Elisse Lockhart

Elisse is a former VP of Marketing at Bonusly with a background in startup growth.

Articles by


Google Chat (formerly Hangouts Chat) is a messaging platform for Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) customers that makes it easy for teams to collaborate in an organized way. In addition to integrating with Google Workspace apps, Google Chat also supports third-party apps, including Bonusly!

With the Bonusly integration for Google Chat, you can give and view recognition directly from Google Chat rooms and conversations.

google-hangouts-chat (4)

Why add Bonusly to Google Chat?

You already know the beauty of Google Workspace — that’s why you picked it for your organization!

By adding Bonusly to Google Chat, you can make it easy and convenient for your team to participate in and benefit from recognition. Increase your team’s engagement with Bonusly by meeting them where they are.

To learn more about why employee recognition is a highly effective and proven strategy for improving employee engagement, check out this resource: Why is Employee Recognition Important?

Get started

All you need to do to start using Bonusly in Google Chat is to add the Bonusly bot to one of your chatrooms or conversations!


Once you add Bonusly, type @Bonusly help for instructions on giving recognition. Check out our Help Center article for a step-by-step guide to connecting Bonusly to Google Chat.

Have questions? Get in touch!

Bonusly offers impactful employee recognition and rewards without requiring constant hands-on administration.

To further reduce the administrative overhead of your Bonusly program, we recommend automating user management by integrating with your HRIS or HRMS provider. Bonusly's BambooHR integration is quick to set up and it includes a few settings you can activate or deactivate depending on your needs!

One-way data syncing saves times and reduces errors

When your Bonusly account is connected to your BambooHR account, any updates made to employee data in BambooHR will automatically map to their Bonusly user data.

Instead of manually adding, editing, and removing sensitive employee information in multiple systems, you can activate Bonusly's BambooHR integration and sync your employee data from BambooHR to Bonusly every night. (If there's a time-sensitive change, you can also manually prompt BambooHR to sync with Bonusly.)

The BambooHR + Bonusly integration will save you time and hassle as your company grows and changes, helping you stay organized and on top of account provisioning if you onboard and offboard employees in cohorts. Plus, BambooHR securely sends your employees' hire dates and birth dates to Bonusly so you can automate birthday and work anniversary celebrations!


Bonusly + BambooHR: "It's just kind of a no-brainer"

Classy Llama, a full-service eCommerce agency with around 70 employees, uses the BambooHR integration to reduce hands-on administration and continue to run a successful recognition and rewards program.

Greg Johnson, who covers a wide range of HR functions at Classy Llama, described the Bonusly integration with BambooHR as a no-brainer:

It’s just kind of a no-brainer. Instead of having to put an employee’s information into BambooHR and remember to put all that same information into Bonusly, now we only have one spot where we have to put in or take out all of the [employee] information at once.
- Greg Johnson, Classy Llama


If something changes with the employee, Greg points out, whether they find a different job or they’re let go, duplicating that offboarding work across multiple platforms "is just really annoying."

Greg shared several helpful stories about the value of automating admin processes at a virtual event Bonusly co-hosted with BambooHR. Check out the video recording to see Bonusly's BambooHR integration in action and hear more from Greg! 👇

Illustration of gold trophies on a conveyor belt with the BambooHR and Bonusly logos above it and the words "Automate Your Way to a Stellar Employee Recognition and Rewards Program," which is the title of the webinar recording that this link points to

The presentation is full of fun insights like this one: 

The whole idea of empowering people is an amazing function of Bonusly. That’s one of the huge reasons we love it is just having that culture of empowerment and giving those ‘atta boys’ in the moment instead of waiting a year for an annual review.
- Greg Johnson, Classy Llama


Looking for additional information?

For more details about the Bonusly + BambooHR integration, check out  Bonusly's Help Center and the BambooHR Marketplace

From HRIS to SSO, Bonusly fits nicely into your company's tech stack! 🥞 Our integrations bring recognition into your employees' existing workflows (read: Slack and Microsoft Teams) and connect Bonusly with the tools you and your team use every day.

If you want to learn more about Bonusly and the impact it can have on employee engagement at your organization, request a demo!

We’re excited to share a new addition to Bonusly Analytics, the Organization Graph. This is the first of several features we’re planning that are based on our conversations with customers like you about what kinds of actionable insights can impact your business.

{% video_player "embed_player" overrideable=False, type='scriptV4', hide_playlist=True, viral_sharing=False, embed_button=False, width='600', height='377', player_id='8082770143', style='' %}


Improving upon the Activity Network that it's replacing, the Organization Graph will help you visualize and understand the connections between your people and teams. While you may already have an org chart that maps out the official hierarchy of your organization (in your HRIS, for example), our Organization Graph goes beyond that to illustrate what your workplace really looks like right now, who is connected to whom in day-to-day work, and how teams are collaborating between departments, locations, and roles. With interactive visuals, you can quickly get insights into the relationships between your people and teams and find opportunities to facilitate collaboration, promote inclusion, and identify de facto leaders as well as turnover-risk individuals in your organization.

Facilitate collaboration

Our customers often mention collaboration as an important contributing factor in their goals around employee engagement, productivity, and results. Understanding how your teams and people are collaborating today will help you identify your organization’s strengths and areas for improvement so you can facilitate more productive collaboration.

"I’ve seen more recognition between departments and have a greater understanding of what people on other teams are up to. The increased visibility has clarified the importance of everyone’s roles and helped us understand what people are doing, day in and day out."
-Colleen Smith, Lead UI/UX and Product Design Engineer, Levels Beyond

For example, you might see in the Organization Graph that your sales and marketing teams aren’t connecting as much as you’d like. Once you know this, as a leader or an executive, you can revise your collaboration processes to encourage more interactions and break down silos.


As a manager, you might notice that a few individuals on your team haven’t worked together recently, and you can identify projects they could collaborate on. If you have one or more remote team members, you can also use the Organization Graph to make sure location isn’t a limiting factor for collaboration.


The existing connections in your Organization Graph can also indicate particularly strong relationships between teams and team members. By looking at where collaboration is strong, you can learn what’s working and get ideas for replicating those processes and initiatives.

Promote inclusion

Part of building an intentional, engaging company culture is making sure that everyone in your organization feels comfortable and valued. Recognition is key to building an inclusive culture, so the Organization Graph can help you understand how inclusive your culture is.

To start, use the Organization Graph to identify individuals whose connections with their teammates aren’t as strong as others. They might be new to your organization or department, or their work isn’t visible to or understood by others, or something else is going on.


It’s important for both HR leaders and managers to identify these kinds of situations. Managers can easily take action to recognize those individuals more and to connect their work with other team members’ projects. HR leaders are key support resources for managers in monitoring and addressing any risks for isolation. Taking early action to include these individuals can help keep them engaged and more likely to stay at your organization.

Managers can also look at their own connections to the people on their team to find opportunities to promote inclusion. You can see the strength of your connection to each of your direct reports at a glance and quickly get a sense of whether you're recognizing everyone on your team equally.

If you’re giving more bonuses to one person on your team, does that accurately reflect who you consider to be a strong performer? Ask yourself about your recognition behavior and keep an eye out for unconscious bias.

If you’ve only given a few bonuses to one team member, perhaps you need to spend more time with them or try to understand their work more. Are you recognizing people of your own gender more than others? Check out Namely's Workplace Diversity report for research around gender biases in recognition.


By reflecting on your recognition behavior, you can make your bonus giving more equitable and adjust what you give recognition for in order to support everyone on your team and lead by example.

Identify leadership and influence

Strong leadership is important in every company, and leaders aren’t only the people in “manager” roles. Looking for well-connected individuals on your team can help you identify unofficial leaders and project champions.

Are there people on your team who are connected with practically everyone else? Their interconnectedness on the Organization Graph can indicate that they have influence across the team, which can be instructive when you want to secure buy-in for various initiatives and when you’re thinking about those individuals’ career growth.


You can also use the Organization Graph to get a sense of how information flows across teams/departments. The connections between departments in your organization can indicate which department has the strongest relationships with other departments. Knowing which department acts as the hub of your organization can inform your communication practices.



As you explore the Organization Graph and implement ideas for promoting collaboration, inclusion, and leadership, check back on the visuals to see if the connections you were hoping to influence become stronger.

Learn more about how you can use the Organization Graph to drive these kinds of insights in our Help Center article.

The Organization Graph is a beta feature and will evolve over time with your feedback. Let us know what you think — the good, the bad, and the ugly! — by clicking “Let us know!” at the bottom of the Organization Graph page.

Hurrah, you’ve decided to use Bonusly to build a recognition-rich culture on your team! Now what?

A well-planned Bonusly launch will go a long way towards securing early adoption and the longterm success of your new employee recognition program. This is a great time to demonstrate to your employees that you care about them, you know that the work they do every day is important, and you want them to feel appreciated.

Clearly explaining the why and how of your employee recognition program will inspire high participation across your whole team. Your launch should showcase your goals for Bonusly, help everyone learn how to use it, and get them excited about getting started. 

So, where do you start? How do you create a fun and successful Bonusly launch for your team? These are our best practices, many of which are inspired by customers like you:

Of course, as you go through the planning and rollout, don’t forget we’re here to help! In addition to all the resources we mention below, our legendary Customer Success team is ready to provide guidance and answer your questions! We’ve helped many companies with their Bonusly launches, and our goal is to make sure that yours is a success.

Establish the foundation for a great Bonusly launch 

You might also consider connecting broader company initiatives and priorities to Bonusly, whether that’s through the Company Value Hashtags you set up, the Awards you offer, or the custom rewards you add to your Reward Catalog.

Some of our customers have merged these types of programs into Bonusly for their launch:

  • Years of service awards
  • Wellness programs
  • Referral bonuses
  • Swag stores
Pick award

Always consider how the components of your launch and the way you talk about Bonusly reflect your company culture and personality. If you’re stuck, we offer several tips for customizations throughout this post.

Communicate what Bonusly is all about

Help your team understand the role Bonusly will play in your organization and why you’ve selected this program over others. Emphasize that you want them to feel valued, that Bonusly is a program for recognizing and rewarding employees, and how the peer-to-peer aspects of Bonusly recognition empower everyone to get involved.

As part of your Bonusly launch, communicate that your company is prioritizing recognition of great work and help your team understand what types of work merit recognition. You can show everyone what recognition in Bonusly might look like by sharing a few examples, including recognition for things that are important in your culture. 

You can also share compelling stats from our 2022 annual report to help them understand how Bonusly has helped other organizations. For example, the most popular rewards in 2022 were Amazon, Allowance Boosts, PayPal, Starbucks, and Visa. That should give people something to look forward to! 

Don’t forget to include your Company Value Hashtags in the recognition examples to remind your employees that your company advocates for intentional culture and actionable values. This will demonstrate how your values will stay front and center in Bonusly as they’re linked to daily behaviors. 

Post reactions

Customize our communication resources

While every team will do their launch slightly differently, we recommend including the following components in your launch:

1. All-hands presentation

The most powerful way to announce Bonusly to your team is with an all-hands presentation that everyone (or most everyone) is able to attend. With an in-person or video conference presentation, you can express your enthusiasm about Bonusly and its importance to the company.

Here are things you should consider including in your presentation:

  • The history of recognition programs at the company
  • Why they picked Bonusly
  • Best practices and recognition guidelines, including guidance on what kinds of things to
  • Different ways that managers would be using Bonusly
  • Different ways that the company would use Bonusly to recognize milestones like work anniversaries, birthdays, new homes, marriages, and new children
  • How to use various features of Bonusly, including the Slack integration and reward redemptions

Adjusting the voice and tone of the all-hands presentation is also a great way to tailor your Bonusly launch to suit your culture. 

2. Written communications

Written communication is a great way to tell various company stakeholders about Bonusly before your company-wide launch and give employees something to reference after your all-hands presentation. Think about the places that your employees usually go to find information about various programs — such as employee handbooks, Wikis, Slack channels, etc. — and be sure to announce Bonusly in those locations.

Customers often use our email templates to share information about Bonusly with their employees. Customers have also created their own posters and flyers to announce the launch around the office. 

3. Pre-launch training

There are a few groups of people who should be familiar with Bonusly before launch. Before you launch Bonusly, identify and train your Bonusly admins, who will manage the logistics of the program, so that they can answer employees’ questions and facilitate a smooth launch.

It’s also a good idea to familiarize your company’s people managers with Bonusly so that they can act as early adopters of the program and model participation for their teams. Their active participation in the first few days after launch will help normalize Bonusly across your company. You may also want to identify recognition champions, or unofficial leaders in your organization, who can model good recognition practices on the platform. Design the training for managers and champions in order to get their buy-in and to make sure they understand best practices of inclusive and timely recognition.

By training these smaller groups, you can get exposure to what might be common questions and get a handle on company-specific concerns that are likely to come up during your official Bonusly launch.

Don’t forget to make these trainings engaging and customized to your culture, as well!

Pro tip: Your admins, people managers, and Bonusly champions play an important role in the success of your launch. Encourage them to engage with Bonusly as soon as you launch, and have them model best practices by giving thoughtful, timely, frequent recognition to their direct reports, superiors, and other teams.

4. Post-launch training

In most cases, your all-hands presentation will cover all the topics needed to help your employees start using Bonusly — it’s not rocket science! 😜 If your employees are interested in more guidance, consider offering a post-launch training to show them how and why to use Bonusly and any of the integrations you’ve set up.

In addition to covering tactical tips for using Bonusly, this training is a great time to teach Bonusly best practices. Helping your whole team understand that recognition should be timely, frequent, values-oriented, personalized and inclusive will support a recognition-rich culture. Some of our customers have also used a handful of examples of potential meaningful bonuses to illustrate some of Bonusly’s features.

You can also use this time to answer questions that employees have about Bonusly once they’ve had some time to explore the platform after the all-hands announcement.

A multi-component launch will help you reach all your employees. Different communication methods resonate better with different people, so think about the best way to reach each group of your team. The best way to talk to your team about Bonusly might not be included on this list — don’t be afraid to get creative! 

In addition to these foundational items, additional activities unique to your organization will bring Bonusly to life for your team.

Get creative and have fun with your launch

To customize your Bonusly launch so it suits your company culture and helps you meet your recognition goals, consider what aspects of your company culture could fuel participation and make your launch fun for your team. Ask your managers and champions for their ideas, or get inspiration from some of the things our customers have done:

Give out prizes to the first people who participate in Bonusly

The fastest way to get people to accept their invitation to Bonusly is to provide a fun incentive. The automated Welcome Award is a great start, but consider whether you want to sweeten the deal, as well.

At Chobani, team members have strong brand loyalty and take a lot of pride in wearing Chobani branded gear both at and outside of work. When Chobani launched Bonusly, they designed and gave out exclusive swag to the first people who logged into Bonusly and those that gave the first bonuses. For them, this was a perfect way to bring their culture into Bonusly for the launch.

Set up an Early Adopter Award in Bonusly

Receiving more recognition in Bonusly gives people a great initial feeling towards the platform, and we’ve found that receiving recognition is one of the best motivators for employees to start giving recognition. So another way to incentivize early adoption of Bonusly is to give awards through Bonusly itself.

Our customer RocketDocs set up an Early Adopter award to recognize people for recognizing their colleagues with Bonusly. This is a great way to show people how the recognition program benefits them.

Give upcoming quarterly or annual bonuses via Bonusly

One of our customers launched Bonusly right before the holidays, when they knew everyone was looking forward to receiving their holiday bonuses. To encourage people to log into Bonusly as early as possible, the company gave their holiday bonuses on the platform. It was a great way to transition their existing programs into the new recognition system and get people excited to use Bonusly.

Throw a party

What’s more fun than a party? Bonusly customer Blast Analytics & Marketing made their launch extra fun by throwing a party for the team on launch day. Their custom currency in Bonusly is 🌮, so they had a Taco Tuesday party to announce Bonusly. 

Set up your Digital Signage

Don’t worry about Bonusly going out of sight, out of mind! With Digital Signage, you can display recent recognition posts on screens in prominent locations in your office: on the way to the kitchen, next to KPI dashboards, in the break room — wherever your team will see them.

By setting your Digital Signage up for your Bonusly launch, you can boost the visibility of those initial posts and motivate everyone to get involved.  

Announce Bonusly externally

Show your team that this is an important initiative for your company by announcing it publicly on social media or your blog. If you use your social channels to share your company culture and employer brand, your Bonusly launch is also a perfect way to show how much you care about your employees and how you’re committed to a recognition-rich culture

Ready, set, go!

With all of these creative ideas for customizing your launch, you’re sure to make it your own and delight your employees. But as you go through the planning and rollout, don’t forget our Customer Success department is here to help you set, reach, and exceed your goals!

Don’t hesitate to reach out via this page or the chat bubble in Bonusly.

Congrats! You're about to join the ranks of over 3,250+ organizations worldwide that use Bonusly to celebrate great work. 

We frequently add new options to the Bonusly Reward Catalog to make sure everyone can redeem their earnings for something they love. Because lots of people use Bonusly, reaching that goal means having A LOT of reward options! 🎁 💵 🎖 With our latest enhancements to the Reward Catalog, it’s now easier to sift through all of our options to find the reward you want.


Rewards are now organized by category so that you can easily browse the different types of rewards and quickly find the sections you want. Whether you’re looking for home and garden brands, electronics gift cards, donations, or something else, you can easily jump to the relevant section instead of scrolling through every individual option.



Enhanced “Recommended for you” section

The Reward Catalog starts with a section of rewards that are recommended for you. Now, in addition to showing rewards that you've previously redeemed for and are most interested in, the Reward Catalog suggests rewards that are popular among your coworkers, as well.


Check out the Reward Catalog

More enhancements to the Reward Catalog are in the works! If you have any requests, don't hesitate to let us know on Twitter (@bonusly)!

Companies that build remote teams benefit from increased flexibility for employees, greater access to diverse talent, savings on office space, and boosted productivity, among other advantages.

But the remote work trend is not without its challenges. Remote employees often report that they feel isolated, or “out of sight, out of mind.” Without in-person interactions and the opportunities for casual conversations that emerge when employees share the same physical space, it’s hard for remote workers to build trust and develop strong relationships with their teammates.

Physical separation makes it harder for remote workers to feel connected to their company culture, and it often leads to isolation in work projects, as well. When your team doesn’t have visibility to your work, it’s hard to feel recognized and appreciated for your contributions.

All of these challenges impact remote employee engagement, which has a significant influence on business success. To combat the difficulties of remote work, many companies focus on communication and collaboration. Because recognition is an important component of positive communication and successful collaboration, Bonusly plays an integral role in improving remote employee engagement.

Here are a few ways that teams use Bonusly to address the challenges of working remotely:

Make great work visible

When employees recognize each other in Bonusly, their bonuses appear in their company’s Bonusly feed for everyone to see. By amplifying the visibility of team members’ contributions, Bonusly helps remote employees feel that their work is meaningful.

Visible recognition in Bonusly also helps teams stay informed of work across their organization and better understand how other employees’ contributions impact them. Making recognition visible across the team helps people feel more connected to everyone’s work.

“I love how Bonusly has connected our remote teams! And it gives everyone better insight into the great things people in different areas accomplish on a daily basis. Through the tool, we’re all able to appreciate each other more.”
- Christine Antonelli, President, SEI LLC

Reveal meaning and personality through recognition

Bonusly encourages users to give detailed reasons for each bonus, with space to describe exactly why the contribution mattered. Connecting contributions to their impact helps work feel meaningful.


Bonusly also helps employees add personality to the bonuses they give. GIFs, images, and emojis in bonuses add character and create small opportunities to get to know the people you work with. These personalized additions help team members build camaraderie, one of the most powerful motivators.

“A large number of people in our field can be rather introverted. But when I see someone make a rib-breakingly funny joke in a bonus, all of a sudden I’m like, Oh, this guy is more than just the quiet guy who nods his head at me when I walk by and say ‘Good morning.’ “ - Matthew Lane, Project Manager, Levels Beyond

Connect people with frequent positive communication

Workplace communication tends to be primarily neutral and negative. Increasing the frequency of positive interactions that employees have at work will impact their feelings of happiness as well as your entire company culture.

Bonusly integrates with the real-time communication tools your team uses (such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Hangouts Chat) to make seeing and giving recognition a frequent occurrence. Remote employees can’t say “thank you” or “great job” in person, so adding Bonusly to these tools helps everyone easily add recognition to their daily activities.

“We use Bonusly to reward and motivate each other... and it helps incentivize positive communication such as meaningful praise and recognition.” - Matt Borgato, Sr. Front End Engineer, InVision

Bring your culture to the forefront

Bonusly lets you set your company values as hashtags, making it easier for everyone to regularly recognize those values in action. Tagging bonuses with your company values will keep them top of mind for new hires and experienced employees, regardless of location, with real-time examples to continuously communicate the meaning and essence of your values. By tying recognition to your company values, you’ll help remote team members feel connected to your culture.


Get a pulse on the team

Bonusly Analytics gives managers and HR teams insights into the strengths of each team member and the connections between team members. See which core values each employee exhibits most often and which team members collaborate most closely.

You can also examine giving trends to see whether any remote employees aren’t recognized as frequently as their peers. If their contributions aren’t visible to their peers, managers can use Bonusly to highlight their work more often and help them find more collaborative projects.


Bonusly's Organization Graph shows the strengths
of team members' connections

Here are a few more tips and tricks to take your use of Bonusly for remote teams to the next level:

Pro tips for remote teams

  1. Improve communication and collaboration by recognizing people when they facilitate remote team communication/collaboration. Don’t worry, it’s not too meta.
  2. If your remote teams are spread across multiple countries, use these Bonusly features for global teams.
  3. Some remote teams are out of the office and on the road. Make sure they download the Bonusly mobile apps to give and see recognition on-the-go.
  4. Use a single bonus to recognize entire teams who have worked together on a project as a way of emphasizing their collaboration. Easily add multiple recipients by typing ~ into the give box to activate the dropdown menu of groups.



Ready to connect and engage your remote teams? See how Bonusly can help!

We’re excited to announce a new Bonusly feature that expands our company-to-employee recognition capabilities: Awards!

You may have already used our automated welcome, work anniversary, and birthday bonuses, as well as the funds that allow specified team members to give unstructured bonuses from a shared pool.

Awards now combine these existing features with new functionality (all in one place) to make it even easier for companies of all sizes to manage their company-to-employee bonuses in Bonusly.

In addition to company bonuses that are either automated (previously called Bots) or customizable by the giver (previously called Company Funds), Awards now includes the ability to create predetermined bonus templates for a subset of your team to give out. The new Awards have fixed bonus reasons and amounts in order to standardize recognition for specific contributions and events.


Awards are perfect for many company recognition occasions. Here are a few examples:

Standardize referral bonuses

By using the Awards feature for referral bonuses, you can empower hiring managers across the organization to recognize employees who refer new hires, while still allowing your HR team to determine the amount and language of these bonuses.

Celebrate life events

Celebrating major life events is a great way to show that your company cares about your employees beyond their work performance. Make it easy for all your managers to announce when their employees get married or have a new baby by setting up an award with a standardized message and bonus amount.

Facilitate wellness programs

If you run incentive programs in your organization to promote wellness initiatives, you can now use Awards to manage the bonuses that are given to employees who participate in those activities. For instance, you can create awards to recognize employees who get flu shots and participate in Ride your Bike to Work Day.

Recognize safety measures

Safety is a high priority for many organizations, especially those in manufacturing. You can promote safety by creating Awards to recognize individual behaviors like achieving accident- or ticket-free streaks and attending safety courses. With Awards, everyone in your organization will be able to see what specific safety measures are important and start to put them into action more frequently.

Incentivize training

Encouraging a learning mindset in your organization shows that you care about your employees’ professional development and strengthens your in-house knowledge. Create awards for the specific training programs and certificates that you think are valuable in order to provide direction for employees who are interested in furthering their education.

Thank those who help with hiring and onboarding

Recognize individuals who help with recruiting, interviewing, and training new hires to let them know that their time is valuable. Using Awards for these bonuses will ensure that everyone is thanked equally for their contributions.

Check out this article for more inspiration on company incentives, and use Awards to create structured versions of the ideas listed.

Create your company’s awards

If your company would like to standardize certain types of recognition, use the Awards feature to create bonus templates. You’ll be able to specify the amount and message of each award, as well as the monthly/quarterly/annual budget and the team members that are allowed to give the award.


Once your award is created, it’s easy for any of the specified givers to type in the recipient’s name and give the award!


For more details about setting up your own awards, check out our Help Center article. Give it a try, and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear about the awards you set up for your organization.

Awards is a Bonusly Pro feature. Learn more about Bonusly Pro here.

Looking for an employee engagement solution? Try Bonusly for Free!