6 New Stats for Employee Recognition Skeptics

November 14, 2017 Sarah Payne

I feel lucky to work for a company that understands and invests in employee recognition and rewards. It means I feel appreciated for the work I put in. And because of that, I’m motivated to put in extra effort.

But we’ve all worked for companies or leaders who don’t buy into the concept of employee recognition. A friend recently told me she received an email from a colleague who praised her work on a challenging project. My friend’s manager was copied on the email. Rather than giving my friend added words of encouragement, her manager responded to the email by dismissing the praise, saying this is simply my friend’s job. What a great way to de-motivate someone!

Do you work for someone like my friend’s manager? Or does your executive team fall into a similar mindset?

New research from Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute can help you silence the skeptics. In fact, the first finding in the report “Bringing More Humanity to Recognition, Performance, and Life at Work,” is all about recognition experience and the human workplace.

Here are six new stats from that finding:

  1. Meaningful work is more important than compensation. We asked workers to rank the reasons why they stay at their companies. Nearly a third – 32% – of respondents chose, “My job – I find the work meaningful,” as their top answer. Compensation was third on the list.
  2. U.S. workers are lacking in praise. 45% of the 2,700 U.S. workers surveyed told us they haven’t been recognized at work in six months or more. Another 16% said they have never been recognized at work.
  3. Frequent recognition builds meaning and purpose. We asked workers if they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “The work we do at my organization has meaning and purpose for me.” 93% of workers recognized in the last six months agreed, compared to only 72% of workers who have never been recognized at work.
  4. Values-based recognition programs leads to a better work experience. 88% of workers at companies with a values-based recognition program describe their overall experience at work as positive. Only 65% of workers at companies with no formal program feel their experience is positive. What’s more, workers at companies with no formal recognition program are three times as likely to say their overall experience at work is negative.
  5. Givers matter, too. We looked at workers who have recognized a colleague in the last two months compared to workers who have never recognized someone else at work. Givers are more likely to love their job (75% v. 48%), recommend their company to a friend (83% v. 63%), be highly engaged (89% v. 64%), and have a positive work experience (82% v. 58%).
  6. Values-based recognition helps bring core values to life. Workers at companies with values-based recognition are four times more likely to say they passionately believe in their company’s core values, compared to workers at companies with recognition not tied to core values. What’s even more surprising is 61% of workers at companies with no formal recognition program are not even aware of their organization’s core values.

If you want to learn more about the findings, check out our new animated e-book, Beyond a Paycheck: Why Meaning Matters.

Stay tuned for the second post in our series on new findings from the WorkHuman Research Institute.


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