This complete buying guide will help you compare the best employee engagement software available in the market today and make the best choice for your investment
Are you struggling with streamlining all your employee engagement efforts?
If yes, then chances are that you are trying to achieve everything manually and not leveraging the best employee engagement software available in the market today.
These software support cutting-edge features like pulse surveys, insights and action plan, guided templates, and much more to create a culture of high level of engagement and belongingness. However, you need to choose the right one to ensure maximum value for your organization.
In this article, we have compared the price, features and suitability of 12 best employee engagement solutions as well as the key features you must look for while investing in any such platform to ensure maximum ROI.
Choosing the best employee engagement software for your organization can go a long way into augmenting your engagement quotient. Before we jump onto discussing the top 12 platforms you can choose from, let’s explore a few best practices to make the right choice. You can get a detailed understanding of the same from our article on 12 steps to choose the best employee engagement software.
Here are a few of the best employee engagement software, currently available in the market to take your engagement quotient to the next level:
Contemporary employee engagement software for fast growing organizations to facilitate engagement, performance management, OKR based goal management and manager development
SuperBeings offers a modular pricing for different needs. The Engage model is priced at $2.00 per user per month, ideal for scaling organization. SuperBeings offers a 21 day free trial
People success platform by LinkedIn which focuses on employee engagement using real time people data ideal for teams of any size
The pricing and plans are not available in the public domain. To know about packs and pricing, you could always get in touch with the Glint team. A demo for this employee engagement software is available to get a closer understanding of the product.
Employee engagement solution focused on engagement, employee development and performance management ideal for teams with 25+ team members
You can ask for pricing and plans depending on your team size. The self-starter plan is suited for 25-200 employees followed by the standard plan for 201-999 employees and the enterprise plan for 1000+ employees. Furthermore, the plans differ on the functionalities you need. Culture Amp doesn’t offer a free trial
Employee engagement, performance management and performance review platform leveraging recognition, gamification ideal for medium sized organizations
The starting annual agreement for Engagedly, employee engagement software, is $5,000. There is availability of a free trial
Employee engagement software with 10 metrics of employee engagement ideal for teams of all sizes with free capabilities for teams of 1-10 members
Officevibe is free for teams of up to 10 members. Beyond that, the essential tier is priced at $5.00 per month per user and the pro tier is at $7.00 per month per user. In case of 500+ users, you can get in touch with their team. OfficeVibe offers a 14 day free trial
Employee engagement and feedback software for teams of all sizes to make employees feel heard, celebrated and valued
The pricing for TINYpulse can be requested on demand by filling up a quick form sharing the number of employees. TINYpulse offers a free demo with a product expert
Employee performance and engagement software leveraging surveys, pulse and eNPS ideal for small and large enterprises
Lattice pricing starts at $8.00 per user, per month and increases with additional products, if you want to add on the engagement product, that comes at an additional cost of $4.00 per user per month.
Employee engagement and recognition software with eNPS, pulse surveys, and report dashboards great for remote teams
Motivosity has different pricing tiers for different licenses. The startup features come free of cost, then different features come at different costs starting at $2.00 per user per month. Motivosity offers a free product and platform demo
Employee engagement software that combines performance management and manager effectiveness to create highly engaged employees, ideal for organizations of all sizes
15Five’s pricing for the engagement platform is at $4.00 per user per month and other capabilities can be added on. 15Five offers a free trial for 14 days
Complete suite of tools to connect, collaborate, measure and optimize employee engagement for organizations of all sizes
The pricing starts at $2 per employee per month. peopleHum offers a free trial for 7 days
Experience management software focused on employee, customer, brand and product experience ideal for organizations of all sizes
Qualtrics offers a free account with survey templates for fast growing organizations.
People enablement platform with engagement, performance management, employee development and OKR functionalities ideal for organizations of all sizes
Leapsome is priced at $6.00 per month per user. Leapsome offers a 14 day free trial
There are certain basic features that most employee engagement software will offer, which will be beneficial for you at the beginning of your engagement journey. Here is a quick snapshot of the top 5 basic features that you must look out for in an engagement tool —
First, it should be able to create reports based on employee feedback and surveys and create insights based on the data points. You would want the employee engagement software to go beyond just collecting the responses and sharing the results.
Ensure that you are able to receive reports which can be understood easily, preferably with visuals and data points to identify gaps and areas for improvement.
It should be able to provide you with key insights based on the responses on levels of engagement, drivers, challenges, etc. to help you reinvent the wheel wherever necessary.
Only relying on annual engagement surveys is a thing of the past. You cannot only gauge employee pulse once a year and ensure high levels of engagement and retention. Thus, a basic feature for any employee engagement software you need to look out for is its ability to conduct pulse surveys which are conducted at frequent intervals. This suggests that you should be able to control and customize the frequency at which you roll out different surveys based on the needs of your organization.
An employee engagement software generally comes with the feature of providing benchmarks based on your requirements. Depending on your industry and nature of the organization, your employee engagement tool should share insights on what the benchmarks look like and compare your performance to them.
Put simply, absolute results may not be enough to gauge the engagement quotient for your organization. For instance, an e-NPS of 8 is good from a macro lens, however, if all your competitors and others in the industry have a score of 9, you need to relook at your engagement efforts. Thus, the employee engagement solution should share benchmarks and associated best practices.
If you want to get a true and honest opinion from your employees, you need to offer anonymity and confidentiality, especially around some aspects. Thus, another basic feature for any employee engagement software is its ability to offer anonymity for the employees. In recent times, there has been a rise of need based anonymity, where you can activate or deactivate anonymity for your employees based on the need.
If you are just starting out, you may have apprehensions about how to take the first step. Thus, a basic feature in employee engagement software is the presence of pre-built templates. The software should have multiple templates that you can choose from based on your needs. It must have questions that you can use and get an understanding of the market as well. Furthermore, you should look out for the software which allows high customization of its templates in terms of the number and wordings of the questions along with length, while maintaining the context.
While these are some basic features, depending on your needs and the level of engagement maturity, you may want to check out some advanced features that are possessed by the best employee engagement tools out there. They can help you further capitalize on the benefits from the basic features to further add value to your engagement efforts.
First, you may want to look out for an employee engagement software that can help you run personality tests for your team members to understand their strengths and overall personality with individual reports for all. This will enable your managers to facilitate more effective task allocation and conduct comprehensive 1:1 meetings by integrating personality insights. Such directed workflow allocation and conversations will significantly increase the engagement quotient for your employees and also enable interest based working.
SuperBeings has an advanced free personality test to help you Know Your Team. Check it out
While data points are integral to gauge engagement insights, they may not be able to give you a complete picture because there are sentiments that may not be captured quantitatively. Here, some of the best employee engagement software can help you with Natural Language Processing based sentiment analysis. This can enable you to decipher the sentiments behind the feedback which may not be apparent at the first glance, especially when it comes to open ended responses, etc.
Effective employee engagement requires manager coaching to ensure meaningful conversations and feedback. An employee engagement tool with advanced features can help here as well. It can offer AI driven recommendations to managers based on insights and sentiment analysis to drive high impact conversations. Furthermore, it can help them prioritize top action for employees that can boost engagement and collaborate on it without losing track. The objective is to help managers have robust interactions with guided templates.
The best employee engagement software is not only able to tell you which employees are engaged or disengaged, it can help you predict and even curtail disengagement with the help of dynamic alerts and audience mapping. First, it can help you categorize your employees as different audiences based on different engagement efforts. For instance, you may want to send one survey for a specific department, while some efforts may be for those completing a professional milestone from different departments. A software can enable you to toggle between different cohorts. Furthermore, it can release real time alerts when more surveys than the saturation point are being sent to an employee which might lead to engagement fatigue, to help correct the action.
Finally, an advanced feature of employee engagement software that can take you over the top is real time heatmaps. Here, the idea is to receive actions to facilitate engagement in real time, without waiting for the end of the quarter, etc. It can help you look at data across cohorts or trends in real time in a visually understandable manner for quick and robust action.
The importance of employee engagement can never be overstated, as it has been proven to reduce staff turnover, improve productivity and efficiency, improve customer service and retention, and deliver higher profits. The above mentioned employee engagement software can truly make a difference in your organization's work culture.
However, you need to make sure you make the right choice, because while all the tools mentioned above are attractive and competent, your needs and expectations need to be the focus while choosing your employee engagement solution partner.
If interested, book a free demo with SuperBeings to see how we can help you drive engagement with ease
It is no longer an assumption that the traditional approach to annual goal setting and review has run its course. The VUCA world demands more quick and adaptable business models.
While the agile values and methodology was initially created for software delivery, you can apply the same to transform how you set and achieve your business goals.
In this article, we will focus on:
Traditionally, goal setting has been a very static and long-term process for organizations. Here are a few key components of traditional goal setting and performance management:
This form of goal setting and performance management had relevance for organizations operating in steady and stable market conditions.
However, in today’s VUCA world, the pace of change is skyrocketing and organizations unable to tide with the same are finding it extremely difficult to survive, let alone thrive.
Some of the reasons to reimagine goal setting for VUCA world include:
While it may not be apparent in the first look, agile and OKRs are quite complementary and combining the two can be a great step for growing organizations. Here’s why —
Here are a few reasons why you should combine agile and OKRs for your organization:
Now that it is clear why working agile and OKRs together makes sense for growing organizations, let’s quickly explore the top ways in which you can apply agile techniques to your OKR framework to make goal setting and performance management suitable for the VUCA world.
In this last section of agile and OKR for better goal setting and performance management, we will uncover the top framework.
We have combined the best components of different frameworks like waterfall goals, delivery agile, scaling, full stack agile, into a single framework with 5 major components that can help you enhance the complementary potential of agile and OKR
This approach can help you leverage the benefits of agile methodologies and OKR framework to impact all aspects of organizational structure for achievement of goals, including the culture, strategy, initiatives, tactics, etc. The framework is premised on:
If you are struggling with combining agile and OKRs for your organizations, chances are you are focusing on activity based key results which often resemble agile steps, leading to confusion and inability to meet goals.
For instance, if you have an event coming up and wish to successfully execute the same, the objective will be common, with specific value based key results for each team.
If you look closely, while the objective is shared, key results are spread across sales, marketing, and even product/ services teams
Your agile and OKR framework should enable you to get the best of both worlds when it comes to results. Agile results by nature are qualitative in nature and focus on the features that you wish to ascertain in a specific period of time. On the other hand, OKRs are driven by metrics. Thus, you can use a combination of the two for effective results:
The combination can help you create an ideal balance between outputs and outcomes which are both critical when it comes to goal achievement and performance management.
Using data and not relying solely on opinions will help you set agile OKRs which don’t under or over estimate the goals. For instance, if the market data on traffic to a new website in your industry is 20,000 clicks in one week, your OKR can focus on reaching 25,000 to make it aspirational but achievable up to 80%.
However, if you set the target at 50,000 or above, it will become too far fetched and the team might not even strive for it. On the flip side, if the target is only at 10,000, it will not encourage your employees to push the boundaries. Thus, you need to replace opinions and command OKRs with data backed experimentation.
Self organizing teams are important for growing organizations as they proactively take onus and ownership of achieving OKRs and lead to a greater degree of success. Step away from controlling detailed plans for each OKR and encourage the leadership to provide direction.
To conclude, if you combine agile and OKR, you have for yourself a clear model for success which you can easily apply to goal setting and performance management. Furthermore, leveraging the right technology resources can help you stay on track and enable you to thrive in the VUCA world.
Like most fast growing organizations, you might also be leveraging the OKR methodology to set, implement and facilitate effective goal setting to maximize growth. If not, you should start using OKRs ASAP.
OKRs not only provide an excellent goal setting framework but also drive high performance when implemented strategically. Most importantly, with enhanced goal visibility and transparency, OKRs ensure that everyone is on the same page which is the foundation of a cohesive and high performing culture.
In this article, we will discuss 8 ways in which you can adopt the OKR methodology to build a thriving company culture.
A high performance and thriving company culture is based on the foundation of clarity and focus. When there are 100 things to focus on, your employees will eventually lose sight of what’s actually important and might feel burdened with non-priority tasks. This will lead to a poor employee experience and limited productivity, both situations that prevent an impactful culture.
However, when you apply the OKR methodology, you will be able to limit your focus on 3-5 top priorities which will attract attention, energy and efforts across the organization. You will then be able to create a high performance culture by dedicating all your resources to the key priorities to realize impact.
A culture that thrives on collaboration, teamwork and alignment is one which creates maximum impact. The OKR methodology can help achieve this in an effective manner. On one hand, everyone is clear about their role in the OKR achievement, which makes collaboration seamless because everyone is on the same page and no one steps on the shoes of others.
On the other hand, OKRs can help your employees align their responsibilities and tasks with the overall vision of the organization, motivating them to contribute to the big picture.
To learn more about how to align teams using OKRs, read this
Recent times have shown that uncertainty and ambiguity will continue to mark the new normal. Thus, a culture of agility, resilience and responsiveness is critical for fast growing organizations. The OKR methodology can help achieve the same.
OKRs are cognizant of the changing environment and have the flexibility to be adapted to the same.
More importantly, you can leverage the OKR methodology to foster a culture that focuses on outcomes and is not fixated on the tasks to achieve the outcome at hand.
One of the top challenges of building a great company culture is a siloed approach and annual reflection. This leads to surfacing of major risks and problems which result in high rates of attrition, absenteeism and lower levels of motivation, productivity, etc.
However, the OKR methodology adopts an approach of continuous engagement and reflection. You can create a regular cadence to check OKR progress for each of your team members, even daily is effective.
This continuous engagement and reflection can enable you to preempt risks before they surface and leverage the power of communication to address them in real-time. Invariably, a culture built on continuous engagement leads to greater impact and high levels of performance as well as employee satisfaction.
The lack of transparency is one of the key obstacles for many fast growing organizations that seek to create a thriving company culture. A way out often seems difficult to navigate. Fortunately, the OKR methodology can help address this challenge as well. When you use OKR, especially with the support of an effective OKR tool, you can facilitate high levels of transparency.
Everyone in the organization will not only know their role, but also will have a complete view of the level of performance for others. Such transparency can help you increase coordination of efforts and give everyone the visibility of what’s happening across the company.
You may agree that most fast growing organizations these days seek to replace a strict hierarchy with a more flat organizational structure that facilitates inclusion of diverse ideas, thoughts and opinions. However, many struggle when it comes to actually implementing this thought.
Adopting OKRs can solve this problem.
By nature, the OKR methodology is based on a collaborative foundation where a top-down approach compliments a bottom-down approach for goal setting.
This suggests that while the skeletal structure of the goals might be laid down by those in the top leadership, you can give all employees the freedom and autonomy to create OKRs for their teams and verticals.
When your employees participate in setting the OKRs they have to execute, the level of ownership is much higher. Thus, you can leverage the OKR methodology to create a thriving culture built on greater ownership and a flat organizational structure.
With a focus on continuous engagement and reflection, the OKR methodology can help you facilitate open communication and feedback. Many studies have shown that a culture that facilitates regular feedback along with open channels of communication is more likely to thrive than one which does not.
In the OKR methodology, when you constantly track your OKR progress (download our free template for tracking OKRs), you will be armed with data backed insights to offer regular feedback for your employees. Furthermore, you can also leverage the same to start meaningful conversations with your team members in case you feel that there is any kind of disconnect. Such open communication can help you create a truly inclusive culture when employees feel their voice is heard.
Finally, a company culture that thrives has two major components supporting it, accountability and recognition.
The OKR methodology is an answer to both these challenges.
Now that you know how the OKR methodology can help you in many ways to create a thriving culture, it is also true that as a fast growing organization with multi-pronged focus, leveraging OKRs is a challenging task. To address the same, you can collaborate with an integrated OKR tool like SuperBeings to automate the OKR adoption and maintenance.
With SuperBeings, you get to —
With performance management becoming a critical part of organizational success, giving effective employee reviews is becoming a crucial part of a manager’s responsibilities. While regular employee performance reviews focus on illustrating the strengths and what worked for employees and the organization at large, there needs to be an equal focus on areas of development in case of poor work performance.
If you look closely, writing negative employee reviews is often considered to be more difficult because the words need to be chosen very carefully. It needs to have a developmental tone rather than a critical one.
As the term suggests, negative employee reviews are reviews delivered to employees who have underperformed and need to be pulled up to the expected levels. It involves a variety of components which include:
To get actionable ideas of how to deal with poor performance issues at work, read this
Writing and delivering negative employee reviews is very important for any organization that seeks to maintain a high level of employee performance. It is critical to ensure that:
When you are writing negative employee performance reviews, you need to be extremely cautious of the words you choose. Using the right words will help the receiver acknowledge and work on the suggested points, while using words that are too harsh or critical can lead to adverse consequences. There are a few reasons which make the choice of words extremely important.
The same review when offered with the right words can be more powerful and have a larger influence.
For instance a statement like ‘you interfere too much in the work of others’ can be seen as a personal attack and may yield a defensive response from the receiver.
However if you frame it in a different manner like ‘if you give others greater autonomy and freedom to work in their own way, you will be able to inspire greater creativity and innovation’, you will be able to put your message across and also help your employees understand how it will make a difference.
Download: Free guided 1:1 meetings template to get personalized meeting recommendations
In addition to being cautious of the words you use, there are a few other tips which you must keep in mind while writing negative performance reviews, including:
While giving negative reviews is difficult, don’t beat around the bush and get straight to the point. However, instead of directly saying what isn’t going well, try adopting the sandwich approach. Start with a positive comment, add areas of improvement and end it with some suggestions and action items.
Example: Tina has an excellent eye for detail and is very dedicated to her work. However, she often misses the deadlines which has led to a delay in 30% of her projects resulting in poor client experience. It would help her performance greatly, if she is able to prioritize her work better and keep an organized calendar for timely delivery. She can consider using the latest project management tools to facilitate better prioritization.
Second, negative employee reviews should focus on the job or the role and not the person specifically. Steer away from using words or phrases which may end up combining performance and personality of the person. Your review should be specific towards performance challenges and not generalize that performance challenge is a personality trait.
Example: Instead of saying, “you are not punctual”, you can say that “I have seen you arrive late for meetings frequently, leaving shorter time for discussions. It would be best if you could be more punctual to respect others' time and make the most effective use of the same.”
When you are writing negative performance reviews, you must focus on the progress and how a change in behavior and attitude can help them in the long run. Simply mentioning what went wrong and the associated process might lead to demotivation.
Example: Some of your work has had grammatical errors in the past, maybe because you were trying to complete a lot at once. I am sure if you prioritize some tasks and create an action plan, your work quality will be better.
Don’t simply give negative employee reviews about the problem area, but back it up with facts and data points. This will help you illustrate a pattern and establish that your review is not based on a single incident. Also, it will make your review more credible and authentic and not just a few words strung together. This will also help you in being very specific.
Example: It has been observed that 40% of your customers claim that you don’t have adequate knowledge of your product, leading to a poor experience.
There might be some performance parameters which are difficult to add quantitative data points to. In such cases, you can offer specific examples of underperformance, especially if it has been repetitive. It is ideal to have at least 2-3 instances of poor performance to make your point stronger.
Example: It has been noticed that in the aspiration to get your work perfect, you end up delaying projects. It was observed in project X with client A, project Y with client B as well as when the internal submission for Z was due.
Pro-tip: Use our free Performance Review Phrases template to get 50+ examples of writing a negative review positively
Once you write the negative employee reviews, you exactly know what you want to say to your employees. However, the way you deliver it also has a big impact on how it is received. To make the process simple, we have compiled a list of some of the best practices to help you deliver a poor performance review in the best way possible:
If you are delivering a negative performance review, it is best to do it in person, or if your team is remote, over a video call. If you deliver it over an email, you cannot be sure of the tone and context in which your words will be read.
It might backfire by being read as more critical than developmental as per the intent. Furthermore, when you are delivering the negative reviews face to face, you can also use your gestures and body language to facilitate authenticity and empathy.
No matter how poor the performance has been, when you are delivering negative employee reviews, you should stay away from yelling or using foul language. Since the focus is on facilitating development for your employee, yelling will only defeat the purpose, making the employee demotivated and pushing them towards even lower levels of confidence and motivation. Furthermore, it will negatively impact your organization from an employer brand perspective. It can also create a negative impact on the wellbeing of your employees.
While delivering the review, you may want to add some personal stories or anecdotes if you have yourself been through something on those lines. This will help you connect better with your employees and make them trust you more. Furthermore, it can enable you to illustrate how they can turn poor performance into something better with a live example in front of them.
Your negative review shouldn’t be a monologue where you deliver what you have written with the employee absorbing it as a passive recipient. Instead, make it a dialogue by putting forward questions to understand the reasons behind poor performance and how you and the organization as a whole can help turn the table. Hearing their side of the story is extremely important before deciding on the next steps.
When you are delivering negative employee reviews, you need to create a safe environment. It should not be harsh and the employee should feel comfortable in receiving what you have to offer. Also, make sure you deliver the review privately and not publicly shame your employee. They should see it as a developmental conversation in a safe environment, where they can also voice their opinions.
Finally, negative employee reviews need to be regular and not come as a surprise to your employees at the end of the year. Regular reviews will give your employees enough room to improve their performance. Furthermore, it will give them a clear picture of what to expect when the year closes.
To learn how SuperBeings can help you have guided conversations around negative performance review with AI recommendations based on performance and goals history as well as maintain a steady cadence to maximize the impact of such conversations, see this
After you have delivered the negative reviews to employees, the natural next step is to create a plan for improvement to help your employees reach the level of performance you expect out of them. This is a critical part of the performance management and talent development process for employees who have been consistently underperforming. Here are a few ways you can help your employees improve their performance.
If you have reached this level of negative employee reviews, you and your employee would be on the same page about their level of performance. Thus, it is best to create a list of action items that can help them improve their performance. To create the next steps, you must:
Next, your focus should not only be on planning the action items, but documenting them as well, because once they are out of sight, they’ll be out of mind. Furthermore, documenting them will help you remember the agreed steps and track progress every now and then.
Clearly document what needs to be achieved, by when and how. It can be a good idea to encourage your team members to constantly document their experience as well to help discuss what has been working well and what needs to improve.
Depending on the performance issue, you may want to introduce a performance improvement plan for your employee. It is a formal tool to address performance challenges which outlines specific goals and expectations along with clear actions that need to be undertaken over a duration of 30-90 days.
For more details on PIP, check out A guide to implementing a performance improvement plan (PIP)
You also must set up a cadence to discuss performance improvements or challenges once the next steps are agreed upon. Unless you connect regularly to discuss the status, you might find yourself at square one at the end of the next performance review period as well.
Depending on what needs to be achieved, you can set a weekly, fortnightly or monthly cadence to connect with your poor performers. While it may be seen as a regular review, it will also act as a reinforcer for them to ensure there is some improvement everytime the cadence to meet comes up.
When you are determining the next steps, it is important to identify the associated metrics as well. For instance, if you want your employee to become more detail oriented, your metric can focus on reduction in errors by a specific percentage over a specific duration of time.
The metrics will help you measure whether or not there has been an improvement in the performance as desired or not. At the same time, the metrics will help your employee move towards a specific goal.
While you have a set cadence, you may also want to check-in or follow up from time to time to make your employee comfortable enough to reach out to you in between your cadence for connecting. The follow ups can be over emails or calls or simple messages to check if everything is on track and to offer them any support whichever is needed. Especially in the beginning, you may need to check from time to time in case there’s any additional support that the employee needs to work on the action items.
Finally, to ensure that your negative employee reviews translate to impact, you must focus on evaluating progress. Use the metrics you defined to gauge the level of progress and document it whenever you evaluate the same. This will help you establish a trend over time.
Furthermore, if you feel the progress is below expectations, try to understand the rationale behind the same to check if putting the employee on a performance improvement plan will make more sense.
By now, you must have gained a clear understanding of how to write, deliver and follow up on negative employee performance reviews constructively. If you are keen to learn how best to connect negative performance issues with regular 1:1 meetings with your team members with technology, book a quick demo with one of our executives. We would love to show you around :)