employee appreciation metrics 2019
2 min read

Employee reward and recognition (or, as we like to say, recognition and reward) has received a lot of attention in the last decade. Companies around the world are spending a collective $46 billion on employee reward and recognition programs and our research shows that 90% of managers prioritize timely appreciation and are craving recognition at work.

If you're building the business case for investing in employee recognition and reward, you may not know where to start, or how hard you should be pushing. But the truth of it is that organizations are losing their people because they’re failing at recognition.

Fixing recognition isn't a 'nice-to-have,' it's a must-have, for your business and for your people.

Here are a few other employee recognition statistics, from our own research and from other sources:

Our research says...

Top R&R

1. Moments of recognition aren't seen or celebrated by other people. 

2. It doesn't allow for continuous or immediate recognition. 

3. Employees aren't motivated by the rewards they are given.


of HR workers agreed that an effective recognition and reward program helps drive business results.


of HR workers agree recognition and reward has a positive effect on employee retention.

Only 22%

of managers strongly agree that their company provides them with the tools and understanding on how to recognize colleagues effectively.


of HR workers don't agree that their current recognition and reward programs are as effective as they could be. 


of HR employees surveyed said they would be likely to invest in recognition and reward programs within the next year.

The importance of recognition and motivation

Our research shows that... 

Almost half of employees agreed that they would leave a company that didn’t praise or thank them enough for the work they did.

Only 26% of managers strongly agreed that their company praises or thanks employees for the good work they do based on their company’s values, and almost a third agreed that they struggle to find the time to give out thanks and praise.

Over seven in 10 employees want their employers to do more to motivate them.

The top reasons for employees feeling demotivated are: feeling invisible or undervalued (43%), having a bad manager (43%) and lack of recognition (40%).

And being unmotivated has an alarming effect on employees, with the top five being: 


A decline in mood (worsens)


A reduction in productivity levels


A decline in mental health  


A reduction in quality of work


A decline in the quality of diet

Other research agrees...

Here are a few other reward and recognition statistics worth bookmarking:

It’s estimated that global businesses lose approximately $7 trillion each year due to lack of motivation.


Organizations where recognition occurs have 14% better employee engagement, productivity and customer service than those without.

Bersin by Deloitte

Companies with a recognition culture have 31% lower employee turnover.


The magic number for recognition: It’s recommended to recognize an employee every seven days.


75% of employees receiving at least monthly recognition (even if informal) are satisfied with their job.


Peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.


Wishing you had these statistics in your back pocket? Download a full PDF below and they're all yours.

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Alexandra Powell

Alexandra Powell, Director of Client Cultural Insights, not only knows American Sign Language, but uses it to secretly communicate with her husband and kids at parties. Alex is a highly experienced employee engagement consultant, trainer and speaker. For over 20 years she has helped HR and business leaders implement strategies that drive true culture change.

Director of Client Cultural Insights

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