It may come as a surprise to you that Friday, March 6th is the 20th anniversary of Employee Appreciation Day. It was created in 1995 by Bob Nelson, a board member of Recognition Professionals International, as a way of focusing employers on employee recognition. It’s probably not surprising to you that lots of employees don’t feel particularly appreciated at work.
In an online survey conducted in February, we asked workers in the US how appreciated they felt at work, and what employer practices made them feel appreciated. Our respondents’ level of engagement at work is in line with other recent studies suggesting that a majority of employees are ready to change employers if the right offer comes along.
Overall, 61 percent of our respondents have thought about searching for a new job in the past year, and more than a quarter of employees (26 percent) thought about looking for a new job in the past week. It appears that the more appreciated they feel at work, the less likely employees are to seek a new opportunity. Of the employees who thought about searching for a new job in the past year, 59 percent either do not feel appreciated or feel somewhat appreciated at their place of work compared with 11 percent who feel very appreciated.
The most interesting results of this survey are those concerning what it takes to make employees feel appreciated. It’s not just about the Benjamins. When asked what gives them a high sense of satisfaction at work, employees say receiving a “Thank you” from their direct manager (55 percent) is important to them. For employees who feel somewhat or not at all appreciated, not being recognized for the work they do was the top reason cited by nearly half (48 percent) as something that makes them not feel appreciated at work.
The picture above is of our CEO, Aron Ain. Aron provides regular updates to all of our employees via his video blog, Aron@Work. In these posts, he never fails to thank all of us, and our families, for our contributions. Our global employee engagement scores are way above the threshold for “best in class”. Maybe that commitment to “thank you” has something to do with it.
You can read the full results of our survey here.
For more information on this topic, check out the following links:
Washington Post – After Getting a Raise, the Glow Fades Fast
Sue Meisinger HR Executive Column – Leveraging the Power of Thank You