Vanessa Kahn

Vanessa is on the Marketing team at Bonusly and is excited to continue the conversation about employee engagement online. When she's not crafting the next email campaign, she can usually be found lacing up her hiking boots with a coffee in hand.

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What’s the key to engaging and retaining top talent? People managers. 🔑

Manager recognition drives your organization’s ability to build and retain high-performing teams; managers account for 70% of the differences in employee engagement across companies. If you want to unlock your whole team’s potential, you’ll need to make sure managers are equipped to recognize top talent consistently. Bonusly’s new Manager Giving Tracker serves as an appreciation barometer to nudge managers to appreciate each of their direct reports throughout the month. The new widget gives managers an at-a-glance view of which direct reports have been recognized for the month and indicates which team members might need an appreciation refuel. Once managers have recognized each of their direct reports for the month, they’ll be celebrated too. Cue the confetti! 🎉

What can the update do? 

  • Show which direct reports have and have not been recognized each month.
  • Help managers quickly recognize direct reports with a click of a mouse. 
  • Prioritize the next recognition to write by showing days since managers last recognized each report.

What can the update do for you

Manager recognition is equitable and easy with the new Manager Giving Tracker. Here’s how the new widget helps everyone feel recognized while keeping productivity on track! 

Save time meaningfully recognizing direct reports

Direct reports will go from zero to appreciated in seconds. Bonusly is placing the Manager Giving Tracker center stage on the homepage so managers get at-a-glance insights on who they should recognize next. Plus, managers can recognize their direct reports with a click of the mouse directly from the Manager Giving Tracker. 

Ensure everyone on the team feels recognized

Appreciation inequity on your team can create bad blood between your direct reports. Keep everyone feeling appreciated for their contributions and get an immediate indication of who’s been recognized this month and who still needs some appreciation. 

Keep engagement and productivity on track

Managers hold the key to team engagement and productivity levels. In a recent employee survey, 65% of respondents said they would work harder if their contributions were noticed by management. The new Manager Giving Tracker relieves pressure from managers manually keeping track of who they’ve recognized last, making equitable appreciation easy. 

Prioritize the mental health of your team

Turbocharge team wellness by prioritizing manager recognition. 69% of employees report that managers have the greatest impact on their overall mental health (equal to their spouse and more than a doctor or therapist). 

What’s next? 

Ready to champion your team with real-time recognition and see them shine? The Manager Giving Tracker is now available to all new and existing Bonusly customers. 🎉 If you’re new to Bonusly and want to see the Manager Giving Tracker in action, request a product demo.

The new and improved Rewards page allows companies to highlight their company culture and users to express their unique personalities through a customized reward experience. Bonsuly’s robust reward catalog meets employees wherever they work with 1,200+ rewards in 200+ countries. With reward information at their fingertips, and a WCAG AA accessibility supported  interface, employees can spend less time redeeming rewards and more time enjoying them. 

Let’s take a look at what’s on the menu!

Streamlined shopping experience

The new rewards experience matches familiar online shopping patterns and pages load faster than ever before for a stellar shopping experience. Redeeming a reward is as simple as 1, 2, 3:

  1. When a user navigates to the rewards page, they’ll immediately see how many points they have available to spend with a prominent redeemable point balance. 
  1. With their balance in mind, they can browse the updated reward categories to easily find the right reward for them. 
  1. Once they select their desired reward, they’ll be met with a brand detail page highlighting key information they need to confidently claim their reward. After claiming the reward, it’s ready to be redeemed with the selected brand.

Rewards for everyone

Bonusly’s reward experience is WCAG AA approved and meets the needs of global customers with robust translation capabilities and rewards in 200+ countries. We’re meeting our customers wherever they work with additional content translations supported and purchasing power parity abilities. It’s the rewarding experience heard around the world. 🌎

Built with your employees in mind

Every employee has a unique reward personality. There are the repeat redeemers; employees redeeming from the same reward month after month. The situational shoppers; employees cashing out rewards to line up with life events. The spontaneous purchasers; employees who like to try a new reward every time.

Lucky for our users, Bonusly’s reward refresh is customized to meet the unique needs of employees and companies alike. Now, everyone can quickly find rewards they might like or re-order their favorites. For those who love to pay it forward, we've added the ability to send gifts to coworkers, family, and friends with a personalized recognition message!

At the company level, admins have the ability to add custom rewards or donations central to their culture. We’ve also made it much easier to represent your company in style with automated swag fulfillment through AXOMO. Last, but not least, we highlighted "Points Boost" on the rewards page to increase peer-to-peer recognition while keeping recognition budgets in check. 

The bottom line: employers reward the way they want, and employees are rewarded the way they want. 

As if this update wasn’t enough, we’re just getting started! Keep an eye on this blog post to be the first to find out about additional reward enhancements. We hope you and your employees enjoy a more seamless, fun, and accessible rewards experience. Ready to share the news? Our one pager can help. Happy rewarding!

Are employee engagement surveys the be-all and end-all to understanding employee sentiment? 🤔

Though surveys can be a good first step to assess the state of the organization, they need to be supplemented with rich, real-time people analytics in order to be meaningful, trustworthy, and actionable. Let's take a look at the challenges with traditional engagement surveys and how rich people analytics can help fill in the gaps. 📈

The issue with traditional engagement surveys

Surveys without action can create mistrust among employees. If you're willing to ask employees questions, you should be ready to respond to feedback, and quickly. When survey data is mishandled, mistrust among employees increases. Additionally, employees don’t trust that survey results are truly anonymous and fear retribution for unfavorable opinions about the company. That’s why surveys should be supplemented with reliable, real-time people analytics.  

Beyond mistrust, surveys often offer temporary solutions to long term problems. HR teams frequently scramble to offer quick fixes to the issues they see in their survey results, when what they need to focus on is implementing permanent solutions. That’s the problem with receiving engagement data all at once instead of regularly, in real-time. Enter Bonusly analytics! Bonusly allows you to understand and react to employee sentiment in real time with powerful people analytics

How to use Bonusly to supplement survey data

As Walden University puts it, “Surveys provide a snapshot of the moment that’s already passed.” By the time you collect, analyze and take action on survey results it can be too late to move the needle on employee engagement and retention. In addition to employee surveys, it’s essential to monitor real-time people analytics to act on important peoples decisions quickly. 

Zero in on problem areas

Identify engagement issues in real-time and quickly understand which parts of your organization need your attention. With Compare Rates analytics, you can consistently compare recognition rates across teams and identify teams that are giving and receiving recognition at a rate below your company’s average. You can make recommendations to boost recognition rates by implementing award programs, encouraging managers to recognize their direct reports, and connecting your Bonusly instance to your preferred chat tool to boost visibility of recognition and encourage add-ons. 

Establish benchmarks

Before and after you take action based on survey results, benchmark your company’s current level of engagement with Bonusly. Having quantitative data to improve upon can be a great way to set tangible goals for long term improvement. 

Measure adoption of core values

You can use hashtag analytics to regularly measure the adoption of your company values. Understand if there are values that have trended down that may need programming support from the HR team. Were there key events that can be tied to those declines? Regularly reviewing changes in hashtag analytics allows Bonusly customers to proactively implement changes instead of reacting to survey results. 

Incentivize survey responses

A key issue with employee engagement surveys is that they’re hard to get employees to respond to given the time commitment. Low response rates lead to inadequate sample sizes which makes meaningful organizational change a challenge. Using Bonusly’s awards, HR teams can incentivize participation in the engagement survey to ensure they have sufficient results to work with. 

Next up, let's look at how you can use Bonusly data to make employee survey results actionable. 

How to use Bonusly to take action on survey results

Bonusly’s robust people analytics are essential to supplementing survey data.  Here are four ways you can use Bonusly analytics to ensure survey results don't collect dust on your HR team's desk:

Survey says: low engagement scores

Bonusly helps build a culture of appreciation and many of our customers have seen their eNPS scores go up as a result of implementing Bonusly. Both Andiamo and Nexthink were able to increase their eNPS scores significantly after implementing Bonusly. 👏

Survey says: lack of DEI education

If you get feedback about a lack of DEI education in the company, start to incentivize educational behaviors like training, courses, and focus groups happening at your organization. Using Bonusly’s award functionality helps increase employees' personal initiative to take part in important learning opportunities and empowers everyone to influence company culture in a meaningfully positive way. 

Survey says: retention is an issue

Often, employees flag retention as an improvement area in engagement surveys. Implementing an employee recognition program has a powerful impact on retention. In fact, 48% of Bonusly customers saw an improvement in employee retention after implementing Bonusly. With Bonusly's help, our customers at Pender Veterinary saw their attrition rate stay flat during the Great Resignation.

Survey says: employees are disconnected

Often, HR teams get survey feedback about a lack of connection between employees, teams, and departments. Bonusly can help! Over ⅔ of Bonusly customers reported an improvement in employee connection after implementing Bonusly.  

We've only scratched the surface on what Bonusly's powerful people analytics can do for your company. Want to learn more? Schedule an employee recognition demo


Too much employee  appreciation is a good problem to have, but it can be overwhelming to keep track of every piece of recognition flowing through your organization.

To help you and your team stay up to date on recognition that matters most to you, we’ve launched Custom Feeds. Custom Feeds allow Bonusly users to save feeds to their homepage for specific locations, teams, or departments. Everyone has the freedom to decide which feeds they want to see and the flexibility to quickly change them at any time. With easily adjustable views, users can zoom in on relevant recognition without losing sight of the organization as a whole. 

What can the update do? 

With Custom Feeds, you can view only the recognition you need to see, when you need to see it. Then, when you’re done looking at a specific slice of your organization, you can quickly toggle back to seeing organization-wide recognition. With Custom Feeds you can: 

  • Create and save new feeds based on teams, departments, and locations
  • Keep tabs on several streams of recognition at once
  • Add and remove feeds easily and as often as needed

What can the update do for you? 

Teams aren’t static, Bonusly’s new Custom Feeds aren’t either. New Custom Feeds support large, international teams like never before all while saving managers and leaders valuable time. 

Support companies with multiple office locations

For companies with multiple offices and locations, Custom Feeds allow you to easily follow recognition posts from your location, helping you keep tabs on the team you interact with most throughout your workday, without losing sight of what’s happening company-wide. 

Support large and scaling businesses

If you’re working at a large or scaling business,  you can use Custom Feeds to create visible feeds of the most relevant teams, departments, and locations. Then, when you’re done zooming in on specific teams, you can quickly return to viewing the organization as a whole. 

Keep track of the team’s key milestones

Gone are the days of missing important work milestones like birthdays and anniversaries. With Custom Feeds, you can view recognition by teams or departments to keep track of recognition and interactions flowing between the people you work with most. 

Quickly change your perspective

Custom Feeds saves you time and makes catching up on and engaging with relevant recognition simple. Need to switch up your feed view to get some new perspective? You can change your recognition view in a matter of seconds by adding feeds to your homepage. You can set them and forget them, or make changes as often as you’d like. 

What’s next? 

Custom Feeds are now available to all new and existing Bonusly customers.  🎉 If you’re new to Bonusly and want to see Custom Feeds in action, request a product demo or take an interactive tour of Bonusly. 

The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and G2's Spring report has bloomed. 🌷 We’re excited to share that Bonusly earned 66 awards across the Employee Recognition and Employee Engagement categories. 

What is the G2 Spring Report? 

G2 Reports are determined by an aggregate of customer rating scores for tech platforms, like Bonusly, in various categories. Their aim is to help professionals like you pick the best softwares to meet your business needs. As an employee recognition, rewards, and engagement platform, we deeply value and appreciate feedback of all kinds. We are grateful to all the teams that use (and love) Bonusly that reviewed our platform.  💚

Searching for new software? Get this [FREE] HR vendor evaluation scorecard to help you compare providers.

Here's a partial list of honors that Bonusly earned in G2's Spring 2023 reports:

  • Leader, Employee Recognition - Spring 2023
  • Momentum Leader, Employee Recognition - Spring 2023
  • Best Usability, Employee Recognition, Small Business and Enterprise - Spring 2023
  • Leader, Employee Recognition, Asia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, India - Spring 2023
  • Leader, Employee Engagement - Spring 2023
  • Best Meets Requirements, Employee Engagement, Small Business and Enterprise - Spring 2023
  • Most Implementable, Employee Engagement - Spring 2023
  • Momentum Leader, Employee Engagement - Spring 2023

Bonusly leads in employee recognition

Bonusly’s fun and smart employee recognition and rewards platform has helped 3,250+ customers across 75 countries invest in their most valuable asset: their people. G2 has recognized Bonusly as the leader in the Employee Recognition category for the 5th season in a row! 



“Bonusly has transformed the way we activate peer-to-peer recognition at Chobani. The program has brought our amazingly diverse company together behind a common goal of real-time acknowledgement and fostered a genuine spirit of recognition in all that we do.” - Grace Zuncic, Senior Vice President of People, Chobani


Bonusly leads in employee engagement

Gallup found that disengaged employees are costing companies worldwide $7.8 billion dollars. Investing in effective and consistent recognition and rewards has a powerful impact on employee engagement. 70% of customers see a noticeable improvement in employee engagement after implementing Bonusly. We’re honored to be named a leader in G2’s Employee Engagement category.



"In the six months since adopting Bonusly, our eNPS score jumped from 72.2 to 82.1." - Daniel McAdams, President, Andiamo


Bonusly leads in implementation and usability

Bonusly excels at saving our customers time and money running their recognition programs. The average Bonusly admin spends less than 1.5 hours per month administering Bonusly, compared to the dozens of hours required to maintain a manual program. Moreover, the average company using Bonusly is up and running within 3-4 weeks. 👏 G2 recognized Bonusly for best meeting the requirements of our customers and for exceptional implementation and usability. 



“The application was extremely easy to implement and integrate into our existing communication tools.” - Said Andrew K., a COO at a small business in a G2 review. 

We’ve only scratched the surface, our customers have a lot more to say. We are honored to earn a spot in G2’s Spring Report. These awards are recognition of one of Bonusly’s core values, #delight-the-customer, which is what we will continue to do. Speaking of which, we’re continuously releasing new and exciting updates, check out our latest here. Interested in seeing our award-winning software for yourself? You can always schedule a free demo.


Work has changed, we have too.

At Bonusly, we help our customers foster a sense of Purpose, Progress, and Belonging at work. And as the world of work continues to change, so too does Bonusly. We’re thrilled to share Bonusly’s new look and functionality with you. The refreshed Bonusly homepage reinforces Bonusly’s industry leadership in usability, accessibility, and engagement. 

Though the refreshed homepage is a beautiful sight to see, the changes are more than meets the eye. We’ve made substantial improvements to streamline the ways in which employees can interact, recognize, and connect every single day. Let’s take a closer look at these new engagement-improving features! 🔎


Bonusly interface, quick reaction, point budget view, and include giver

Recognize, Navigate, and Amplify with a Click of a Button

Creating a culture of celebration and belonging should be easy and fun. Bonusly’s new interface has simplified users’ ability to recognize their coworkers, navigate to popular pages, and amplify their peers’ recognition. 


👏 Recognize

Bonusly users who want to sharpen their digital pencil and write some recognition can easily allocate points with the new ‘points budget’ view, eliminating the need for a calculator. When selecting the number of points to give away, a popup will show common point denominations as well as the number of remaining points the user has for the month. That way, recognition is given in a flash and a teammate’s day is made with a click of a button. 

Amount Menu

Shreya L., a customer from Evora IT, loves to dive into the colorful world of Bonusly. 

Whenever I open Bonusly page to see my team's recognition shared , I feel immersed in a whole new colourful world. I just love the myriad colours.


🧭 Navigate  

Navigation is simple with Bonusly’s new homepage—no orienteering required. Bonusly customers can easily navigate the new interface and glean insights on their coworkers, often without leaving the homepage. 

On the homepage, users can review a snapshot of their points summary for both giveable and receivable points.

With a simple hover over a coworkers’ profile image, users can see immediate insights on who their coworkers are and how they’re interacting with others. 

Venturing beyond the homepage is effortless with the new sticky navigation bar. The Rewards, Awards, and Analytics pages are calling and you must go!


🗣️ Amplify 

Beyond direct recognition, there are plenty of ways to engage with the recognition feed to make peers, direct reports, and leaders know you see and appreciate them. Bonusly’s reinvigorated homepage highlights and simplifies the ability to add-on, react, or comment on recognition. Employees feel seen and leaders enjoy more engaged teams. Users can also choose to include the original recognition giver when adding on to a post to ensure the original recognizer gets their piece of the appreciation pie.

Include giver

Come one, come all to the recognition wall!

When we say recognition is for everyone, we mean everyone! A core tenant of effective recognition is inclusivity. And so we’ve prioritized accessibility with this update with the new Bonusly homepage meeting WCAG AA accessibility standards ensuring an accessible experience for all of our users (and your employees)! Speaking of usability, here's what David K., a Bonusly customer from Passero, had to say: 

The interface is cleaner, more streamlined, and user friendly. 

What’s next?

We will continue to invest in our product so you can invest in your most valuable asset: your people. Bonusly users will first enjoy the new and improved Bonusly on the homepage, but the refreshed look will soon be coming to the Rewards page. We’ll keep this blog post updated with exciting updates. 

If you’re new to Bonusly, but want to see the fresh feed loved by over 400,000 users, take a free interactive tour of the changes. 

Now, go forth and “thank you” in style. 😎

Bonusly's been busy lately. 

📈 We recently raised $18.9 Million in Series B capital, led by Ankona Capital. 

👏 Employees at more than 3,000 companies around the world collectively donated $2 million to charity through Bonusly's Reward Catalog. 🥳

🥇For the fourth consecutive season, Bonusly maintained the top spot in G2's Winter 2023 Grid Report for Employee Recognition software.

Wouldn't you like to know what's happening in the mind of Bonusly's Founder and CEO, Raphael Crawford-Marks, after reaching these significant milestones? You're in luck! Raphael recently joined Amber Mac and Michael B on The Feed podcast to discuss recognition in a remote world and how HR leaders can make more data-driven decisions.

The interview is below for your reading pleasure, but if you’re more of an auditory learner you can listen to the podcast here. Let’s dive in! 

Amber Mac: Bonusly helps companies build a scalable culture of recognition by allowing everyone to recognize their direct reports as well as their managers and coworkers. To talk more about this is Raphael Crawford-Marks who is the CEO of Bonusly. Hi Raphael, thanks for being on the show. 

Raphael Crawford-Marks: Hi Amber, thanks for having me. 

Can you explain to us how everyone can really participate in recognizing good work?

Bonusly is focused on enabling companies to recognize, develop, and retain high-performing, highly-engaged employees and the way we do that is in a very democratized fashion. So, every employee who’s enrolled in Bonusly has the ability to provide immediate, authentic, recognition to their colleagues. This is something that all workers want to do, but often there are barriers or friction to doing so, more so in remote environments. So, Bonusly removes all of that friction and enables appreciation to flow which creates this positive feedback loop of appreciating great behaviors and then seeing more of those behaviors from your team.  


Speaking of remote work, have you seen a shift in the way teams interact with each other and subsequently give each other feedback? 

Yes, I have. Not just in Bonusly, but in general the shift to remote work has been a pretty seismic shift. We’re still in the early innings of what this means and how we best create a remote environment. One of the things that’s lost when a team goes fully remote is all of those free opportunities for employees to bump into each other, have an open-ended conversation, share some ideas, build some trust and rapport. All of those go away, so we need to find something to replace those within a virtual space on a remote team. That is something that Bonusly can help with, but I don’t pretend we’re a panacea that immediately solves everything by ourselves. What Bonusly does is create opportunities for employees to have these positive interactions with one another, which are really foundational to building the trust and rapport that enable great communication and collaboration. 


What Bonusly does is create opportunities for employees to have these positive interactions with one another, which are really foundational to building the trust and rapport that enable great communication and collaboration. 





Can you talk about why it’s important that there are different ways to reward people?

Yes absolutely, there are actually two different things that Bonusly provides–one is recognition. Bonusly enables frequent, specific, timely, and effective recognition to flow between employees. Then, as employees receive recognition they actually accrue points and can redeem them for rewards that they find meaningful. So, that can be donations to their favorite charity, gift cards to their favorite brand, and so forth. So the benefit that companies realize is really from the recognition aspect, where when employees feel recognized they put forth more discretionary effort, they are less likely to look for work elsewhere, and they build additional trust and rapport with their colleagues through exchanging recognition. So, what you end up with is a higher-performing, more highly-engaged team.


I imagine something like this could create useful data for the wider decision making process for an HR department. How can this information help better inform HR departments and executives in a company to ensure they have a robust healthy team?

One of the things that we’re really excited about is we’re in the early stages of developing what we call people analytics tools for management, HR, and executive leadership to use to make better decisions about how they run their company. Just a few examples of what can already be done with Bonusly is you can look department by department and see engagement levels across departments and identify areas where specific teams or departments might have very high engagement and other areas that might have very low engagement. Then, we can start to figure out what participation or behavior characteristics are correlated with that and how might we intervene to improve engagement in the problem areas.

Another thing that people have to do, but no one really likes are performance reviews. Bonusly is extremely helpful to managers at mitigating recency bias in performance reviews. So, managers can very easily go to Bonusly and say hey I wanna see all of Michael’s biggest accomplishments in the past 6 months and then that gives me, as a manager, a much more holistic picture of your performance rather than just what I could call out last week. 


What is it like building a startup in this climate that we’re in right now when the technology sector is under a microscope and a lot is happening in terms of hiring talent and people laying off talent?

I would actually go back to early 2020 and say that running a company from early 2020 has been an intense roller coaster. Even more so than running a startup normally is. I started Bonusly well before the pandemic and it was a roller coaster then. You know, having to deal with the shutdowns and all the uncertainty from the pandemic and then all of the sudden everything shifted to remote work so we saw a huge spike in demand. And then inflation started climbing, interest rates went up and that triggered a big contraction in demand and layoffs. It’s been really challenging to stay on top of external conditions that are really buffeting the company. It has also been a real education and it’s made us a much stronger company being able to weather all of these different conditions and continue to grow and be successful. 


It has also been a real education and it’s made us a much stronger company being able to weather all of these different conditions and continue to grow and be successful. 


 What’s next? 

We hope this interview inspired you to invest in your most critical asset: your people. Thousands of companies worldwide rely on Bonusly to cultivate high-performing and motivated teams, regardless of their location, work setting, or industry. If you’re interested in learning more about Bonusly, schedule time to meet with an employee engagement expert today!

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