Does your company truly appreciate employees? What does your organization do to recognize a job well done or high performance? Unfortunately, many organizations do not understand the financial importance of employee recognition and appreciation. According to Gallup, employee satisfaction and turnover rates align with recognition received by workers. A Gallup study found that, in the United States, voluntary employee turnover costs companies almost 1 trillion dollars per year. Those numbers have also been growing regularly for the past few years.

To learn more, Bonusly and SurveyMonkey partnered to study how U.S. workers feel about employee appreciation within their organizations. They surveyed over fifteen hundred executives and professionals to understand how their beliefs about recognition affect their actions and thoughts within a company. Their results showed that positive public acknowledgment leads to improved happiness at work and encourages employees to positively view their career development. Employee appreciation also can lead to more feelings of loyalty to an organization, making employees less likely to seek other job options. Now that you know why this is important, here are the top three ways employees want to be appreciated!

1. Cash Bonuses or Raises

When provided a choice of various ways an organization can recognize its performance, financial incentives were the most popular with employees. 57% of participants selected cash bonuses or raised as their preferred means of employee appreciation. When given additional options, earning a $600 gift card ranked above a Michelin-star dinner with their CEO, a dedicated summer intern, and an all-expense-paid trip to the tropics. Employees value monetary compensation for their performance and work. Even if you can not offer a $600 gift card, consider some other way or amount to recognize their merit-based achievement.

2. Visibility to Leaders

Visibility to leadership was what 20% of respondents to the survey answered as to how they would like to be recognized. In some larger organizations with hundreds or thousands of staff, employees might feel like they are just a number. Networking with leaders is a motivating benefit for professionals hoping to progress or be promoted within an organization. Some companies have exclusive groups based on internal performance, where the members might interact with upper management and executives for lunch, dinner, and special events. This proximity to high-level decision-makers within the company might be helpful with career development and advancement.

3. Awards

17% of survey participants indicated that receiving awards is sufficient recognition. The concept of company plaques, distinctions, and awards used to be the standard for employee appreciation. It seems that some executives and professionals still enjoy being recognized in this way. Companies can capitalize on the concept of award recognition by listing them in their internal newsletter or placing them in a public location. Many employees prefer to list honors and awards on their resumes, to set themselves apart.

While having a plan to recognize employees is important, organizations must also know how to appreciate employees. When companies implement effective recognition and rewards programs, they tend to see lower turnover rates and higher levels of employee satisfaction. A collaborative project by SurveyMonkey and Bonusly highlighted the top ways employees want to be appreciated. Receiving cash bonuses and raises was the first preference. After that, having visibility to leaders and attaining awards were chosen. What could your company add to its rewards and employee appreciation programs to motivate employees?


Fly High Coaching is dedicated to helping you and your business succeed. We help to cut the costs of turnover and improve the performance of employees through coaching, consulting, and customized training services. Contact us today to get a FREE Vision of Success Session or check out our Corporate Coaching Services to learn what you can do now.

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Porschia Parker-Griffin

Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Professional Coach, Business Consultant, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. When she is not coaching, Porschia enjoys traveling, cooking, and working with animals.
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