One-half of workers would leave company if they didn’t feel appreciated: Survey

Learning opportunities, verbal or written praise most preferred recognition
||Last Updated: 04/12/2012

More than one-half (54 per cent) of employees would be somewhat or very likely to leave their current position if they didn't feel appreciated by their manager, found a recent survey by OfficeTeam. 

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 (63 per cent), found the survey of 229 Canadian workers.

"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."

When asked what type of recognition they value most, 30 per cent favour opportunities to learn and grow, 28 per cent would rather receive verbal or written praise and 24 per cent said they prefer tangible rewards such as financial compensation or gift cards, found the survey.

And 10 per cent claim they don't need acknowledgment for doing a good job.

When it comes to the amount of recognition employees receive, workers gave their employers mixed reviews: More than four in 10 (42 per cent) believe they're acknowledged a decent amount, and 12 per cent feel they get plenty of kudos. However, 47 per cent found recognition lacking.

Although people enjoy different types of appreciation, some tokens of gratitude universally miss the mark. According to OfficeTeam, the following are five of the most common recognition mistakes:

Not getting facts straight: Nothing's more embarrassing than incorrectly acknowledging a person's name or individual accomplishment.

Offering token gestures: The form of recognition should fit the degree of achievement. Giving someone a stapler for her five-year anniversary, for example, sends the message the milestone is insignificant.

Being vague: Telling employees they did a "good job" is a generic form of kudos. Tie acknowledgement back to specific actions so people know exactly what they did right.

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.

Overlooking contributors: Although some workers naturally gravitate toward the limelight, don't forget to also celebrate unsung heroes who help behind the scenes.

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