How important is employee recognition? Two-thirds (66%) of workers surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they'd likely leave their job if they didn't feel appreciated.
That's up from 51% who responded that way in 2012. In contrast, just over half (54%) of senior managers interviewed believe it's common for staff to quit due to lack of recognition.
When it comes to giving thanks to colleagues, is it really the thought that counts? Employees polled were asked to recount the strangest form of recognition they've received at work. Here are some of their responses:
- "A loaf of bread"
- "A CD of music written and performed by a coworker"
- "A custom statuette of me"
- "Edible flowers"
- "A large carving of a polar bear"
- "An expired gift certificate"
- "A golden key to an executive bathroom that didn't exist"
- "A misspelled plaque"
- "A plush toy"
- "Fresh meat from a hunting trip"
- "A foam tombstone"
- "A jacket that was too short with sleeves that were too long"
- "Grocery coupons"
- "A $0.03 raise"
Workers were also asked to describe the best form of employee recognition a boss or colleague had given them. Their responses included:
- "A handwritten thank-you card from the chief operating officer"
- "A new car"
- "Being named employee of the year"
- "An all-expenses-paid trip to Jamaica"
- "A donation to a nonprofit in my name"
- "A message sent to all employees acknowledging my work"
- "Baseball playoff tickets behind home plate"
- "A day off"
- "A fancy watch"
- "Being flown to corporate headquarters and receiving a plaque"
- "An awards show-style event"
- "A large bonus"
- "Lunch at a private club"
- "A key stakeholder sent a complimentary email to my supervisor"
- "A surprise party after completing a task"
"All professionals like to be acknowledged for their contributions, and not just once or twice a year," says Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam.
"While monetary rewards are always crowd-pleasers, companies don't need to spend a lot to show appreciation to their workers. Regular praise and even tokens of gratitude can go a long way."