Find the best Employee Recognition Software

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FrontRunners 2022

Connecteam was designed and built as a true all-in-one solution. Easily engage and manage non-desk employees with a true all-in-one mobile app. Connecteam offers a powerful, mobile-first platform that helps improve communication, ...Read more about Connecteam

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Hi5 is an employee recognition solution that enables startups, businesses and non-profit organisations to improve staff performance and acknowledgment on a centralised platform. Professionals can receive feedback from employees an...Read more about Hi5

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ELMO Software

ELMO Software is a cloud-based solution that helps thousands of organisations across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to effectively manage their people, process and pay. ELMO offers a comprehensive suite of cloud H...Read more about ELMO Software

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Employment Hero

Employment Hero is a cloud-based human resource management (HRM) system for small and medium businesses on the up. The solution helps manage the entire employee lifecycle, with modules for recruitment, onboarding, payroll, time an...Read more about Employment Hero

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Applauz Recognition

Applauz Recognition is a cloud-based employee recognition solution that caters to small and midsize businesses across various industries. Features include peer-to-peer recognition, recognition badges, pulse surveys, reward points ...Read more about Applauz Recognition

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Energage is a cloud-based employee engagement platform that caters to businesses across various industry verticals. Features include performance and feedback management, employee and cultural alignment, surveys and more. The ...Read more about energage

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 22, 2022

According to an SHRM survey, the top employee management challenge of HR managers is employee retention/turnover. About 68 percent of them believe that an employee recognition program can reduce the employee turnover rate because employees stay in an organization where their work is appreciated or rewarded.

Rewards and recognition should be a key component of your HR strategy since they can improve employee engagement, performance and the organization's growth. However, you need to strategically design and deploy your employee recognition program with the help of technology in order to ensure that your managers and employees use it well.

The right software will make it easy for you to reward your employees' achievements, efforts and behaviors that align with your business goals and values. But understanding the myriad employee recognition tools and their features is necessary to getting the right solution for your business.

This Buyer's Guide will help you understand employee recognition software and its features and benefits. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be able to make an informed purchase of the right solution.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Employee Recognition Software?
Common Features of Employee Recognition Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits of Employee Recognition Software
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Employee Recognition Software?

Employee recognition software helps HR managers and supervisors reward their employees' contributions in the form of awards, e-gifts, additional time-off etc. These could be based on exceptional performance or when they exemplify a business value, such as being a great team player.


The software allows HR managers to set the metrics and track employee progress. It's important to know that a typical employee recognition solution should have the following functionality:

  • Provide survey tools to incorporate peer feedback.
  • Include analytics functionality to identify top talent and award recipients based on different metrics.
  • Integrate gamification elements—such as leaderboards and badges—to ensure user engagement.
  • Offer templates to create employee recognition programs and timelines for rewards distribution.

Rewards catalogue management in Bonusly

Rewards catalog management in Bonusly (Source)

Common Features of Employee Recognition Software

This section looks at some of the common features that you can expect to find in most employee recognition solutions. Here are the details of these features:

Peer-to-peer recognition Allow employees/managers to give feedback for their peers/reportees; the feedback is stored in a centralized database.
Activity tracking (goal management) Create and assign employee goals for a specific time period (month, week etc.) and track the status of goals in real time.
Built-in survey tools Create surveys and questionnaires to gauge workforce performance; send these to employees for their feedback.
Rewards catalog management Search a catalog of rewards such as vouchers for travel, merchandise, e-gifts or non-monetary rewards (e.g., praise cards).
Nominations management Allow employees or managers to nominate candidates who demonstrate business values and behaviors such as collaboration, integrity and innovation.
Analytics and reporting Create customized analytics reports (charts or graphs) to track and analyze employee (or whole team) performance. Compare this with team averages to identify underperforming employees.
Gamification Increase peer engagement in recognition programs by integrating gamification elements such as leaderboards, badges and contests.
Social recognition Allow employees to post/share their recognition scores on social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn etc.)

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Different organizations use different methods to recognize their employees such as offering micro-bonuses, verbal praise or certificates of appreciation. With employee recognition software, business can efficiently—and fairly—find out the top performers or outstanding employees who should be rewarded.

However, before purchasing the software, you should assess your buyer type. Most buyers fall into one of the following categories:

Best-of-breed software buyers: These buyers may already have HR software in place, but need a niche solution for a specific functionality. They want simple-to-use tools that will automate the process of employee recognition at varying levels (i.e., peer-to-peer or peer-to-manager).

Such buyers can opt for software-as-a-service (SaaS) or cloud-based solutions, which usually have monthly service fees. This way you won't have to purchase proprietary software.

Integrated suite buyers: These buyers require a single software suite to implement a range of applications. A suite saves integration costs and stores all data in a single database. If you are in this buyer's category, choose a solution that offers employee recognition as a core feature.

And if you want to integrate third-party apps with your existing software suite, ensure that you have the in-house expertise to integrate the apps. If you don't, you'll need external IT help for the integration and ongoing maintenance.

Small businesses are most likely to buy best-of-breed systems as they perform specialized functions in a niche category (in this case, employee recognition). On the other hand, midsize and large enterprises are more likely to opt for full suites to handle multiple business requirements.

Benefits of Employee Recognition Software

Sixty-six percentof HR managers feel that a recognition program at their workplace has boosted their reputation as an employer. And 90 percent of employees feel that such programs have a positive impact on employee engagement.

In this section, we've called out the most important benefits of employee recognition software. The key benefits are:

Increased employee productivity: Seventy-eight percent of employees would work harder if their efforts are better recognized at work. When employees are recognized, they are motivated to be efficient and proactive, resulting in increased productivity.

Higher employee loyalty and customer satisfaction: When employees are motivated, they are more likely to promote and sell your brand in a positive way. This leads to increases in customer satisfaction and your net revenue.

Market Trends to Understand

Across the world, employee recognition programs are gaining popularity as employers realize the importance of keeping their employees engaged. Here are some of the important market trends you should be aware of:

Employee recognition increases retention: Being a large part of the workforce, millennials expect regular attention and recognition from their employers. Without both, they end up quitting pretty quickly. That's why businesses with employee recognition programs tend to have a 23.4 percent lower turnover rate than businesses that don't.

Increase in employee recognition through mobile: With the increasing adoption of mobile devices among workers, apps are playing a big role in employee recognition. These apps are often free or low-cost, offering you a cost-effective, innovative way to recognize your peers, irrespective of time and location. Tap My Back, LifeWorks and gloodoo are some of the popular mobile apps in this category.