New Workplace Recognition Study Reveals Five Ways Managers Miss the Mark

Ever feel like your hard work has gone unnoticed? You’re not alone.
Almost half of the full-time employees who responded to an Office Team survey said they would be “somewhat or very likely” to leave their current job if their manager didn’t recognize a job well done.

An independent research firm conducted the study based on telephone interviews with 431 employees in an office environment.

As for the type of recognition that matters most? The Benjamins. People want to be compensated monetarily; 38 percent said they prefer tangible rewards whereas 21 percent prefer opportunities to learn and grow.

On the other hand, 19 percent prefer verbal or written praise and interestingly enough, 20 percent indicated they don’t need any type of acknowledgment for doing a good job.

In addition to the type of recognition people want, the survey also broke down results generationally. Approximately 65 percent of employees between 18 and 34 are more likely than any other age bracket to leave their current position if they feel their hard work is being unrecognized.

According to the press release, Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, stated, “Professionals want to know their contributions make a difference and will be rewarded, especially Gen Y workers. Because individuals like to be acknowledged in different ways, managers should find out what their workers value most and customize recognition accordingly.”

That said, not all recognition is created equal. Some managers may recognize their team but completely miss the point. Let’s take a look at five recognition blunders as pointed out by OfficeTeam:

1. Acknowledging incorrect facts. Whether a person’s name is acknowledged incorrectly or an achievement is miscommunicated, this one definitely lacks effectiveness. Fact check, please!

2. Offering token gestures. Got paperclips? Um, not exactly. Bestowing someone with office supplies for a major accomplishment like a five-year anniversary or promotion will send the message that a major milestone isn’t that major at all.

3. Being vague. Giving someone at pat on the back for a “good job” is simply too generic. The best way to boost morale? Point to specific behaviors so people know what they did right.

4. Going overboard. Sometimes all people need to hear are two succinct words: “Thank you.” Simply giving credit where credit is due can be much more powerful than being over the top.

5. Overlooking contributors. Some people may shy away from attention but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be recognized. OfficeTeam suggests celebrating “unsung heroes” who worked hard behind the scenes.