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Majority of Employees Feel Recognized, Though Gaps Remain

Although a majority of employees feel appreciated and acknowledged at work, recognition gaps remain, according to research from TalentLMS. While a healthy 63% of employees feel recognized at work, 28% of workers rarely or never receive praise for their work from managers, and 33% are recognized only sometimes. This means that a combined 61% of the workforce are not regularly recognized by their supervisors, or don’t feel as though they’re appreciated.

Nearly half (47%) feel appreciated on a day-to-day basis. But a significant 36% think their work is only acknowledged through formal evaluations. In short, managers have room to step up their appreciation skills. They need to offer praise more regularly, both formally and informally. And they need to work harder to ensure that praise is effectively delivered and received.

Employees have long preferred cash bonuses over other rewards, and this remains the case for most employees, but not all. Out of all employees surveyed, 59% favor cash bonuses over PTO (48%). These rewards are followed by gifts or gift cards (38%), flexible work options (34%), and private recognition from managers and leadership (29%). Cash bonuses are the top-voted reward across generations, but the youngest workers are opting for PTO over cash. This choice suggests a deeper longing for work-life balance over monetary incentives.

The report finds that 45% of employees feel recognized by their employer whether they work remotely or on-site. Only a minority, 16%, feel they receive less recognition when working off-site. While most companies have good recognition practices across different working environments, employers need to work to bridge the gap between remote and on-site arrangements. While 16% may seem like a small portion of respondents, distance is impacting the visibility of employees’ efforts and contributions. To ensure parity for all, leaders need to target that group of employees.

Digging deeper into the data, a divide in views across generations emerges, with 70% of employees over 54 years old reporting that they feel recognized at work. This contrasts starkly with younger employees, with only 49% of people ages 24 years and younger feeling appreciated. At the same time, 30% of Gen Z workers don’t feel appreciated, while 21% report being neutral.

The unequal distribution of respondents across age categories does impact these findings. It means they offer a broad view, rather than precise comparisons. Yet, they clearly underscore a generational divide in workplace recognition.

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