Recognition Gone Wrong: OfficeTeam Survey Highlight Importance of Employee Recognition
Recognition Gone Wrong: OfficeTeam Survey and Video Bloopers Highlight Importance of Employee Recognition
Want to keep employees satisfied in their jobs without one foot out the door? Give them a little credit, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. Nearly half (49 percent) of workers interviewed said they would be somewhat or very likely to leave their current position if they didn't feel appreciated by their manager.
When asked what type of recognition they value most, 38 percent said they prefer tangible rewards such as financial compensation or gift cards. Twenty-one percent favor opportunities to learn and grow, while 19 percent would rather receive verbal or written praise. Interestingly, one in five (20 percent) workers claim they don't need acknowledgment for doing a good job.
The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 431 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment.
Workers were asked, "How likely is it that you would leave your current position if you did not feel appreciated by your manager?" Their responses:
Very likely 20%
Somewhat likely 29%
Not very likely 19%
Not likely at all 31%
Don't know/no answer 2%
*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.
Workers also were asked, "What type of appreciation or recognition at work do you value the most?" Their responses:
Rewards ("Show me the money!") 38%
Growth opportunities ("I'm up for a challenge!") 21%
Praise, please! ("I like being told my work is excellent!") 19%
No need for recognition ("I know I'm doing a good job!") 20%
Don't know/no answer 2%
When it comes to the amount of recognition employees receive, most workers gave their employers high marks: More than half (53 percent) believe they're acknowledged a decent amount, and more than one-quarter (29 percent) feel they get plenty of kudos. Only 16 percent found recognition lacking.
The survey also revealed differences by age: Workers between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely than any other age group to leave their current position if they feel underappreciated (65 percent).
"Professionals want to know their contributions make a difference and will be rewarded, especially Gen Y workers," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Because individuals like to be acknowledged in different ways, managers should find out what their workers value most and customize recognition accordingly."
Although people enjoy different types of appreciation, some tokens of gratitude universally miss the mark. Following are five of the most common recognition mistakes:
1. Not getting facts straight. Nothing's more embarrassing than incorrectly acknowledging a person's name or individual accomplishment.
2. Offering token gestures. The form of recognition should fit the degree of achievement. Giving someone a stapler for his or her five-year anniversary, for example, sends the message the milestone is insignificant.
3. Being vague. Telling employees they did a "good job" is a generic form of kudos. Tie acknowledgment back to specific actions so people know exactly what they did right.
4. Going overboard. Recognition doesn't need to be extravagant to be effective. Small everyday things, such as saying "thank you" or giving credit for good ideas can be powerful.
5. Overlooking contributors. Although some workers naturally gravitate toward the limelight, don't forget to also celebrate unsung heroes who help behind the scenes.
OfficeTeam recently launched "Recognition Gone Wrong" video bloopers to highlight funny examples of what not to do when acknowledging colleagues. The videos, along with advice on honoring coworkers the right way, can be found at www.officeteam.com/recognition.
For additional ways to acknowledge employees, download 30 Creative Ideas for Boosting Morale and Retention in a Recovering Economy, a complimentary tip sheet available at www.officeteam.com/RecognitionIdeas.