A new study by global employee engagement leader, Reward Gateway, which surveyed 1,500 employees across the U.S., UK and Australia, revealed that generic and annual recognition or rewards are inadequate as employees demand to be recognized in more timely and meaningful ways.

Only 20% of U.S. employees surveyed noted that they liked receiving praise at a single event or function and two in three (63%) employees agreed that their managers could do more to praise and thank them in a timely, specific way, highlighting the importance of in-the-moment recognition. In addition, 75% of employees in the U.S. agreed that motivation and morale would improve at their company if managers simply said “thank you” more and noticed when people do good work.

The research also found a lack of effective recognition in offices across the U.S. with 45% of employees feeling their manager unfairly rewards certain people over others, while one-third agreed they had received a reward that didn’t reflect the work put into it.

With employers investing $46 billion globally on employee reward and recognition initiatives, more still needs to be done, as the research shows that the modern workforce values recognition that is timely, consistent, and fair over that which is generic or invisible. 

Here’s what Reward Gateway client, Nadim Abi-Antoun, Chief Operating Officer of Presbyterian Homes, an independent, not-for-profit, senior living provider in the Chicago area, says about its approach to reward and recognition at work:

“We have over 1,200 employees who represent multiple generations and work in a wide variety of locations and environments— from nursing, to dining, to maintenance and operations. We know that consistent and timely recognition is a powerful driver of employee engagement for our entire workforce. This positively impacts retention and our ability to provide a high level of care and support to our residents and their families.”

Commenting on the research, Doug Butler, CEO at Reward Gateway, said: 

“Companies need to be investing in the effective recognition and reward solutions that fit both the employees’ and company’s goals.  We’re focused on helping our clients to deliver strategic and branded recognition programs that create an environment in which their people are motivated and engaged.” 

Learn more about the type of recognition a modern workforce wants, here.