PPB September 2022

This lack of love can be disheartening and demotivating, and eventually it can drive workers away. People are hardwired to not only want acceptance, but also appreciation. They want to know they’re making a meaningful difference and that they’re valued and important. This matters so much, in fact, that one in three workers say they would give up a week’s worth of pay for more recognition from their boss, according to the Bonusly survey. Fortunately, organizations can profess their appreciation in all kinds of creative ways. For example, global management consulting firm McKinsey hosts an annual “thank-a-thon,” where employees publicly thank each other for their hard work. The gifting company &Open encourages its employees to send each other taco emojis via Slack. The staffers with the most tacos at the end of the month get a lunch voucher. And at O.C. Tanner, a software company, employees’ family members are invited to Zoommeetings to celebrate workers’ accomplishments. Whether companies recognize staffers with taco shout-outs or other forms of appreciation like logoed merchandise, salary bumps or more flexible work arrangements, this gratitude often helps them keep their top talent. More than half of employees (53%) who responded to a Glassdoor survey say they would stay longer at a company longer if they felt appreciated. This retention is more important than ever, considering that the Great Resignation is upon us. On TikTok, the hashtag #quittingmyjob has more than 137 million views. Two out of every five workers who changed jobs over the last year are looking for work again, according to survey results fromGrant Thornton, a consulting firm. One of the biggest reasons for their discontent? A lack of appreciation. Nearly half of American workers (46%) have left their job because they feel unappreciated. A steady paycheck and an occasional “thank you” isn’t enough to keep workers happy. To create productive workplaces with engaged staffers, employers must be authentic and consistent in recognizing their teammembers. Promotional products can help companies celebrate and thank their most valuable assets—their employees. Market Snapshot Gamification is a trend worth exploring when it comes to employee appreciation. Essentially, it’s using game-like elements, such as rewards, point scoring and competitive platforms to create a little friendly competition with the winners scoring prizes. Globally, the gamification market is valued at nearly $12 billion and is projected to grow almost 13% by 2025. Gamification is especially helpful to engage employees and boost morale with dispersed teams since workers can participate without ever stepping foot in the office. One survey from Talent LMS found that 89% of employees felt gamification made them feel more productive at work and 88% said it made them happier at work. Promotional products can add to the fun, whether companies use gamification to let employees earn badges, score rewards or celebrate milestones. Generational Differences While employees of all ages benefit from sincere and specific appreciation, younger workers crave it the most. Nearly 40% of Gen Z employees want to be recognized by their boss at least a few times a week, but only about a quarter receive recognition at this frequency. About 25% of Millennials, 17% of Gen Xers and 16% of Baby Boomers want to receive recognition a few times a week or more. Source: Gallup Employee Recognition For The Win Companies with strong cultures of recognition tend to have workers who are: 73% less likely to feel burned out 56% less likely to be seeking a new job 44% more likely to be thriving in their life overall Source: Gallup/Workhuman The Sweet Spot For Employee Recognition When leaders give out too many kudos, their praise becomes less meaningful. But what’s the right amount? According to a Gallup survey, once a week is best for employee appreciation. Here’s how often employees say they receive recognition: 2% Daily 11% Weekly 20% Quarterly 17% Annually 29% Never | SEPTEMBER 2022 | 47 GROW