The 8 best staff engagement tools of 2020

Staff engagement is one of the most fundamental determinants of retention and productivity this decade. The matter is so vital, in fact, that an astounding 90% of leaders think this has at least some impact on success. Despite that, only 25% of leaders currently implement strategies, leaving a shockingly low 70% of employees unengaged and at risk of jumping ship. 

That’s bad news, and it’s something that couldn’t be easier to overcome now staff engagement tools are widely available across the business landscape. To help you get your head around engagement once and for all, we’re going to consider the pros, cons, and features of the top 8 contenders on the market right now.

# 1 – 15Five 

Main features

  • 360° performance reviews

  • HRIS integration

  • 1-on-1 meetings

  • High fives for recognition

  • Pulse checks

  • One-time polls

  • Custom reports

15Five focuses on employee engagement surveys that take employees 15 minutes to answer each week, and managers 5 minutes to review. This continuous performance management suite then tailors the recognition and coaching of team members to ultimately increase engagement. 

With aims of removing the need for annual performance reviews and integrating objectives with hassle-free OKR tracking, 15Five has been altering workplace processes since 2011, when founder David Hassle paired with Brad Oberwager to create the multi-purpose platform that users enjoy today. 


  • Easy interface

  • Lightweight feedback system

  • Project-sharing capabilities

  • Easy streamlining across communication apps 


  • Potential cost barriers

  • Long-winded review processes 

  • Repetitive review questions 

# 2 – Culture Amp

Main features 

  • A library of pulse and deep-dive surveys

  • People and culture platforms

  • Benchmarkable results

  • Continuous feedback

  • Departmental filtering capabilities

Given that their first 2011 survey was conducted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, it’s hardly surprising Culture Amp is now a much-loved software. Complete with a focus on performance reviews and pulse/culture surveys, this is a fantastic option for managers looking to review data across employee performances. Account managers on the platform can access information easily, as well as sending surveys to all users for timely feedback that’s easy to analyse.


  • Fantastic engagement focuses

  • Holds management accountable 

  • Admin-friendly surveys


  • High price points

  • No automated HRIS capabilities

  • Only admin users can send surveys

  • No employee recognition features

# 3 – OfficeVibe

Main features 

  • 120 survey questions

  • 10 key metrics for measuring engagement and 26 sub-metrics

  • Integration with Slack/text, etc.

  • 1-on-1 capabilities

Officevibe is a cloud-based software that aims to ‘make your workplace more human,’ a goal it’s achieved with ease during its evolution from an internal survey tool to a comprehensive team platform. 

What really helps Officevibe stand apart is its focus on increasing efficiency as much as feedback itself, allowing for insights almost guaranteed to increase satisfaction. Automated processes make weekly surveys easier than ever, and reports can be shared across the workplace for a company culture with trust as its heart.


  • Designed for efficient use company-wide

  • Anonymity and GDPR compliance

  • Clear data dashboards for faster reviews


  • Confusing departmental transitions

  • Surveys automatically sent to managers

  • Labour-intensive set-up

  • No employee recognition features

# 4 – TinyPulse 

Main features 

  • Direct-to-employee surveys

  • Enterprise feedback tools

  • Real-time recognition reports

  • Cheer recognition 

TinyPulse was one of the first on the employee engagement market, and it’s easy-to-use, one question focus, alongside low price points, makes it a strong contender still. Admittedly, capabilities here are more simplistic than you can expect from alternative software, but TinyPulse still offers efficient, bite-size pulse surveys for enterprise-level solutions with easily-trackable results.


  • Easy to analyse feedback

  • ‘Cheer’ feature for employee recognition

  • One of the most affordable software price-points


  • Simplistic

  • Asks just one question per week

  • Limited peer recognition

# 5 – Reward Gateway

Main features 

  • ‘Smarthub’ analytics

  • Discount program

  • Tax-compliant rewards

  • Peer-to-peer nominations

  • Wellbeing initiative

Reward Gateway is yet another offering that focuses on thanking employees, this time in the form of various reward systems, including discounts and benefits such as childcare vouchers. This adaptable rewards platform also uses 12 years of industry experience to utilise impactful employee surveys, and even a focus on wellbeing for reduced sick days etc.


  • A focus on rewards

  • Employee-dependent reward tiers/payment options

  • Instant access to engagement stats


  • Long-winded set-up

  • Reports must be sent by an account manager

  • Outdated back-end customer support

# 6 – Impraise

Main features 

  • Key strengths dashboard

  • Cross-team and 360-degree feedback

  • Competency tracking

  • Review form templates

With a team of 60+ people across 22+ nationalities and 3 countries, Impraise is an inclusive bunch indeed, and that’s something users can easily see reflected in their software. While a confusing interface is a downside, users generally find that this full-featured review, feedback, and praise programme offers everything. Its focus on putting people back in the driver’s seat of their development has even led the Impraise team to improve engagement for their average customer by 35%! 


  • Expansive feedback opportunities

  • A focus on employee key strengths and proficiency over time

  • Multi-channel appraisals


  • Confused interface

  • Possibility of glitches

  • Lack of capability to discuss results across the workplace

  • A lack of recognition features


# 7 – Reflektive

Main features

  • Real-time feedback dashboards

  • Asset management

  • Email integration

  • Mobile support

  • HR & payroll capabilities

  • Analytical & MIS reports

Reflektive’s comprehensive solution aims to transform the management of employee performance and satisfaction in accordance with already-evolving HR processes. Using yearly, quarterly, or monthly performance reviews, Reflektive’s user-friendly interface and feedback systems empower companies on a broad scale. As well as improving manager-employee oversight with the use of 1:1 features and more, Reflektive also highlights the importance of peer-to-peer recognition with feedback available across the board.


  • End-to-end solutions

  • Easy employee recognition

  • User-friendly


  • High monthly price points

  • Difficult to build reviews

  • No easy way to compare quarter-to-quarter performance

# 8 – Rippl

Main features

  • Mobile app 

  • Peer-to-peer recognition and incentives builder

  • Colleague nominations

  • Reward capabilities

  • Easy-to-configure surveys and polls

  • Learning modules for colleague improvement

With beginnings as far back as 2002, Rippl offers the best of every possible employee engagement focus. As such, it should come as no surprise that this fundamental software is now a front-runner in fantastic engagement solutions. CEO Phil Dunk has gone above and beyond to ensure recognition and reward are at the heart of this offering, all without leaving users out of pocket. 

This platform offers a unique mobile-friendly app with a focus on employee rewards that never cost, a fact that’s already transformed employee processes in big-name companies like Asda. That, alongside free set-up and low monthly costs, makes this an employee engagement software well worth having on your team. 


  • A focus on affordable employee recognition

  • Makes peer-to-peer recognition easy

  • Mobile interface for easy use

  • Prioritises sharing stories company-wide

  • Achievements and wellbeing come first

  • Has an analytics hub

  • Has a web platform so there is less phone distraction

  • No set-up costs


  • Makes phones an integral part of the working day

  • Can’t run engagement surveys through app

Recognise your employees at last

As you can see, the choices for employee engagement software are endless in this tech-focused decade. Whether you opt for survey-heavy or reward-based platforms, you should soon see everything from employee productivity to retention rising at a fast rate. 

With feedback continually coming your way, it should also become easier than ever to recognise pain points and improvements on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis according to your business needs. And, that could see you benefit from the 21% profit increases and 40% reduced sick days that businesses who invest here are already enjoying!