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"Kim, just wanted to say thanks for a fantastically informative site."

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7 mobile apps for recognizing and rewarding employees

By Kim Harrison, adapted from an article by Liz Magill

Consultant, Author and Principal of


When my wife Linda and I had a coffee with a neighbor recently, our neighbor complained about the lack of recognition in her company. She heads the business improvement area in a billion dollar company and is paid a salary of several hundred thousand dollars a year. Yet even at her senior level she was unhappy about the way top management failed to recognize her work – which improved the bottom line by many millions of dollars. What’s more, operational managers were trying to take the credit for some of her work. She was actually thinking of leaving the company due to the lack of recognition for her good achievements.

This story is a strong reminder that hunger for recognition is one of the strongest motivators for employees, ahead of money and various other factors.

I have written several articles and an e-book in about employee recognition, having managed several such projects in-house and as a consultant for various organizations. Through all these experiences I’m still amazed how senior managers overlook such a simple concept so much.

The good news is that employee recognition is made even easier now with the availability of several mobile apps to give that due praise and acknowledgement for work well done. These mobile apps are often free or low-cost, providing you with a cost-effective, cutting-edge way to give virtual pats on the back. (Nevertheless, don’t overlook the power of face-to-face expressions of recognition.) Below are six employee-recognition apps that can help you do just that:

1. iAppreciate (Free; Android, iPhone, Blackberry) — Released by O.C. Tanner, an 85-year-old company known for its employee rewards and recognition products, iAppreciate enables you to celebrate employee milestones, appreciate efforts, reward results, and more. What’s more, employees can send one another inspiring messages, too, and share their accolades on Twitter and Facebook.

2. Achievers (1 percent of total company payroll on average; Android, iOS smartphones and tablets) — This app from San Francisco-based employee-engagement vendor Achievers enables workers to accumulate recognition points that they can apply toward merchandise, gift cards, and even trips. Or they can use their points to make a donation to their favorite charity. Employers may also designate points for employees to use to recognize peers.

3. GiveAWow (Free 30-day trial, then monthly plans start at $99 for up to 50 employees; Android, iOS) — Through a Terryberry bulletin board platform, employers and employees can use the GiveAWow app to give virtual high-fives and sing one another’s praises on social networks. The bulletin board’s point system enables employees to earn credit toward Billboard digital music downloads.

4. Employee Appraisals (99 cents; iOS) — From software developer Seann Hicks comes a performance appraisal app designed to encourage continuous employee feedback. Employers can track goals, accomplishments, and performance, and share praise via email. Data can be exported, too.

5. Socialcast Thanks (Free for up to 50 users; Android, iOS, Blackberry) — Thanking employees for their hard work and accomplishments is easier through Socialcast’s VMware-backed network. Businesses already using Socialcast’s enterprise collaboration software can increase employee engagement through the Thanks premium add-on app. Employees can also give thanks and recognize others’ contributions in real time.

6. Sparcet (Free, with a premium version starting at $3.89 per month per employee; Android, iOS) — Accessed from a LinkedIn, Google, or Facebook account, Sparcet encourages employee-to-employee digital recognition. Co-workers can show their gratitude or recognize one another simply by filling out a quick form. A “sparcet” can also be printed and hand-delivered to the achiever. The software is also available as a desktop app.

7. Globoforce Mobile (Free; iOS) – Globoforce Mobile is a complete app for employee recognition from Globoforce Ltd. In real time, the app lets you nominate colleagues for awards, approve pending nominations, receive awards, redeem awards, view and congratulate colleagues for recognition they’ve received via a social newsfeed and more, all in a safe and secure environment. Globoforce Mobile is available to download at Apple’s App Store.

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About the Author

Kim Harrison is a recognized authority in the public relations field. His website,, provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on public relations techniques and management.


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