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Bosses, take note: This is what employees want to be thanked for

Jessica Yun
Employees want to be given recognition for their work. (Source: Getty)
Employees want to be given recognition for their work. (Source: Getty)

People leave jobs for all sorts of reasons – but often it will be because they feel disengaged from their job and their team.

So how do employers get to the root of the issue and tackle the problem of top talent leaving?

One reason why they’re feeling disengaged at work might be because they’re not getting recognition for their work – and the simplest way to fix this is for managers to express gratitude to their hard-working employees.

According to research by Paychex, more than a third of employees feel it’s extremely motivating to be shown gratitude in the workplace.

But it’s not gratitude about any old thing: there are some things workers want recognition for than others.

Employees most expect appreciation for helping their boss or co-worker with a major task (77.3 per cent), followed by working extra hours (68.4 per cent).

“In these cases, a simple “thank you” (at the very least) can go a long way,” the Paychex report stated.

“Enabling a culture that supports gratitude can stimulate positive mental health and create happier employees.”

(Source: Paychex)
(Source: Paychex)

Workers also want to be thanked for doing duties that don’t fall in their job description (61.3 per cent) and for strong job performance (58.5 per cent).

On the other end of the spectrum, workers don’t seem to need to be thanked for sticking to deadlines (15.2 per cent) or onboarding a new client or account (32 per cent).

The best ways to thank employees

However, beyond a ‘thank you’, workers value recognition in other ways, too.

“When it comes to pay raises and bonuses, those surveyed were more likely to favor these expressions of thanks over intangible options like a verbal “thank you” or praise,” the report said.

“Workers seek tangible appreciation that shows through their paycheck, a fixture that should adapt and be reflective of an employee’s hard work and effort.”

(Source: Paychex)
(Source: Paychex)

However, other studies disagree: more than six in ten people say that financial incentives have little to no impact on their motivation, and in fact are more motivated by appreciation than a pay rise in the long-term.

Nonetheless, on top of a pay hike, paid time off is also well-received (57.7 per cent) as is a flexible schedule (50.7 per cent).

Workers don’t seem keen on receiving company merchandise (12.9 per cent) or a thank-you email (19 per cent).

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