A new study into workplace recognition has found that unappreciated employees are twice as likely to experience poor mental health.
The Employee Recognition Survey, conducted by virtual team building and virtual escape room specialists, Wildgoose, surveyed employees from 133 different UK companies. It asked them whether they receive enough praise and appreciation, how they would react to a lack of recognition and how companies could better meet their ‘recognition needs’.
The data found that a significant number of hybrid workers are now being neglected, with UK companies failing to adapt ‘casual recognition moments’ from in-person meetings and impromptu conversations to the hybrid workplace, as fewer than one in 20 employees feel that they receive fair recognition for their work.
As well as affecting employee mental wellbeing, failing to recognise and value employees can also have negative impacts on the company as a whole. A quarter of employees who aren’t receiving sufficient recognition are currently looking for a new job, which is a 32 per cent increase compared to those ‘satisfied’ with the amount of recognition they receive.
But it’s already too late for some. Staff who don’t receive recognition from their company or manager are nearly twice as likely to have found work elsewhere within the last year.
Recognition in the time of hybrid working
The data highlights the importance of regular meetings and one-to-one time for younger career starters: Gen Z employees (aged 18 to 24) are the demographic who crave in-person recognition the most. Fifty-eight per cent of Gen Z employees would like to receive recognition through regular, in-person meetings with their managers.
Companies also need to adapt the way they deliver recognition to meet the needs of their employees. With hybrid working on the rise, employee acknowledgement is increasingly likely to happen online.
As many businesses struggle to cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis, cost-effective means of recognition are especially useful. Using digital platforms to provide personal shout-outs and praise is a cost-effective way to help employees feel valued.
Commenting on the findings, Wildgoose Managing Director Jonny Edser said: “Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated for the work they do, so recognition really is a basic need at work. And with more employees now working away from the office, companies have to take a step back and make sure remote employees feel equally recognised.
“It’s clear that many UK companies aren’t providing their employees with enough recognition – and firms should realise that can affect their bottom lines. When organisations fulfil the ‘recognition needs’ of their workforce, the result is motivated, engaged employees, who are less likely to be off through poor mental health.”
Kasia Richter, Founder of the Wellbeing Strategist, said: “Praise is a form of recognition and acknowledgement, which is a basic human need. We all want to be seen, heard and witnessed. Some of us are more sensitive and have a greater need to be praised than others. If a person strongly identifies himself/ herself with the job it becomes even more important to acknowledge them, their efforts and achievements.
“Recognition of employees is one of the most powerful ways to motivate them and improve the quality of their work, as well as making them bonded and loyal.
“Allowing employees to be heard, witnessed and feel supported can go a long way to making employees feel valued. It can be achieved by creating a culture of open communication, transparency and fairness. Communicating requirements, providing support when necessary, encouraging self-discipline and self-mastery and being there when needed will strengthen your workforce and keep employees feeling valued.”
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