Digital tools can help organizations drive employee engagement through communication and collaboration. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which tool is best.
While many companies might think of employee engagement as a single strategy, it's important to approach it as something that is earned as a result of many initiatives coming together to provide value to employees: an employee engagement tool is only one piece of this puzzle.
With that in mind, this article will explore 22 of the best digital tools to drive employee engagement to help you evaluate and make the right decision.
There are a number of different tools that can support employee engagement across different business needs and engagement goals. Some key categories of employee engagement tools include:
- Tools for frontline workers
- Tools for remote, desk-based workers
- Tools for desk-based office workers.
Within these categories, there are even more specific types of tool with the below as just a few examples:
- Communication and collaboration
- Rewards and recognition
- Employee feedback
- Two-way communications
- Time management and productivity
The tools that are right for your organization will differ depending on the industry and the type of employees using them. Choosing the wrong technology for your workforce is a common mistake that can directly impact the success of the tool – for frontline organizations in particular.
Implementing the wrong technology simply won’t get the engagement and adoption needed to be worth the effort or investment. On the other hand, choosing the right tool, like Blink, can see adoption rates as high as 87%.
An important consideration here is that most employee engagement tools are built for desk-based workers, with 94% of C-Suite admitting that they have traditionally prioritized office and desk-based tech.
Unfortunately, this puts frontline workers – who make up 80% of the global workforce – at a disadvantage.
With tools that aren't designed for them, frontline workers face the added challenge of even accessing tech throughout the day. Without mobile access to standard resources like company emails, desktop software, and critical time-bound updates, frontline workers are growing frustrated, separated from their coworkers, and ultimately disengaging from work. Any technology solution to this problem has to be created with the unique circumstances of the frontline workforce in mind.
- Frontline workers need tools that help them stay connected to the company while on the move, manage their time and communicate easily cross-department. As they aren't behind a desk and often don't have access to a computer or even a company email, they need an intuitive, familiar tool that creates a community and fosters connection. A mobile-first experience can be powerful for providing this.
- Alternatively, remote workers need tools that support video conferencing and project management, helping them stay organized and connected to their team.
- Similarly, desk-based office workers will often require tools that allow them to collaborate on documents and tasks in real-time, as well as maintain communication while they're at their desks, but may not need as much focus on video conferencing and mobile experiences.
Will a desktop-based intranet suffice? Or is an easily accessible, intuitive mobile app the kind of tool that would suit your workforce? How can tools of different functions support the unique demands and responsibilities of your employees, and create a positive user experience for them?
By investing in technology that meets the specific needs of your workforce, you can ensure that your employees have the necessary support to perform their jobs effectively and efficiently. This not only positively impacts worker satisfaction and engagement but also leads to increased productivity and profitability for your organization as a whole.
Best Employee Engagement Tools For Frontline Workers
When it comes to frontline employee engagement, nothing beats Blink.
Blink’s frontline engagement app provides frontline workers with the services and tools that not only fit into their busy days but make them better, creating an environment which invites organic engagement.
It is designed to support staff in a variety of industries, including hospitality, transit, construction, healthcare, logistics, and more.
With Blink, employees can easily communicate with each other and management, access their shifts, view their schedules, clock in and out, request time off, and more. Plus, managers can use Blink to track employee performance and engagement, and get a better understanding of what’s happening on their frontline. Blink’s software combines all the digital tools you need in one place, allowing you to:
- Bring your organization together in groups and 121 Chats
- Encourage your teams to share feedback in Polls and the Hub
- Make your employees feel valued and appreciated using Recognition
- Dig deep into what makes your organization tick with Frontline Intelligence
- Make leadership visible to frontline workers
- Give access to your teams and collaborate more
With a suite of powerful features, Blink is the perfect tool for driving digital acceleration and frontline employee engagement in your organization.
Capterra Score: 4.6 (111 reviews)
Pricing: Monthly pricing for Blink starts at $6.18 per user – with a free demo available upon request.
Kudos, Friday & Bonusly
- Kudos is an add-on app that allows employees to give and receive recognition in real-time. With Kudos, you can create a recognition-rich culture where employees feel appreciated for their hard work. Monthly pricing for Kudos starts at $3.25 per user. Capterra Score: 4.8 (957 reviews)
- Similarly, Friday is an app that makes it easy to give employees recognition for a job well done. With Friday, you can give employees badges, points, and rewards to show your appreciation. Monthly pricing for Friday starts with a free plan and goes up to $100+ for company plans. Capterra Score: 5 (1 review)
- Bonusly is another dedicated employee recognition tool. Bonusly allows employees to give each other bonuses in the form of points that can be redeemed for rewards. By using Bonusly, you can create a culture of appreciation and recognition throughout your workforce. Monthly pricing for Bonusly starts at $2.70 per user. Capterra Score: 4.8 (1563 reviews)
At Blink, our App Marketplace integrates all the tools you need to manage your employee engagement in one place. If we don't already integrate with your app, just ask.
Best Employee Engagement Tools For Desk-Based Remote Workers
If you're looking for free employee engagement software platforms mainly focused on direct communication, some options to try might include:
Google Chat is a communication platform that includes features like video and voice calls, group chat, and more. It's a great option for workplace communication, and it's free to use, but may also lack some of the more advanced features of paid tools.
Reviews from Capterra note that Google Chat is effective for coordination, collaboration and ease of use, but that the interface can be frustrating, message delivery can be an issue, and notifications can be challenging to navigate.
Capterra Score: 4.5 (2176 reviews)
Pricing: Monthly pricing for Google Chat for business starts at $6 per user.
Discord is a chat app designed for gamers, but it has more recently been used for workplace communication as well. It includes features like voice and video chat, so you can easily connect and communicate with colleagues.
Discord can be used for free, making it a basic but cost-effective tool for workplace comms, especially in the remote working environment.
Capterra Score: 4.7 (331 reviews)
Pricing: Many of Discord’s features are free to use. For businesses that want to invest in extra perks, Discord’s premium tier, “Nitro,” is available for $99 per year.
Asana is a popular project management tool that can also be used for employee engagement. With Asana, you can easily create and assign tasks, track task progress, and set team priorities. You can also use Asana to create custom projects for easy employee collaboration.
Asana can make a great option for remote employees, as it offers a mobile app for easy access to tasks and progress data, which can help to ensure that employees are working cohesively and effectively wherever they are based.
Reviews from Capterra note that while Asana offers a clean, intuitive, and integrated interface, notifications can often be lost, automatic opt-in to email notifications can be annoying, and the different projects and access features can be confusing.
Capterra Score: 4.5 (12074 reviews)
Pricing: Monthly pricing for Asana starts at a basic free plan, and ranges up to a $30.49 per user business plan.
ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool with features including task assignments and statuses, alerts and a task toolbar.
This digital tool can make a great option for those looking to improve remote employee engagement as it offers a mobile app, making it easy for employees to stay on top of and engaged in their tasks no matter where they are.
While these task-based digital tools can help to engage employees in their task management, they often lack in terms of real-time communication, employee recognition and social features. The best all-round digital tool for driving employee engagement will offer a holistic solution that incorporates all of these essential features.
Capterra Score: 4.7 (3703 reviews)
Pricing: Monthly pricing for ClickUp starts at a free version and ranges to a $29 per user business plus plan.
WorkTango is an employee experience platform with a number of solutions for employee engagement. WorkTango is designed to enable employees to both track their progress and collaborate with one another in a secure environment, with features such as surveys, recognition, and feedback to help engage employees along the way.
Capterra Score: 4.9 (128 reviews)
Pricing: Monthly pricing for WorkTango is not provided.
Best Employee Engagement Tools For Desk-Based Office Workers
While free employee engagement software may provide some basics for communication, they don't always offer the more robust tools that are essential for driving employee engagement like those mentioned above.
With its app integration feature allowing for easy installation of a recognition add-on app like those mentioned above, Slack can make a strong tool for employee recognition.
However, it's worth noting that Slack doesn't provide much in the way of scheduling, performance tracking or group management features, so you may need to supplement it with another employee engagement platform if these are essential for your organization.
Reviews from Capterra note that Slack’s UI is easy-to-use, and the channels and plugins are great features, along with having all work conversations in one place. However, reviews also note that it can be a confusing platform to use, with lots of channels across different teams, and adoption can be difficult if people are not familiar with the software.
Capterra Score: 4.7 (22957 reviews)
Pricing: For multiple employees, monthly pricing for Slack starts at $6.67 per user.
By using employee satisfaction survey tools like SurveyMonkey, you can collect regular feedback from employees on their engagement levels. This feedback can help you to identify problem areas and take steps to improve employee engagement in your organization.
Other popular digital employee engagement surveys include Pulse (from Officevibe) and 15five, which can also be integrated with a wider employee engagement platform.
Capterra Score: 4.6 (9729 reviews)Pricing: For over three users, monthly pricing for SurveyMonkey starts at £25 ($31.83) per user.
Employee polls are a quick and easy way to collect feedback from employees on a range of topics. You can use employee poll tools like Doodle to gather feedback on everything from engagement levels to job satisfaction.
Some additional popular employee poll tools include Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey's Polls, which provide a range of poll templates to choose from and adapt to your team members needs.
Capterra Score: 4.6 (1672 reviews)
Pricing: Monthly pricing for Doodle Professional starts at $6.95 per user.
Monday.com is a project management tool that can also be used for employee engagement. With Monday.com, you can create and assign tasks, track progress, and more.
You can also use it to create performance tracking templates for employees. This can help you to identify areas where employees need improvement and take steps to address them.
Capterra Score: 4.6 (4016 reviews)
Pricing: For more than 2 employees, monthly pricing for Monday.com starts at $8 per user.
OfficeVibe is a ‘people-first’ employee experience platform, with a number of employee engagement features designed for the office.
OfficeVibe is a great tool for office-based employers looking to assess and improve employee engagement levels through more robust measurement tools. It also offers an app so you can track progress on the go if needed.
Reviews from Capterra note that OfficeVibe is an innovative tool to better understand employee happiness, with strong customer service and foresight into the industry. However, managers had complaints that questions couldn’t be customized and that insights didn’t go deep enough, the Slack integration can be slightly haphazard and setup can be confusing.
Capterra Score: 4.6 (51 reviews)
Pricing: Monthly pricing for OfficeVibe ranges from a free version to a $5 per user Pro Plan.
Now joining forces with Reward Gateway (more on that tool below) Fond is a rewards and recognition employee platform that helps to make employee recognition easier and more meaningful. With Fond, you can set up reward and recognition programs in minutes and measure the impact of your efforts on employee engagement.
Fond also has a mobile app so employees can access their rewards quickly and easily. It’s an excellent tool for office-based employers who want to foster appreciation in the workplace with easy-to-use rewards and recognition programs.
Capterra Score: 4.6 (211 reviews)
Pricing: Fond pricing is paid as an annual subscription cost of $1,000.
Bonus Employee Engagement Tools
Employee wellbeing programs like those on offer from Limeade Wellbeing go hand in hand with employee engagement programs. With customized employee wellness programs, you can drive participation and deliver the essential wellbeing resources employees need from one handy tool, improving overall employee satisfaction and happiness.
Additionally, with this tool you can listen and respond to your workforce in real-time through science-based surveys, polls, and quizzes. All that’s really missing from these systems is a strong employee communications platform.
Capterra Score: 0.0 (Zero reviews)
Pricing: Monthly pricing for Limeade Wellbeing is not provided.
As we mentioned, Fond rewards software is now joining forces with Reward Gateway, an employee engagement solution that offers employee discounts, salary deductions, employee rewards and recognition, employee communications, and other employee engagement solutions.
This combined platform is a great tool for office-based employers looking to boost employee recognition with features such as discounts and rewards accessible in one place.
Reviews from Capterra note that Reward Gateway is flexible and easy to use, but can be faulty, with reporting features sometimes not running properly and some products not running as smoothly as others.
Capterra Score: 4.4 (85 reviews)
Pricing: Monthly pricing for Reward Gateway starts at £8 ($10.19) per user.
If structured goals are more suited to your organization, Weekdone is a top-rated OKR platform that allows you to track weekly plans and progress, provide feedback, and move everyone in a unified direction.
OKR software can also be used to ensure that remote employees have clear objectives, with performance reviews and goal tracking being just a few of the features on offer to help create a more engaged workforce.
Capterra Score: 4.5 (59 reviews)
Pricing: For more than 3 employees, monthly pricing for Weekdone is $8 per user.
Awardco is another bonus tool that makes recognizing and rewarding people easier and more effective.
With Awardco, employers can set up reward and recognition programs that their employees can access from any device. It can be a great tool for office-based companies of all sizes looking to increase employee satisfaction and engage with their workforce in order to boost productivity.
Capterra Score: 4.9 (3911 reviews)
Pricing: Pricing for Awardco ranges from $2500-$4000 per year.
QuizBreaker is a virtual team-building tool that sends a scheduled virtual team-building quiz to your employees’ inboxes. Helping teams bond throughout the entire employee lifecycle, this tool can be a great addition to your tech stack – particularly if gamification is something you’d like to implement more of.
Capterra Score: Not found in Capterra database.Pricing: Monthly pricing for QuizBreaker starts at $3 per user.
Useful employee engagement features to look out for
When choosing the right tool for your organization, you should consider the features on offer. You want features that will help you overcome the specific challenges you are facing with employee engagement. Key features to look out for and what they can be useful for include:
- Channels, chats: Communication is key to employee engagement. By offering employees a place to have real-time conversations, you can help to ensure that employees are always kept in the loop and can easily collaborate.
- Surveys, polls, content analytics: Employee engagement tools that offer polls and content analytics can help you to track employee engagement levels and take steps to address low engagement. This can be useful for ensuring your workers' voices are heard.
- Employee recognition: A tool that offers kudos and employee recognition can help to ensure that employees feel appreciated for their work. This is a key factor in maintaining strong employee engagement.
- Analytics: If you manage a deskless team, an analytics function can help you measure your employee engagement, retention, satisfaction and more, offering you valuable and actionable insights into your employees interactions with each other and with leadership. In turn, you can use this intelligence to improve employee experience and drive future engagement.
- A main feed and hub: One core feature of an employee engagement tool is a main feed or hub. This is where employees can go to find all the latest company news, videos, critical documents and more in one place. This can help to ensure that employees are always up-to-date and engaged with what is going on in the company.
At Blink, our frontline app provides all of this and more. We've got a wide variety of features that are designed specifically to help you overcome the challenges of employee engagement. Book a demo today to find out more.
The benefits of using digital tools for employee engagement
Reduce staff turnover and related costs
When you increase employee engagement, you reduce staff turnover. In fact, highly engaged business units achieve a 43% difference in staff turnover compared to companies with low engagement levels. The fact is, engaged employees are less likely to leave their jobs, and this can save your company a lot of money in recruitment and training costs.
Highly engaged organizations have also been found to benefit from 10% higher customer ratings and 18% higher sales, resulting in a 23% difference in profitability overall.
One study by SHRM found that the cost of replacing a worker can be as high as 200% of their salary, making employee retention a vital part of any business strategy.
Digital tools help to support employee retention by offering features such as employee recognition and feedback, which can make workers feel more valued in their roles and encourage them to stay with the company for longer.
Build a strong company culture with improved staff morale
In a competitive hiring market, remuneration is not the be all and end all of your employee value proposition. In fact, research has shown that company culture is now the number one priority for job seekers (23%) when considering a new role.
Digital tools can help you to build a strong company culture by providing a platform for employees to connect with each other wherever they are based, and by giving them a true voice within the company.
A strong company culture directly impacts employee morale, and this in turn can lead to improved mental health, simplifying their daily lives, increasing productivity, improving connection and refining their work-life balance. This can have a huge impact on engagement levels.
Better communication and visibility on what works
Digital tools can also help to improve direct employee communication within your organization.
When everyone has access to the same tools, it's easier to share information and collaborate on projects. And with features such as real-time feedback and performance tracking, you can quickly identify any areas where employees are struggling and put in place measures to address these issues.
With strong channels of communication and visibility of performance, you can encourage a culture of transparency and continuous improvement within your organization, leading to better business results and more reactive decision making.
Access valuable analytics on the people that matter to your organization
When it comes to employee engagement, feedback is essential. Without it, you have no way of knowing what's working well and what needs to be improved. And this can lead to disengaged employees who feel that their voices are not being heard.
Digital tools make it easy to collect employee feedback and act on it quickly. By using a tool that offers valuable employee engagement analytics, you can identify any issues early on and put in place measures to address them. This will help to ensure that your employees feel valued and that their feedback is being used to improve the company.
For example, Blink’s employee app offers rich data on employee engagement, satisfaction, retention, and more. By providing you with key employee engagement analytics, you can learn about problems that your frontline workers are facing faster, meaning you can solve them faster, too.
From looking for passwords and trawling through paperwork to repetitively logging into different platforms and apps, admin can be tiresome for all staff. Using the right employee engagement platform or tool can save employees a huge amount of time on admin tasks.
By providing your workforce with a fit-for-purpose employee engagement tool, you can automate or streamline many of these admin processes and free up their time to focus on more important tasks.
This can positively, and drastically, improve employee productivity, morale, and mental health by providing them with more time to spend doing what matters, and more mental capacity for innovation, creativity and self improvement.
Boost digital acceleration
When it comes to digital acceleration, choosing the right digital tool for engagement plays an important role. In fact, Merck CHRO Steven Mizell says HR leaders should make technology innovation a core company focus.
With this in mind, particularly if you're a CHRO, you may have felt the overwhelming pressure to "go digital" in order to attract and retain top talent, but a lack of practical tools to help you do just that. As on global study illustrates:
"Most concerningly, only 16% of business leaders said their organizational culture aligns with its digital transformation goals. This disconnect between employee engagement and organizational vision can lead to more challenges for organizations in times of rapid change."
Clearly, there's a disconnect between what companies want to achieve with digital transformation and what employees actually experience. This is where an employee engagement tool can help.
By acting as a central platform for all your workforce communications, it can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals, driving sustainable digital acceleration for the company as a whole.
An employee engagement app can help you to boost digital acceleration by:
- Allowing you to quickly and easily communicate digital transformation plans to your workforce
- Helping you to track and measure progress towards goals
- Providing a platform for employees to give feedback and suggest ideas
- Encouraging collaboration and innovation
Employee engagement tool FAQs
What is an employee engagement tool?
An employee engagement tool is a digital platform that helps to engage employees in their work. It can offer features such as task management, communication, employee recognition, and social features.
What technology is used to engage employees?
There is a wide range of technology used to engage employees. For frontline workers, the Blink platform is your one-stop shop. For knowledge workers, digital tools such as Slack or Asana can be a great option. The employee engagement tool that is right for you will depend on the needs and goals of your organization.
Don't let your frontline employees fall behind – book a demo with Blink today.