It’s important for employees to give recognition to and show appreciation for their co-workers. These behaviours illustrate the company culture and helps management and HR leaders to actually measure the culture – how happy people are at their workplace, and whether they have opportunity for growth in the organization. Hi5 is an HRtech startup in Cape Town, South Africa, that aims to help solve the problems of measuring company culture and motivating employees.

Let’s drill down on the problem: management teams need a platform where they can measure company culture and run performance reviews seamlessly and remotely. Co-worker recognition and feedback reports need to update in real-time. Solution: a simple, easy-to-use (and fun!) cloud-based platform, called Hi5.

Hi5 has been featured in numerous events and online publications, introduced DisruptHR events to the African continent (Cape Town chapter), has multinational partners, nominated as a finalist in the Africa HRTech Awards (2019) and finished in the Top 20 of the BigBooster startup accelerator (Season 4) in Lyon, France & Boston, USA (2019/2020).

So, what’s Hi5?
Hi5 helps people within organisations to recognise and rate each other in real-time using web, desktop and mobile apps. Line managers can easily set up full 360 performance reviews, company culture surveys, or pulse surveys to get feedback from pretty much anyone on pretty much anything they’d like to measure.

Employees can create their own goals, or have their line managers create these for them. These can be monitored on Hi5 by getting groups of individuals to rate each other and themselves. To measure culture and happiness in their company, leadership can solicit company feedback and/or customer feedback using pulses. Recognising peers, providing continuous feedback to co-workers, and anonymously rating staff members is super easy with Hi5.

Hi5 integrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp.You can also download Hi5’s free mobile apps for Android and iOS for Hi5’ing and reviewing on-the-go.

How to give a Hi5
Anyone can give Hi5’s! We believe recognition should be public within every organisation, that’s why we enable co-workers to give Hi5’s to any other co-workers, and have their recognition messages appear on the Hi5 Wall of Fame. You can tag company values to show how the Hi5 receiver is living up to the company’s culture, and add multiple co-workers to the Hi5 if they worked together on a project. Cherry on the cake: add images and GIFs to personalise your message!

If you like what you see, you can back a Hi5 posted on the Hi5 Wall of Fame (“Like”), and the account Admins can crown Hi5’s to show their acknowledgement. If you’d like to display a live stream of Hi5’s on a TV at your office’s entrance portal or cafeteria, simply share and display your company’s public stream link. Make recognition more visible across the company!

OK, so, as far we know, Hi5 is the first employee recognition app to integrate with WhatsApp, allowing co-workers to celebrate each other via an app they already use every day! This makes it even easier to show your appreciation to your co-workers for a job well done.

Other integrations include: Microsoft Teams or Slack for giving and receiving Hi5’s. On Microsoft Teams, you can also add your company’s Hi5 Leaderboard as a tab, and check on your profile. When using Slack, we’re got a whole bunch of /hi5 commands that helps integrate essential Hi5 functions into your everyday communication. Everyone in the company receives notifications whenever they receive a Hi5, if one of their Hi5’s gets backed, or if someone leaves a comment.

When a Hi5 gets crowned by an Admin, everyone in the company will know! Hi5 sends an automatic company-wide notification so that everyone can celebrate together! Everyone in the company will also receive co-worker birthday and work anniversary notifications, to make sure special days are not missed.

When giving someone a Hi5 on their birthday, you’ll have the option to add a special b-day banner on your Hi5 to highlight it on the Hi5 Wall of Fame (it’s the little things which really make the difference between a good and an awesome company culture!). Employees can check on Hi5-giving on the Hi5 Leaderboard.

Performance reviews
Reportedly, 86% of HR professionals say that when peer-to-peer feedback forms part of the performance management process, it has a major positive impact on employee retention.

Hi5 Pulses are micro-surveys that help you to measure company culture, employee growth – pretty much anything – by enabling you to create & manage your own custom performance reviews and culture surveys. With this robust tool, you can choose your review cycle, or set a once-off deadline and whether to send automatic email & app notifications to participants.

How would you measure performance? Through ratings on individuals’ goals/KPI’s/OKR’s, or the company’s values, or maybe based on the START/STOP/CONTINUE model? Perhaps you’d like to set different parameters for different employees, or a combination of values and goals ratings. You can do all of this with Pulses.

Once you’ve set up your questions, choose pulse participants by department or select individuals, bottom-up or top-down based on your Line Manager structure, Full 360 for teams, or simply let everyone rate everyone else. Another option is to have everyone rate the company, which is really great for measuring company culture or getting feedback on how organisational performance). Include participant self-rating with certain options if you’d like people to rate themselves on the parameters as well.

Once you’ve published your Pulse, you can view rich reports showing insights through Summary and Individual views. Use Pulse reports to facilitate those difficult performance conversations and document your one-on-one meeting notes. These notes can optionally be included in downloadable PDF and CSV reports. If you need more info on Hi5 Pulses, check this out.

More cool features
Hi5 has a lot more under the hood! We see ourselves as a People Data platform, not an HR platform per se – time sheets and policies are not our strong suit, but we’re really great with communication, inclusivity and productivity!

Notice Board & Calendar
Need to share some company news, schedule company-wide announcements or earmark important events? Skip the toilsome copy-paste BCC emails. You can update the Hi5 Notice Board and Calendar and send notifications to co-workers. The best thing is, that it’s always there for the employees to go back to – not lost in email or meeting calendars. Everyone can see upcoming birthdays, work anniversaries, events and their own Pulse deadlines on the Hi5 Calendar.

Your people can also leave comments and clap for notices to show support or ask questions, creating a space for further interaction and engagement.

People book
Ever wished you just had an automatically updated, visual phone book for your company on your mobile? We’ve got a feature for that! The People tab on Hi5 shows the contact details, profile pics, position in company, etc. for all your co-workers so that you can quickly find that person you spoke to at the watercooler or met at the annual company conference.

If your team is working from home, this is an especially powerful yet simple tool to keep everyone connected.

Organisational chart
If you’ve experienced the pain of setting up an organogram manually, and then having to update it all the time, you’ll really love this feature.

Once you’ve added employee information and set up the line managers using the Manage section, Hi5 automagically creates a dynamic organogram of your company’s structure. The organogram updates in real-time and can be downloaded in PDF format. Need a specific view? Simply filter based on Department, Office or Role. The organogram is also a great tool for onboarding new employees, helping them visualise their position in the company and keep in touch with superiors/subordinates.


We ❤️ Hi5 – hope you do, too!

You can sign up for free and run a 14-day Business trial. Hi5 Awesome is the lower tier package which includes Hi5’s and recognition reports, 5 x free pulses and other cool features for $3 per user per month (free for up to 20 users). Hi5 Business is our premium package at $7 per user per month and includes all the features of Hi5 Awesome along with unlimited pulses and reports. We also offer discounts for startups, NGO’s and enterprises.

More info >

About Author
An artist by training and a digital designer by trade, Sharné McDonald joined the Hi5 team in 2017 as a Happiness Hero. It’s one of her joys to delight customers and potential customers with great content, technical information and funny GIFs. She loves being a generalist and is currently completing postgraduate studies in her spare time.

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