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App review: Recognize

App review: Recognize

February 9, 2015

Recognize allows organisations to show instant appreciation to colleagues who successfully demonstrate company values.

By providing immediate feedback to employees, Recognize claims to increase productivity, focus colleagues and produce higher quality work through a “recognition feedback loop”. It’s also aimed at distributed workforces, helping to break down distance-related boundaries across teams.

So does it work?

Recognize is a nice idea. You can prompt colleagues to sign up to the app using their company email address, where they’ll automatically be added to the company account.

From there, you can choose to ‘Recognize’ a colleague at any point.

By clicking the Recognize button next to their name, users choose from up to 35 badges (depending on package) to award to colleagues, which range from anything from leadership, listener and organiser to peacemaker, on track and passionate.

Admins can also create their own badges.

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For each recognition given or received, users gain points and the total number of points gained by each person can be made public or private at the admin’s discretion.

The admin has control over who can send recognitions to each other, whether it’s managers to employees, peer-to-peer or otherwise.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Recognize is its seamless integration with Yammer, with 68 per cent of companies using it this way.

Recognize2

After downloading the extension to Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox browser, you see a ‘Recognize’ tab appear on their home page next to the ‘home’ and ‘inbox’ buttons.

From here, users can instantly send recognitions to anybody within their network and view stats at the click of a button.

Recognitions are shown in users’ profiles and Recognize has seen an 8x increase in sent recognitions via Yammer.

So what are the downsides?

It’s still only a web application.

Though a native mobile app is being considered, users must log in via their browser should they wish to use it from a portable device, which isn’t ideal for those on the move.

Alex Grande, Recognize
Alex Grande, Recognize

Recognize CEO Alex Grande said: “Accessing Recognize from the website is as fast as a native iPhone or Android app. Pages load almost instantly from any device – we are dedicated to fast and responsive user experiences.

“We could transform our mobile website into a native app but then the user doesn’t get any added benefit. You can be assured if we release an app it will be unlike any other employee recognition app.”

What’s more, if an organisation wants to make the most of Recognize – with access to all badges, company-wide privacy and Yammer integration with IE – it can be expensive.

The top package will set companies back $299 (approx. £197) per month.

While there is a free Startup package, this only offers five badges and basic functions – and admins wouldn’t even be able to manage users.

The Business offering sits in the middle at $79 (approx. £52) per month.

I also have concerns about Recognize being used to show favouritism in the workplace – can’t an employer simply reward the same employee over and over again and perhaps disregard others?

Alex disputes this.

“Companies often have annual recognition awards where the same employees pick up the same awards,” he said.

“Recognize can help to show that more people are appreciated through monthly recognition that leads up to quarterly and yearly awards.”

Finally, my main concern is quite simply, is it worth it?

In an age where communication is now at the forefront of every organisation’s minds – from the ground floor to a strategic level – wouldn’t recognition for good work be better received in person rather than through a computer?

Verdict: Recognize
Platform: Desktop
Final thought: Recognize is a good idea – employers need to ensure they are communicating positive messages to their workforce more than ever – and Recognize provides a quick, simple platform to do this. However, my concern is that organisations should not rely on clicking on a button to praise their colleagues. Face-to-face feedback will always be the most valuable.
Rating: 7.5/10