Did you know that US companies lose $350 billion every year due to high disengagement rates among their employees? As much as 74% of employees don’t feel their work is recognized. As a result, companies struggle with low employee retention rates, along with falls in revenue and productivity. To help you out, we’ve researched the industry’s leading employee engagement software and analyzed its core features. Read on to find out how we ranked the platforms, and how to choose the best solution for your business.
In this section, you’ll learn about the different aspects we take into account during our comprehensive evaluation of EE software. Based on those aspects, we determine if a platform will make it in our table and at what position.
Our software evaluation is a two-step process that includes classification and analysis of vital features. During the classification step, we categorize the software based on its industry focus, business size, and deployment options.
Because employees are the pillars of every company, the use of employee engagement solutions isn’t industry-specific. Businesses from a wide range of fields have deployed these platforms, including insurance, technology, marketing and advertising, healthcare, retail, finance, etc.
That said, it’s a huge plus if a vendor has already worked with businesses from your vertical, meaning they would be acquainted with that industry’s requirements and regulations. That’s why we researched which industries EE vendors cater to, and included our findings in the reviews that follow.
We looked into employee engagement solutions that cater to businesses of different sizes, including:
Additionally, we looked for software solutions for freelance and personal use. This step, much like the industry focus, helps us with software classification.
Employee engagement products can also be classified based on how they are implemented, which gives us the following types of software:
The employee engagement software industry has largely shifted to cloud-based and Software-as-a-Service products. Still, there are many vendors that provide its users with on-premise products.
This type of software deployment is tied to a company’s premises, and more specifically, to its computers and servers. The vendor is in charge of providing a software license, along with technical support that will allow the company to install and run the product.
A high level of security is undoubtedly one of the most notable advantages of this type of software deployment, with all sensitive data stored in-house. The second advantage of on-premise solutions is that they offer a high degree of customization.
On the flip side, on-premise employee engagement platforms require a significant initial investment. In the long run, however, deploying software on-premise is highly likely to be less costly than SaaS and cloud-based platforms.
The SaaS model is currently one of the most common on the market. Vendors are in charge of all technical aspects of the software, while customers only have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription for using it.
This type of employee engagement software is budget-friendly, and has quick deployment times. There are no large financial investments either, but compared to on-premise solutions, SaaS software comes with lower levels of customization.
A cloud-hosted software implementation comes somewhere between on-premise and off-premise deployment. With this alternative, the vendor, rather than the organization, is responsible for server setup and software installation.
The pros and cons of this type of deployment are too in between those of on-premise and off-premise solutions. These products are less expensive than on-premise platforms but pricier than the SaaS software model. The same applies to the customization and security of these solutions.
After wrapping up the classification step, it’s time for the second phase of our ranking process which includes comparing the products against the core capabilities of this type of software.
The first vital component of this type of platform is the employee engagement survey. It helps managers and HR professionals get valuable insight into how employees feel about the company’s policies, their superiors, and colleagues. Surveys also keep track of employees’ everyday experiences.
We therefore look for products that offer pre-built survey templates. The top employee engagement solutions further come with a library of research-backed questions used by industry leaders such as Towers-Watson, Deloitte, etc.
Additionally, we value software that allows rapid survey deployment, and the option of sharing the subsequent results.
As opposed to traditional surveys taking place once a year, companies can now monitor employee engagement metrics using pulse surveys. Short and frequent, they help businesses track company alignment, employee satisfaction and relationships with colleagues, how likely they are to recommend their employer to others, etc.
Companies must also show that they value their employees’ time and input, which is why we check if the surveys can be customized to match the company’s unique requirements.
We appreciate employee engagement tools that allow for simple yet comprehensive survey customization. Some of the customizable survey components include:
Another essential feature of an employee engagement platform is the option to set goals. This component is particularly important because employees tend to show higher engagement levels when they have goals. With employee engagement and performance management software closely connected, most providers include both platforms in their offerings.
The software should allow users to set both professional and personal goals, as well as provide them with tools to measure progress.
Every employee wants their efforts and contribution to their company’s success to be recognized. While older employee management systems assign employee recognition to managers and HR teams, research shows that employees value peer recognition higher since they consider the recognition from superiors “part of their job”.
With that in mind, we’re always happy to recommend an employee engagement app with peer recognition functionality. The software should allow employees to send and receive recognition in various forms, including awards, certificates, badges, and messages via a live activity feed.
While some companies offer employee recognition software as a standalone product, we look for solutions with built-in employee recognition and engagement tools.
Employee segmentation is another crucial component of the best employee engagement software. We therefore looked for solutions that allow businesses to organize employees based on different criteria, including job role, location, etc. The segmentation feature applies to surveys as well, allowing managers and HR personnel to send surveys and filter survey results based on set employee segments.
In today’s workplaces, employees are exposed to high levels of stress. Not only does that harm their well-being, but it can also lower their engagement levels drastically.
Taking this into account, we researched employee engagement apps and platforms that feature wellness assessments, and that, based on the results, can incentivize best practices among employees (e.g., promote physical activity, educate employees about health, etc.)
Communication is at the heart of employee engagement. This is where employee self-service (ESS) portals come into play. Using an ESS portal, employees can talk to their colleagues about the challenges they face at work, give suggestions, ask questions, and so on. This way, businesses are giving their staff a voice in the company.
Then, with the manager self-service portal, managers can give feedback to employees, as well as let them know that the company appreciates their input.
Employee feedback software and survey tools with robust analytics and reporting allow managers and HR professionals to measure engagement levels accurately over time. They can also identify problem areas that need to be addressed and improve organizational and employee performance.
We make sure to list products that are easy to set up and configure to ensure seamless software adoption. Apart from this, we also double-check that the platform offers friendly and knowledgeable customer support available to assist you in case of any issues.
When conducting surveys, companies can choose to make them anonymous or store the data for benchmarking. Either way, employee engagement survey software must abide by the GDPR rules, since this type of software deals with personal data.
We recommend using only the solutions that protect your privacy 100% and are transparent about the use of your company’s data.
The final step of our ranking process is to go through different pricing models. Software solutions with the lowest pricing won’t necessarily make it on our list, as our goal is to find the product that offers good value for money.
Additionally, we look at industry standards as a general guideline. A software solution priced significantly below or above that standard is not included in our selection of the best employee engagement software. Software with a free trial or money-back guarantee, on the other hand, gets a boost in our rankings.
OfficeVibe is a powerful workplace engagement platform that is simple to set up. The company recommends its software to any manager that doesn’t have the tools to measure employee engagement. In terms of company size, OfficeVibe can be used for small and midsize businesses, as well in organizations with over 1000 employees.
OfficeVibe’s employee engagement software relies on 10 different metrics to evaluate how engaged employees are. The platform features automated surveys that can be sent out weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Employees can complete a survey when it’s most convenient for them, thus improving answer rates. Additionally, each survey comes with one text-based answer, while feedback anonymity can be turned on and off. The option of creating custom polls is available too.
In terms of reporting capabilities, OfficeVibe provides visual representations of overall engagement over time. The software further supports benchmarking reporting, allowing companies to compare themselves with industry rivals.
The OfficeVibe employee engagement platform offers a free plan for small businesses with three to 20 employees. The other two available packages are Premium and OfficeVibe Plus.
Unlike the free plan, the Premium plan supports Slack integration, and unlimited feedback history, which is limited to 30 days with the software’s free plan. Other features available with the Premium plan include cross-team analytics, multi-team ecosystem, and advanced admin roles. The plan costs $4/user/month.
Lastly, the OfficeVibe Plus plan comes with custom pricing, and includes account manager support, as well as technical help in deploying the software. The single sign-on feature is available, too, but it might have a fee attached to it.
15Five is a continuous performance management platform with comprehensive employee engagement capabilities. The employee engagement tool eliminates unproductive annual reviews with one-on-one meetings, self-assessments, and weekly check-ins while catering to businesses of all sizes.
One of the highlights of the 15Five software is the speed at which employees complete surveys (5 minutes), as well as the speed at which managers review answers and provide feedback (15 minutes). The software also has an extensive question bank and prevents questions from becoming repetitive via the Auto Rotate feature.
The Best-Self Review feature enables both employees and managers to develop thanks to a robust 360-degree feedback system with peer and upward reviews. Other notable features of this employee engagement software include objective management, one-on-one meetings, the Pulse Check feature that sends a question to employees about how they are feeling each week, and custom reporting tools. 15Five also integrates with performance management software, Namely and BambooHR.
The three plans available with 15Five are Basic, Plus, and Enterprise. The Basic plan, with a price tag of $7/employee (with a yearly contract), supports all the essential features for workforce engagement that deliver excellent results. This plan, however, doesn’t include a 360-degree feedback system, the option of managing objectives, and building custom reports.
These features, along with performance management software integration and priority support, come with the Plus plan. The cost of this plan is $14/user/month with an annual subscription.
Lastly, the Enterprise plan has custom pricing, and gives businesses access to enterprise-level services and custom integrations.
Additionally, 15Five offers discounted pricing for non-profit and educational organizations.
One of the things that place SalesScreen among the best employee engagement tools out there is that it combines its gamification features with performance management software. This way, companies can boost their sales and overall productivity, while badges, rewards, and milestone celebrations make achieving these results fun.
The sales motivation software gives companies in-depth insights into how everyone on the team is performing. The visual dashboard allows businesses to track KPIs in real-time, as well as reward their top-performing employees.
The SalesScreen employee engagement platform features pre-built events, which are basically the results that sales businesses want to achieve. For example, they can create and schedule an event for making a sale on Sunday. The employee that closed that sale gets an event badge, and their success is celebrated across the company via TV-screens, web, and mobile apps.
The software also offers the option of creating a webshop that will feature rewards suggested by employees. Another notable feature of SalesScreen is the Digital Leaderboard, which enhances peer recognition by showcasing employees’ successes.
The pricing of the SalesScreen software is only available upon request. The vendor offers custom pricing for every company, as it recognizes that every business is unique.
Hyphen is a feature-packed employee engagement app designed to turn staff feedback into actionable plans. The vendor specializes in working with businesses from the healthcare, retail, hospitality, real estate, and manufacturing industry. In terms of company size, Hyphen provides a comprehensive feature set for organizations with anywhere from 20 to 2,000 members.
Hyphen positioned itself as one of the best cloud-based employee engagement solutions, although the vendor entered the market only four years ago. The software is designed to give a voice to everyone in the company.
One of the platform’s noteworthy features is that it supports bottom-up feedback, which allows both employees and managers to receive feedback. Employee feedback meanwhile can be measured via surveys, polls, and two-way communication channels.
Next, Hyphen is a secure software solution that uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect data. Users meanwhile can access the software using the Single Sign-On feature. The option of giving access to data to employees based on their role is available too.
Lastly, powerful analytics tools deliver data in real-time. All of these features make the Hyphen EE software an indispensable addition to any company that wants to engage their employees, as well as increase retention and productivity.
The pricing of this software is only available upon request.
Bitrix24 is an open-source software tool that helps companies from different verticals accomplish various goals, one of which is employee engagement. This free employee engagement software is packed with excellent features, such as the Company Pulse, and peer recognition functionalities. The platform also supports standard HR tools, which help further with workforce engagement efforts.
The interface of Bitrix24’s EE software resembles that of a social media network, meaning employees won’t have much trouble getting used to the layout. The platform also uses ways of interaction typical for social media — likes, comments, and mentions. The purpose of each like or comment in Bitrix24 is peer recognition.
Next, the Company Pulse feature is designed to provide insight into how engaged employees are. The feature examines the use of work tools and based on that, companies can have a clear overview of their low- and high-performing employees, as well as offer help in areas that could be improved.
Apart from these features, Bitrix comes with project management software, CRM, document management, and other free tools.
Ranked among the leading employee engagement platforms, Bitrix24 offers a free version of its EE software, while the paid plans start from $69/month. The longer the subscription cycle, the bigger the savings. So, with a monthly subscription, the CRM+ plan costs $69, while the annual subscription comes with a discounted price of $55.20 (20% discount).
The Intuo platform boasts a variety of features that range from a learning solution to employee engagement functionalities, such as engagement pulses, feedback, and praise tools. The vendor has a long list of clients from the IT, government, retail, financials, and manufacturing sectors. Intuo is also an ideal fit for medium and large organizations.
Intuo is one of the leading employee engagement platforms on the market. It’s packed with features designed to increase employee engagement.
The Conversations feature offers pre-built templates for effective communication on a variety of topics — objectives, feedback, engagement, etc. Users can choose a template from a library or come up with their own questions.
Intuo further allows everyone to give and receive feedback, including colleagues and clients. One of the features that sets the software apart from rivals is the AI-powered algorithm that collects employees’ skills from feedback. This feature helps businesses assign relevant tasks to employees with a particular skill set.
The Engagement Pulses feature is formatted as a mini-survey. It is possible to choose the number of questions per survey, and more than 200 questions are at your disposal in Intuo’s question library.
Lastly, Intuo offers native employee engagement apps for both Android and iOS device users.
The software can be used as a stand-alone EE solution or paired with the vendor’s performance and learning management solutions. Depending on the requested software solution and the number of employees, Intuo sends out a custom quote. There is, however, a minimum deal size of €10000 per year.
TINYpulse promotes a healthy company culture with a strong emphasis on happy employees. The vendor has worked with some of the biggest names across different verticals, including HubSpot, IBM, Facebook, and Michelin. The software is intuitive, flexible, and secure.
The biggest strength of the TINYpulse Engage employee feedback software is the Pulse Survey feature. The surveys are completely anonymous and take minutes to complete. This feature allows employees to answer a single-question survey each week and provide their organization with valuable data for creating actionable plans.
The Cheer for Peers feature supports peer recognition, allowing employees to congratulate colleagues on a job well done. The software also features a Suggestion Box.
To ensure complete anonymity, the platform supports private messaging. Thanks to this functionality, managers can ask additional questions about employees’ feedback without finding out who provided it in the first place.
The Live Pulsing feature gives managers the option to share survey results across employee portals, enabling employees to vote for survey responses and suggestions.
Information about the cost of this employee engagement survey software is only available upon request.
Companies that want a clear overview of their workforce engagement will undoubtedly like Tap My Back. The platform supports pre-made and custom pulse surveys, integration with Slack and Gmail, robust analytics tools, as well as the option for custom recognition badges. The software layout is highly intuitive, and the vendor offers a native app for increasing office morale on the go.
As one of the best employee engagement software out there, this platform offers pulse surveys. Companies can use pre-built templates that focus on employees’ moods, the likelihood of recommending the company to others, and their level of dedication. Additionally, companies can design pulse surveys themselves.
The peer recognition tool allows employees to give a tap to a colleague for working hard, completing projects, etc. Others can retap or comment on a specific tap to show their support, while the News Feed makes all taps visible to everyone within an organization.
Other noteworthy features include skill management, customizable recognition badges, the option of giving or receiving feedback from employees and managers, and integration with Slack and Gmail.
While Tap My Back is not free, the vendor offers more than reasonable pricing for its employee engagement solution. The four plans are Recognize, Engage, Ultimate, and Enterprise. The Recognize package ($2.5/user/month) offers the essential tools for employee engagement, including recognition, Slack integration, and an unlimited number of users.
The Engage plan, priced at $4/user/month, also includes self-reviews, custom pulse surveys and reports, and 24/7 support.
Next up is the Ultimate plan with a price tag of $9.5/user/month. It supports all the features from the Recognize and Engage plans, and adds a dedicated account manager, API access, and priority support.
Lastly, the Enterprise plan allows businesses to customize the software according to their needs. The pricing for this plan is custom.
Thanks to its feature-packed employee engagement solution, Honestly has a rich client portfolio. Not only that, but the company works with companies of all sizes — from startups to enterprises. Additionally, the vendor has experience in various industries, including retail, automotive, financial services, etc.
Honestly’s employee engagement solution is built to spark motivation and unleash employees’ maximum potential with features such as the Pulse Surveys and advanced reporting capabilities of the software.
Launching a survey is a 5-minute process, and employees don’t have to set aside too much time to complete it. All they need is two minutes to provide honest feedback about various topics, including the company’s culture, well-being, personal growth, etc.
Additionally, the Honestly software relies on different channels to reach employees. Companies can use email, web, or the platform’s employee engagement app to gather employee feedback from employee engagement questionnaires and pulse surveys.
The vendor offers 12-month, 24-month, and 36-month subscriptions. Then, based on the number of employees, the pricing starts from $4/user/month for companies with fewer than 200 employees. For larger companies, Honestly offers enterprise features (custom onboarding, SLAs, etc.), whereas the price is available upon request.
Kudos is a robust software that motivates employees to do their best at work through continuous feedback from colleagues, points, and rewards. The employee engagement tool is an excellent fit for companies of all sizes, including small, medium, and large organizations. It is scalable and flexible, which are only two of the many reasons Kudos enjoys great popularity among businesses in 23 verticals and 80 countries.
Kudos is a leading employee engagement platform that allows businesses to show their employees they value their work. Through a peer-to-peer recognition system, badges, and awards, employees are motivated to be better at what they do. The software works without rewards, as, sometimes, all employees really want is to be recognized for their efforts and achievements.
The feedback functionality allows everyone in the company to both give and receive feedback. The option of sharing feedback privately and publicly is also available.
Companies can further generate reports, including activity, user status, and message reports.
The Kudos pricing starts at $4/user/month with a yearly subscription. The price tag doesn’t include rewards features, though. There’s also a minimum deal size, which sits at $5,600/year. For more detailed pricing and discounts, it’s best to contact the vendor.
Now that we’ve ranked the software, the final step is to help you narrow down your choices and find a solution that will best fit your company’s requirements.
The first thing you should do is eliminate the options that don’t match your business size or industry. After that, check if the remaining solutions comply with the regulations set by your industry or jurisdiction.
With the employee engagement software market size set to continue to increase in the next few years, software providers have to have a versatile feature offer to stay in business. Nevertheless, you should think only about the features that are essential to your organization’s needs.
For instance, does your company need pulse surveys, a rewards-based system, and employee recognition tools? Additionally, are you looking for a standalone EE software, or should a vendor also have performance management tools on offer as well?
After deciding on the core features, check which software solutions that remained after step 1 have them. This way, you’ll be able to shortlist the providers that tick all the boxes.
The final step in finding a great employee engagement software is to set your budget limit, and then compare the prices with the software you’ve got after Step 2. The platform that is in line with your budget is the best option for your organization.