Human Resources

5 Employee Recognition Tools With the Features Your Business Needs for 2022

Dec 29, 2021

These top 5 employee recognition tools are ready to help you tackle 2022’s employee engagement trends.

Supriya DekaMarket Research Specialist
5 Employee Recognition Tools With the Features Your Business Needs for 2022

Recognizing employees for their work is a key driver of employee engagement. Employee recognition can also help decrease turnover and increase productivity. 

Employee recognition software makes it easier to develop strategies to recognize and reward employee contributions, and ensure your team feels valued.  

With most companies adopting a virtual work model, employee recognition has also evolved. The software market has adapted to meet these needs with features that can help team managers and HR professionals improve work culture and increase engagement and performance. 

Let's take a look at three trends impacting employee recognition before diving into the top five systems that will ensure you're ready to face them.

Evolving employee recognition tools can help you prepare your business to meet employee expectations. Here are some trends to keep an eye on while exploring employee recognition software:

  • Personalization: A custom recognition or reward tied to performance goals can provide a personal feel for employees. With remote work, daily visibility into some tasks and projects has decreased, making it even more important to recognize employees in a timely manner. Personalized recognition can take the form of special access to development opportunities, gift cards, and real-time bonuses, pending on location and situation.

  • Peer-to-peer recognition: Empowering employees to recognize each other for their accomplishments can help build a strong work culture. Employee recognition software that includes peer-to-peer recognition features can facilitate strong colleague bonds in the workplace, which is vital for team success. According to Gartner, an effective peer-to-peer recognition program is associated with a 4.4% higher employee performance level (full content available to Gartner clients). 

  • Social recognition: Internal social platforms provide organization-wide visibility for employee recognitions. Social recognition can be a powerful motivator, especially for remote/hybrid workers. In such internal forums, employees across your business can see, celebrate, and assign awards to others. According to Gartner, social recognition can increase employee performance by 1.2% for remote/hybrid employees (full content available to Gartner clients).

Here at GetApp, we want to help you find the right employee recognition software for your business. We took a look at our Category Leaders report to find the top five employee recognition software options (based on their Category Leaders score) with features that will make sure you're ready for these trends in 2022 and beyond.

What is the Category Leaders report?

Category Leaders is GetApp’s annual ranking of top software tools, leveraging ratings from over 1 million user reviews on the following parameters: Ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend.

Products are listed in descending order of their CL score below; you can read our full selection methodology at the bottom of this page.


Analysis accurate as of November 2021

1. Guusto

  • Category Leaders score: 100

Employee recognition software Guusto helps managers and HR professionals build recognition programs by streamlining reward approval and automating rewards, automatically recognizing milestones and anniversaries. It can be accessed through a web platform or mobile application.

Guusto provides custom templates to personalize gift cards, awards for milestones, and anniversary cards. Software users can also provide spot bonuses and real-time recognition

This tool includes a nomination box option that allows peer-to-peer recognition. Users can like or comment on nominations made by the team via internal social feeds. Guusto also includes a leaderboards feature to track nominations and award badges for employees.


Spot bonuses in Guusto (Source)

2. Bucketlist

  • Category Leaders score: 97

Bucketlist is a cloud-based employee recognition and rewards tool that allows you to build customized reward programs. It helps streamline and automate recognition of employee events such as anniversaries, birthdays, and welcome messages. 

This software allows team managers to create personalized recognition and rewards. A custom rewards board allows users to choose from existing rewards or create new ones.

The peer and manager recognition feature lets employees appreciate and acknowledge each other publicly across the organization. This feature can help break down departmental silos by encouraging collaboration. 

Bucketlist includes a social media-esque platform to recognize and announce awards via posts shared with your entire company. It includes a nomination and leaderboards feature that is visible to all employees.


Social recognition in Bucketlist (Source)

3. Assembly

  • Category Leaders score: 95

Assembly provides key employee recognition features and allows colleagues to recognize each other's work with messages and rewards. 

This tool allows users to choose from a list of gift cards, personalized rewards such as swag or company parties, and spot bonuses to recognize employees' efforts. 

Alternatively, with the tool's give recognition flow feature, users (including leadership and employees) can assign reward points to recognize each other's work and recipients can redeem their points for a gift of their choice. 

Assembly’s employee nominations flow can help you empower employees by collecting team votes for awards such as “employee of the month” or "employee of the year” and celebrate their accomplishments.


Personalized rewards in Assembly (Source)

4. Awardco

  • Category Leaders score: 94

Awardco helps businesses manage employee engagement via employee recognition. Admins can manage reward budgets, peer nominations, onboarding, and service awards. 

You can create custom branded rewards such as charitable donations, gift cards, and company swag. The software’s reward network includes Amazon business, which lets employees redeem their Awardco points to buy things from Amazon. They can also use those points for hotel bookings, event tickets, and charitable donations.

Awardco's MemoryBooks feature automatically sends emails to team members of employees who have an anniversary or milestone coming up. Recipients can write a note and include photos, which are compiled into a digital book to share. Awardco facilitates peer and manager recognition of employees; these messages can be sent privately or publicly.

On the public feed, team members can like, comment, and react to recognition shared by other employees. This can help keep employees connected even when working remotely.


MemoryBooks in Awardco (Source)

5. Blueboard

  • Category Leaders score: 93

Blueboard is a rewards and recognition platform that can help you manage and distribute rewards. This tool provides reports and budgeting capabilities to create and track employee gifts.

This platform allows you to create personal moments as rewards, such as in-home experiences, travel, wellness, and entertainment. The platform's anniversary engine automatically sends milestone recognition and gifts to employees.

Blueboard integrates with collaboration tools (such as Slack and Microsoft Teams) to distribute rewards and recognize employees in internal social forum settings. This integration offers push notifications for rewards, so other employees can congratulate the rewardee with comments and likes. 

The platform also includes an option to share spot recognition, high fives, and more with employees.


Personalized experiences by Blueboard (Source)

While these five tools are some of the top employee recognition tools out there, every business has different needs. It's important to choose the right software that will help you keep employees engaged and motivated. Read more about work-related trends and learn which other types of software businesses are using to adapt.

GetApp’s annual Category Leaders rankings provide a strong starting point to find the right tool for your business.

If none of these top employee recognition products seems quite right for you, check out our full employee recognition Category Leaders to see more tools with high user ratings from businesses like yours.

Methodology and note:

  • The products selected in this article have been obtained from GetApp Category Leaders reports accessed on November 18, 2021.

  • The five products with the highest scores in our Category Leaders report are featured in this article. 

  • Market definition for employee recognition: Employee Recognition solutions assist with keeping employees feeling engaged and appreciated at work. This software facilitates peer recognition on corporate and team discussion boards, administration of awards and loyalty programs, as well as extensive reporting and analytics. Employee Recognition software is related to HR software and Talent Management software.

Click here to understand the Category Leader report methodology.


At GetApp, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

We conducted this analysis based on reviews and ratings data as of November 18, 2021. In order to present the most up-to-date information, the product cards above show real-time ratings. Please note that this means the ratings value in the product card may not reflect the ratings value at the time of analysis.

About the author

Supriya Deka

Market Research Specialist
Supriya Deka is a market research specialist at GetApp. She helps small businesses identify the best software fit for their needs by conducting secondary research and analyzing user reviews. She covers and provides insights into emerging technology trends in different industries, and her work has been published in Emerald Insights. She enjoys local cuisines and practicing yoga.
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