Bucketlist

Bucketlist is a fast-growing employee recognition platform known for its continuous product improvements and the ability to tailor programs to match your workflow. It offers both tangible and intangible rewards, which include undercover parking spots and using the company car for a month!

Bucketlist best features

  • Negotiable price plans
  • Offers an events platform to plan in-person and virtual meets for team building

Bucketlist limitations

  • Low points offered for work anniversaries

Bucketlist pricing

  • Custom: Contact the sales team for a custom plan

Bucketlist ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.8/5 (300+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.8/5 (200+ reviews)
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The Ultimate Growth Hack: Nurture a Culture of Appreciation and Gratitude

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, toxic office behavior is a tell-tale sign of a stressed-out workspace. Gratitude practices greatly help reduce team friction, enhance performance, and improve workers’ mental health.

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We’ve explored 12 amazing employee recognition software options designed to bring out the best in your team. Many options on our list have free plans and trial options, so don’t hesitate to check them out and start building a happier workplace recognition culture today! 🍀

Not sure where to start? Why not at the top of the list—sign up for ClickUp today to start giving back to your team.

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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