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New national survey from Eagle Hill Consulting finds employee recognition programs are lacking

Employees say recognition programs can boost performance, retention, and motivation

Arlington, Va., November 10, 2022 – As the holiday season approaches, new research indicates that employers should increase their efforts to thank employees for a job well done. A new national survey of U.S. workers finds nearly half (47 percent) say they would like to receive more recognition for their work, while nearly one quarter (21 percent) of workers indicate that they are never recognized for their efforts. 

“Our research signals that employers need to double down on employee recognition programs. Far too many employees are burnt out from their workload and say they aren’t recognized for their efforts,” says Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. “Failing to acknowledge workers is a recipe for subpar organizational performance and high attrition, the last thing employers need in a volatile economy.”

“Employees also indicate that recognition programs drive them to go above and beyond their responsibilities, an issue the employers are grappling with amid the so-called quiet quitting phenomenon. There are ways that employers can quickly set up regular recognition that will get results and are cost effective. For example, many employees say just a simple thank you email or note makes a difference, as do rewards like time off. The key to success is creating a culture in which thanking workers is woven into the fabric of day-to-day operations from the top to the bottom, not just a one-off effort that checks the box on recognition,” Jezior said. 

The results are based upon on the Eagle Hill Consulting Job Well Done national survey conducted by Ipsos from October 5 – 10, 2022, among 1,347 employed adults aged 18 and older. Other key findings are as follows:

  • Employees say that recognition programs should be more frequent (38 percent), more proactive (36 percent), more broadly shared across the organization (30 percent), easier to provide (26 percent), and unbiased (24 percent). 
  • When their work is recognized, employees say they are more likely to go above and beyond their responsibilities (53 percent), stay with their organization (48 percent), be more motivated to support their team (43 percent), and go above and beyond for customers (38 percent). 
  • Few employers (25 percent) ask employees how they would like to be recognized. 
  • Ways employees prefer recognition include cash or gifts (54 percent), time off (34 percent), a thank you email or note (32 percent), points to choose a reward (23 percent), experience opportunities like tickets (22 percent), public recognition (20 percent), and employee of the week/month programs (19 percent). 
  • Thirty-two percent of workers say recognition makes them feel motivated at work, just below meaningful work (60 percent) and a supportive team (51 percent), and higher than career potential (29 percent). 
  • Thirty-six percent of workers say their employer has developed new ways for recognizing employees during the past year. 

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. A leading authority on employee sentiment, Eagle Hill is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, with employees across the U.S. and offices in Boston and Seattle. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact:  Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill