20 Employee Recognition Statistics That Prove the Power of Appreciation

20 Employee Recognition Statistics That Prove the Power of Appreciation

Discover how consistent appreciation drives engagement, performance, and company success with these 20 compelling statistics and insights.

20 Employee Recognition Statistics That Prove the Power of Appreciation

You’ve probably heard that employee recognition is important. But do you know why?

Employee recognition isn’t just about boosting team morale. It also improves team performance, company culture, and employee engagement.

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Here are twenty powerful employee recognition statistics that prove that consistent appreciation is more important than you think.

1. Almost half of employees say they'd leave a company that didn't praise or thank them for their work.

Recognition has a powerful impact on employee retention.

In fact, almost half of employees confirmed they’d leave a company that didn’t praise or thank them enough for good work.

No one likes to feel like their hard work is being ignored. When managers fail to praise their teams or recognize their efforts, team members can feel invisible.

In order to keep top talent inspired and motivated, organizations must encourage a culture of gratitude and appreciation. By implementing an employee recognition program with rewards and incentives, organizations can encourage leaders to praise their teams more frequently.

2. Employees that receive regular recognition are up to 8x more engaged.

A study by Globoforce found that employees who received regular small rewards, in the form of money, points, or thanks, are eight times more engaged than those who receive yearly bonuses.

That's a big deal.

Why? Because engaged employees are much happier and more productive than disengaged employees. According to Gallup, increased employee engagement leads to higher profitability and a more resilient business.

3. Millennials need more frequent recognition than other cohorts.

We all want to be recognized and appreciated for our hard work. But millennials, in particular, crave recognition more than any other demographic.

Over the last decade, millennials have introduced a new era of work. And a typical 9-5 and a steady paycheck is no longer enough. Instead, they seek a purpose-driven workplace that shares their values and personally inspires them.

Many organizations mistakenly believe that millennial employees are primarily focused on perks: ping-pong tables, free beer, etc. But the truth is, millennials just want to be treated like more than a number. When they feel valued, appreciated, and cared for, millennials will put in their best work.

To keep millennial employees engaged, and prevent quiet-quitting, organizations should have a way to spotlight employees for their hard work and encourage a company culture that promotes employee well-being.

4.  High-performing teams receive nearly six times more positive feedback than less effective teams.

Employee recognition doesn't just feel good — it can also boost productivity. According to a 2016 study in American Behavioral Scientist, public recognition has a positive impact on team performance.

That's because when employees receive positive feedback for good work, they feel more confident and motivated to strive to meet team goals.

Unfortunately, many organizations overlook the importance of creating a company culture that fosters recognition. 65% of employees haven't received any form of recognition in the past year.

5. Recognition builds trust

Expressing gratitude goes beyond a workplace initiative. Expressing gratitude reduces stress and balances mood, making for a happier, more collaborative organization. Giving feedback, positive or otherwise, helps coworkers build trust and understanding too.

Those strong bonds pay off with 66 percent of people in highly recognized teams agreed that they trust their everyday team members, says Gallup.

6. 64 percent of employees say employee recognition and appreciation is more important while working from home.

Right now, more people are working from home than ever before. But what does that mean for company culture and employee engagement?

According to recent research, nearly 64% of employees believe that employee appreciation is even more important in a remote work environment.

Working from home can be an isolating experience. But consistent, meaningful appreciation from managers and peers can help team members feel a sense of belonging.

7. Employee recognition infinitely increases productivity

Business productivity increases by 31% when employees are happy. This recognition improves employee engagement, resulting in an improvement of job performance and achieving business value, according to Deloitte. Recognition increases employee engagement, productivity, and performance by 14%.

Another recent report on employee recognition stats found that 92% of workers are more likely to repeat a specific action after receiving recognition for it, and more than 40% of employed Americans feel that if they were recognized more often, they would put more energy into their work.

8. Recognition should be thrown around like confetti

A survey of employees by Gallup found that recognizing employees at least once per week is best for employee recognition.

Yet a survey by Authentic Recognition found:

  • 2% Received Daily recognition
  • 11% Received Weekly recognition
  • 20% Received Quarterly recognition
  • 17% Received Annual recognition
  • 29% Received No recognition of any kind.

Those numbers are quite astonishing considering the effectiveness of recognizing employees in the workplace.

9. The type of employee recognition matters

There are many ways in which you can recognize employees besides just money. In fact, 65%of employees prefer non-cash incentives.

According to employee surveys, 65% also strongly agree that both merchandise and travel awards are remembered longer than cash payments.

One survey found that 47% of employees find that new growth opportunities are a better way to reward them for their achievements, and 85% of employees believe management should reward employees for a job well done whenever it occurs.

10. Recognition drives employee performance

According to a study by Gartner, a well-designed recognition program can help drive an 11.1% increase in average employee performance.

Recognition is one of the best positive feedbacks employees can get for their performance. They realize they are on the right track and that their actions align with company goals. Hence, they continue to give their very best. It also motivates other employees to strive harder to achieve their goals.

Employee productivity, performance, and engagement are 14% higher in organizations with recognition programs than in those without them.

There’s no doubt that recognition can drive productivity. When there is an award up for grabs, employees try hard to do their assigned tasks in the best possible way. It extrinsically motivates the workforce to be more productive.

Research by Gallup has shown that companies double the number of employees they recognize every week, there will be:

24% improvement in work quality
27% reduction in absenteeism
10% reduction in staff shrinkage

These have a direct impact on higher employee engagement and productivity levels.

employee recognition guide

11. Aligns everyone with company values

In a recent study by Deloitte, 52% of employees feel that their recognition program isn’t aligned to organizational goals or company core values. Employee recognition should not be limited to typical measures like an occasional gift or long service awards. It needs to be an integral part of the company culture with its objectives aligned with company values. Only then can you see if recognition programs make an actual difference to the engagement levels.

83% of HR leaders say employee recognition can strengthen organizational values and successful companies design recognition programs that are aligned with their core values. When an employee notices a particular behavior being frequently recognized, they understand what the company expects. They associate that action with getting rewarded. It becomes more likely that they continue to do it in the future, thereby strengthening company values.

12. Employee satisfaction and loyalty are intrinsically connected to recognition

SHRM cites organizations with ongoing recognition programs experience 28.6% lower frustration levels than those without. Receiving appreciation creates oxytocin in the body, and numerous studies have shown that people under the influence of this hormone experience reduced stress and perform better.

When a person achieves a goal, they feel excited and satisfied, and this excitement of achieving the goal is amplified when others recognize their achievements. It’s ineveitable that employee morale rises when people feel good about the work they do.

13. Employee tenure isn’t the only reason for recognition

Long-term employees deserve to be appreciated for their loyalty and dedication. But tenure shouldn’t be the only thing that ought to be celebrated about your employees. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that employees today are staying engaged with businesses for shorter periods, even though research has shown that 87% of employee recognition programs focus on employee tenure.

Recognition needs to move beyond tenure and focus on the value an employee brings to work. It can be for day-to-day tasks, teamwork efforts, ideal behaviors, or simply for the way they do things. If they do a great job, you should let them know on the spot.

14. Peer-to-peer recognition is incredibly valuable

Peer recognition is a top factor that pushes employees to go the extra mile. When peers recognize each other’s contributions, it strengthens their relationship and builds trust. Employees feel more connected to the team, making collaboration more effective.

For instance, an employee stays back late to support another with their work. Acknowledging such genuine effort in front of the team members can boost one’s intrinsic motivation to do good work. This ultimately increases engagement and retention levels.

41% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen a positive increase in customer satisfaction. When organizations invest in building a strong culture of recognition, satisfaction levels rise. People are motivated, happy, and energized, and they become inspired to be more productive and proactive. They take charge of their duties, make an effort to solve problems, and ensure the best customer service.

15. Employee recognition tools matter

We can clearly see that recognition impacts engagement, retention, and productivity levels positively, however, companies are not providing the necessary tools required to effectively recognize employees. Only 14% of organizations provide managers with the necessary tools for rewards and recognition. Providing recognition tools (like Cooleaf!) can make it easier for peers to recognize each other. Managers can reach out to remote employees to celebrate their work.

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16. Decreases voluntary turnover

Recognition is such a simple yet powerful way to nurture a positive employee experience. According to Forbes, 46 percent os U.S. workers chose to leave a role because they felt under appreciated. When your people feel valued and respected for their hard work, they are more likely to stay, increasing your employee retention and even your bottom line.

Employee turnover costs a company. On average, it costs your company 6-9 months worth of that employee’s salary. So those small, tokens of appreciation like that small thank you gift card or that meaningful shoutout at the meeting can really go a long way!

17. Recognition helps recruitment

According to SHRM, 56 percent of HR professionals agree that employee recognition supports recruitment efforts. It’s no surprise that those organizations that are “Great Places to Work” or have high Glassdoor ratings are a big factor for potential hires.

Remember, employee recognition has a rippling effect. When employees feel part of a supportive company culture, they’re more likely to advocate for your organization and refer great people too!

18. Better workplace relationships

When people feel supported by one another they create stronger work relationships. Eighty-seven percent of HR professionals said that employee recognition improved people’s relationships at work (SHRM).

We already know that coworkers appreciate peer recognition because it comes from that teammate who sees your daily efforts, but peer recognition also shows outward support and encourages clear communication, strengthening those social skills and connection.

19. Supports manager job satisfaction too

Employee recognition isn’t just important to intermediate levels within the organization. Higher ups appreciate a kind word too. SurveyMonkey saw 83 percent of senior managers said recognition was important to their workplace experience.

It goes to show that recognition resonates with everyone, no matter your job title. So don’t be afraid to encourage manager recognition. It’s also a great way for leadership to receive feedback, see how their work resonates with their teams, and gives them a nice high-five to boot.

20. Employee recognition is priceless

One recent employee recognition survey by the Achievers found that respondents mentioned interesting work (74%) and recognition and rewards (69%) as the top factors that keep them at their current employers.

Employees appreciate the recognition that shows their contributions are valued by the company. Whenever an organization grows or changes, this is especially crucial. Employees are motivated to continue to do great work if they feel secure in their contributions to the organization.

The benefits of a valued workforce are many and varied. For one thing, appreciated employees report increased job satisfaction. That satisfaction is itself tied to increased loyalty and lower turnover — and that, of course, leads to higher overall productivity.

How to increase employee appreciation

To encourage managers and team leaders to embrace immediate recognition, organizations need to make recognition simple, easy, and fun.

How? By creating an employee recognition program.

Employee recognition programs allow organizations to encourage manager and peer-to-peer recognition that aligns with company core values. Peer recognition has a ripple effect on employee engagement, boosting individual motivation and bringing team members together.

The bottom line is, employee appreciation is key to an engaged, highly-motivated team. When employees feel recognized and appreciated for their contributions, everyone wins.

Our platform transforms employee recognition into a seamless and impactful experience. From peer-to-peer kudos to rewarding milestones, Cooleaf helps you foster a culture of value and respect. Elevate your team's morale and performance. Ready to inspire greatness? Explore the art of recognition with Cooleaf today!

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