Employee Engagement Software for Small Businesses

Most business metrics can be measured quantitatively, from company revenue to project completion rates. There’s one rather important metric that’s difficult to pinpoint, however: employee engagement. That’s where employee engagement software comes in, ready to help you gauge employee satisfaction in the workplace.

In this guide to employee engagement software for small businesses, we’ll explain how software tools can improve office morale and productivity. Then, we’ll take a look at some of the top employee engagement tools out there, before giving you an idea of the features and benefits you can expect. 

Jump to:

What is employee engagement software?

Employee engagement software is a tool to help track employee feedback and promote positive workplace habits among many other functions depending on your business’s unique needs. This software can also supplement or even replace the traditional performance review process.

Employee engagement software is a broad category, however, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Are you looking for a stand-alone option or a comprehensive HR solution that covers employee engagement as well? There are several different tiers of functionality in this software category that can be tailored to what you need at the right price.

Also read: Top HR Software for Small Businesses 2022

Top employee engagement software comparison

 Fully functional mobile appThird-party integrationsEmployee profilesCustomizable templatesAnonymous feedback
Officevibe
Lattice
Empuls
Motivosity
Quantum Workplace
Kazoo

Officevibe

Officevibe is a team development platform with a simple goal: to transform the employee experience for the better. From targeting pain points to maximizing strengths, Officevibe aims to put people first with its easy-to-use employee engagement solution. Over 50,000 companies use Officevibe, including big names like Dyson and Bose. 

The platform’s pulse surveys and anonymous feedback tools are some of its key features, allowing businesses to communicate directly with employees to address organizational issues. Other notable features include actionable reporting, feedback templates, and integrations with your favorite software platforms.

Screenshot of Officevibe feedback feature.
Source: Officevibe

Pros:

  • It’s an easy and efficient way of gathering employee feedback through surveys and anonymous messaging.
  • Pulse surveys provide an excellent way of staying on top of workplace happenings.

Cons:

  • The user experience could be improved for more intuitive navigation.
  • Reported metrics could be clearer and more detailed.
  • Survey questions could be more specific and less repetitive.

Pricing:

  • Free: accommodates one team of up to 10 users
  • Essential: $5 per user per month when billed annually
  • Pro: $7 per user per month when billed annually
  • Business: Talk to sales to learn pricing for teams over 500 people

Lattice

Lattice is the “complete people success platform” that helps you put your employees first so your business can thrive. Through its performance, engagement, analytics, goals, and growth tools, Lattice encourages company leaders to transform their approach to employee engagement and development. 

The platform is proud of its ability to display real-time employee insight and turn employees into avid company promoters.

Screenshot of Lattice employee insight feature.
Source: Lattice

Pros:

  • Lattice makes it easy to set and achieve workplace goals.
  • It connects with other HR systems.
  • With Lattice, managers can offer public praise for all employees to see.

Cons:

  • The platform could be better organized for navigation.
  • Users would like an opinion to change reminder frequencies for goals.
  • Certain integration options (e.g. Microsoft Teams) are lackluster.

Pricing:

Note: All of Lattice’s contracts are billed annually, with a minimum annual agreement of $4,000.

  • Performance Management: $8 per person per month
  • OKRs & Goals: $8 per person per month
  • Bundle and Save: $11 per person per month

Empuls

Through its one-on-one feedback, social recognition, and benefits administration features, Empuls’s goal is to build a workplace culture of appreciation. It’s more socially oriented than some of the other employee engagement tools on this list, with a focus on cultivating employee connections and motivation. 

Empuls boasts a fully functional way for managers to send rewards and recognition directly from Slack and Microsoft Teams, making it a wonderful addition to your HR software ecosystem. Incentive structures include digital gift cards and peer recognition.

Screenshot of Empuls recognition feature.
Source: Empuls

Pros:

  • Empuls makes use of concrete incentives (both social and monetary) to improve employee retention and satisfaction.
  • It has more of a community feel compared to other employee engagement platforms.
  • Minimal start-up effort is required to get the platform up and running.

Cons:

  • Mobile app functionality is limited.
  • Video or voice messaging options could enhance the platform’s functionality.
  • Analytics features are fairly basic.

Pricing:

  • Starter: $2 per person per month when billed annually (best for teams with up to 200 employees)
  • Proficient: $3.60 per person per month when billed annually (best for teams with up to 200 employees)

Motivosity

As its name might suggest, Motivosity is geared toward employee recognition rather than rewards and feedback mechanisms. However, bonuses and milestones like birthdays and work anniversaries are also key platform features. 

Incentives like the ThanksMatters VISA card allow your employees to decide exactly how they receive rewards, for instance. But Motivosity’s prime focus is on peer-to-peer and manager appreciation across all departments. 

Employee appreciation, community, and manager relationships all have space on Motivosity’s platform.

Screenshot of Motivosity rewards feature.
Source: Motivosity

Pros:

  • Motivosity allows teams to focus on what’s going right, motivating team members to keep up the good performance.
  • It’s an easy-to-use, intuitive platform.
  • Teammates can get better acquainted with each other by adding a bio, personality tests, and other personal information to their profiles.

Cons:

  • Several bugs still need to be worked out on the login page, calendar invites, and other areas.
  • The site could be more secure if two-factor authentication and other security protocols were implemented.

Pricing:

  • Connect: Free
  • Listen: $2 per person per month
  • Recognize: $5 per person per month
  • Lead: $6.50 per person per month

Quantum Workplace

With a dedicated customer support team and 360-degree employee engagement strategy, Quantum Workplace is the ideal software for small businesses looking to drive individual and company-wide success. 

It’s also amassed the largest database of employee engagement data in North America, so it’s well-equipped to help your company navigate engagement obstacles, make smarter business decisions, and improve overall team performance. 

Quantum Workplace’s smart talent reviews and robust business analytics set it apart from its competitors, which are often lacking in reporting capabilities.

Screenshot of Quantum Workplace talent reviews feature.
Source: Quantum Workplace

Pros:

  • It’s a great option for providing feedback in a social network-type setting.
  • Quantum is easy to use right out of the box.

Cons:

  • Goal-setting features could be more adjusted for greater functionality.
  • Employee recognition and 1-on-1s aren’t very customizable.

Pricing:

  • Exact pricing plans are unavailable online. Contact Quantum Workplace to obtain a customized annual quote for your company.

Kazoo

Kazoo is an employee experience platform that aims to course-correct your business priorities, celebrate achievements, and give a voice to everyone in your organization. Not only does that help improve the day-to-day operations of your company, but it also helps you attract and retain top industry talent for the long term. 

Kazoo is a modern employee engagement solution that’s optimized for distributed teams and puts “employee recognition front and center,” according to the company website.

Screenshot of Kazoo dashboard.
Source: Kazoo

Pros:

  • Kazoo encourages employees to make healthy, positive choices each day for themselves and their work.
  • It promotes peer interactions as well as employee-manager interactions.

Cons:

  • A more robust dashboard could further incentivize performance.
  • Recognitions could be arranged more intuitively.
  • Additional point-earning opportunities would be welcomed by users.

Pricing:

  • Growth: starting at $5.00 monthly per employee when billed annually (best for teams with 100-250 employees)
  • Standard: starting at $4.25 monthly per employee when billed annually (best for teams with 250-1000 employees)
  • Enterprise: contact Kazoo for a custom quote (best for teams with 1000+ employees)

Employee engagement software features

What can you expect from most employee engagement software? Here are just a few of the must-have features you’ll find in any comprehensive employee engagement solution: 

Surveys

Surveys are key in gauging employee attitudes toward workplace policies and management decisions. They’re also the main feature in most employee engagement tools, so you’ll want to pay close attention to a software’s ability to create, deploy, and analyze surveys. 

In terms of survey creation, most employee engagement solutions offer pre-made templates. You can also create your own templates to accompany your survey questions. 

Schedule surveys and polls on a recurring basis and take advantage of the results to improve employee satisfaction and set your company priorities straight. For best results, maintain anonymity with your surveys so your employees feel comfortable being candid in their responses.

Keep reading: 20 Employee Engagement Survey Questions You Need to Ask

Goal setting

If you have a particular set of workplace goals in mind, employee engagement software can help you achieve them. With milestone-setting and due dates, you can track your path to a better workplace quantitatively. 

Performance tracking

If you’re so inclined, some employee engagement software also makes it easy to compare engagement metrics with industry competitors, so you can see how your workplace stacks up. 

Typically, you’re able to view these metrics on both an organizational and an individual employee level for a 360 view of performance. You can also track employee performance in regards to wellness and other customizable metrics.

Employee recognition

Employee engagement software can also take care of rewarding your employees for remarkable work. You can set the software to send out personalized messages or awards to employees and managers. 

Best of all, with a built-in social network feed, you’ll be able to share individual accomplishments with the rest of the company, which motivates everyone to perform at their best.

Reporting and analytics

Finally, let’s not forget about the reporting and analytics aspect of employee engagement software. Customizable, sharable reports allow you to obtain a birds-eye view of employee performance and company-wide engagement. These reports make it easy to see engagement trends and identify where there’s room for improvement.

Benefits of employee engagement software

With so many engagement features on offer, it can seem overwhelming to implement a whole new company-wide campaign. You likely have lots of other workplace metrics to measure and are wondering whether or not employee engagement software is worth the effort and price tag. With the invaluable information you gain from engagement software, you’ll be able to:

Automate feedback cycles

It’s a cumbersome process to have to individually design and distribute traditional surveys. Additionally, concerns over anonymity tend to skew results. 

With anonymous, automated feedback cycles, you can send out routine surveys and polls in addition to specific requests for feedback. Employees can even log feedback at their convenience, streamlining everything under one easy-to-examine platform — no more flipping through pages of surveys and manually logging information.

Improve employee satisfaction & retention

Workplace burnout is on the rise and even has a place in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases as an “occupational phenomenon.” Keeping office morale high is in everyone’s best interest, as it leads to increased employee retention rates. 

High employee turnover isn’t good for productivity or company finances. Every time you have to onboard and train a new employee, you lose valuable working time getting them up to speed. Employee engagement software can help you improve employee satisfaction, thereby reducing the overhead associated with high turnover rates.

Gain a better understanding of your workforce

Any software that provides your company with a snapshot of performance and progress is an important component of your business toolkit. 

With employee engagement software, you can identify where there’s room for improvement, allow for anonymous suggestions, and compare your company with industry competitors. In the long run, your company can work toward actionable goals and measure progress along the way.

How to choose the right employee engagement software

Most small businesses find it difficult to ignore the benefits of employee engagement software. From the analytic insight to the performance tracking, employee engagement software allows you to get the best read possible on employee satisfaction and productivity, so you can adjust your business plans accordingly.

But not every software tool works for every small business. When choosing the best employee engagement solution for your business, there are a few key questions you’ll want to ask:

  • First, what can you do outside of software to better your working environment? Whether that’s raising wages, investing in new office chairs, or subsidizing employee gym memberships, there are several employee engagement ideas for small businesses that can easily be implemented.
  • Do you need a stand-alone employee engagement solution or an integrated HR solution that keeps everything on one platform? If you need help deciding, the next two questions may be useful.
  • What is your company’s software budget? Basic solutions are often more affordable than an all-in-one platform. It may be in your best interest to look for a scalable solution that can grow alongside your business.
  • What is your current software workflow like? It’s important to select an option that your team can easily integrate with existing processes, so it’s not creating more problems than it solves.

Once you’ve answered these questions, your company will be well on its way toward fostering a healthier, happier workplace environment for all.

Read next: 5 Employee Engagement Ideas for Your Small Business

Celita Summa
Celita Summa
By day, Celita Summa is a Florida-based freelance writer specializing in technology, marketing, sustainability, and a plethora of other topics. Nothing makes her happier than reading and writing well-researched content. By night, Celita can be found developing her talents, which include her black belt in karate, her fluent Italian, and her knack for vegan cooking.

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