How It Works
In Guusto, users are divided into teams. Each team can have different admins, settings, and configurations – one team could be strictly peer to peer where members can only gift/nominate each other while another team could be made up of managers that send gifts to people outside of Guusto. To redeem a gift, recipients must sign into their Guuso account (or sign up for one), claim the gift, and choose how they want to spend it. Gifts can be split or combined to buy smaller/larger rewards. Accounts are funded in advance to cover the costs of gifts, but a user can also choose to use their own credit card when sending a gift.
Guusto has a powerful free tier that enables individuals and small teams to send gifts and manage a recognition program. But to take advantage of integrations, automations, and several features that make for a more effective recognition program, you'd want one of their modestly-priced premium plans:
Teams: $1.50 per user per month for annual; $1.80 per user per month for monthly plans.
The Teams plan lets you: semi-automate gifts by scheduling them in advance, allocate budgets to entire teams allowing them to do real-time peer-to-peer recognition, and use the Microsoft Teams integration.
Enterprise: $2.50 per user per month for annual; $3 per user per month for monthly plans.
The Enterprise plan lets you: setup an automated integration with your HRIS, use single sign on via Okta, and see more detailed reporting into individual teams
Add-ons: Guusto's "nominations" feature can be added to any plan and costs an additional $0.50 per user per month. Nominations let users recognize other team members in a non-monetary way.
In order for users to send gifts using company funds, admins must fund the account in advance. A $500 minimum is required for bank transfers and checks. Payments of smaller amounts will incur additional fees. Any amount can prepaid via credit card, but there is a processing fee of 3% + $0.30 per transaction. Sent gifts that go unclaimed can be canceled to have the funds credited back to your account.
Alternatively, a gift sender can choose to pay via their own credit card when sending a gift, but each gift sent this way will incur the credit card transaction fees.
With Guusto’s free plan being a major aspect of the platform, anybody can sign up and immediately have access to Guusto. But the many configuration options offered by Guusto along with limited hand-held guidance can make this a bit overwhelming at first.
The dashboard for new accounts features a few prompts to help get your account up and running. The site’s chat widget will also offer several articles from the help center. These articles will help introduce you to the basics, and though there is a feeling that you’ve barely scratched the surface, it’s enough for basic users to begin using the platform.
Guusto offers custom-priced onboarding packages for companies with greater needs, however. And larger customers also have the option to schedule a demo session before jumping right into the platform.
Ease of Use
Guusto doesn’t offer a particularly polished design, but it gets the job done.
Navigating the basic account functions, which are prominently displayed on the left menu, is simple and fairly straightforward. Most users won’t need anything beyond these standard functions. New users will be able to hop in and do things like send or redeem gifts with little trouble thanks to the obvious menu options and guided processes.
But once you get into the admin settings, the large number of options isn’t reconciled with an intuitive user experience. The result is that there are a number of things you might not be able to figure out without the aid of a help center article or a support agent. Though once you’ve figured out how to do something once, you likely won’t need help with the same thing again.
The benefit of all these settings is that Guusto is flexible enough to fit a variety of use cases, so you can design a recognition program that works how you want it to.
Gusto’s reward catalog features 130+ merchants you can buy gift cards from. These are major brands covering everything from restaurants and cinemas to streaming providers, and everything in between.
By default, all gift cards are virtual, but it’s also possible for senders/receivers to choose to print a physical version of the gift card for use offline.
The default catalog is largely only available to users in the US and Canada. International options are nearly nonexistent, with Amazon being the only one available by default. So, for companies with many international employees, this may not be ideal.
It is possible to add prepaid mastercards to your reward catalog, but you must submit company verification forms to Mastercard and be approved for this option to be available. If approved, prepaid Mastercards can be used internationally.
Guusto also gives you the ability to use your gift to donate to a charity. When selecting a merchant, you must choose the donate option and provide the URL of the charity. Guusto will then make the donation on your behalf and provide you with the donation receipt as proof.
Guusto lacks any prebuilt HRIS integrations, but it is able to integrate with HRIS platforms via a custom file sync, though this is only available on the Enterprise plan. This is done by having your HRIS send a CSV file of your users to Guusto on a set schedule. This file is automatically uploaded to Guusto so that any changes that have happened in your HRIS can be reflected in Guusto.
Also only available on the Enterprise plan, Guusto offers single sign on (SSO) capabilities via Okta. SSO lets users automatically sign into Guusto using the same login credentials they use to access all their other work applications. However, if your company uses a SSO provider other than Okta, you won't be able to take advantage of single sign on.
Common Tool Integrations
Users on the Teams or Enterprise plan will have access to the Microsoft Teams integration. For companies that use Microsoft Teams, this integration lets employees see Guusto activity and send gifts or nominations without ever leaving their Microsoft Teams workflow.
No additional integrations.
Analytics & Reporting
Guusto offers some basic reporting, primarily around gift history and being able to see the total amount claimed by recipients. There’s no deep-diving analytics or data visualizations, however, and anything beyond the basics will require you to export the raw data and anlyze it in something like Excel to find what you need.
The Enterprise plan allows for some additional visibility into the activity of direct reports as well as those who report to them, whereas the other plans only let you view broader, team-based reporting.
Guusto’s primary mode of support is via chat. Availability for chat support is Mon-Fri, 6am-5pm, with some limited weekend coverage.
There is a general contact email that can be found on their contact page which will also route to support. They don’t offer on-demand phone support, but it would be possible to schedule calls with your account rep if you are on a paid plan.
Guusto’s help center has a good range of articles to cover the basics in getting started, but is lacking in details for some of the major features listed in their Teams and Enterprise plans, like HRIS and SSO integrations, for example. Details on these features and how they work requires discussion with support or your assigned rep.
For an additional fee, you can add Guusto’s “nomination” feature to any plan. Nominations let users recognize other members of their Guusto team in a non-monetary way. Admins can then choose to award gifts to those who have been nominated. Nominees can even be entered into a drawing where Guusto will randomly select the winner.
Nominations introduce a happy medium between full peer-to-peer and top-down recognition. While team members can give recognition to each other, admins determine how/if nominees will be awarded with monetary gifts.
Guusto has an app for both Android and Apple phones that allows you to send gifts, redeem gifts, view sent/received gifts, and use nominations.
- Unclaimed gifts can be canceled to have the funds credited back to your account.
- Can schedule gifts in advance for a specific date.
- Supports 3 languages: English, French, and Spanish.
- Catalog can be customized. Can also limit what merchants can be used by the recipient whenever you send a gift.
- Can post a team-wide message that will appear at the top of a team’s feed.
The Bottom Line
With a free platform that's flexible enough to fit most use cases, Guusto can be used by nearly all, but it's lack of integrations and international rewards might make it impractical for some while its unpolished design might be unpalatable for others.