Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJune 19, 2019


The need to praise staff for good work has been highlighted in a new study showing employees would turn down a pay increase in favour of a culture of support.

Global employee engagement firm Reward Gateway carried out a survey of UK employees, managers, and HR staff, and found that more than three-in-five would rather work for a firm that offered praise, than for a company offering none but paying 10 percent more.

While the survey provides overwhelming evidence that HR leaders believe recognition and reward programs make a positive impact on business outcomes, 45 percent of HR workers don’t agree that their current recognition and reward program is as effective as it could be.

The top frustrations HR leaders have with their recognition and reward programs are that employees aren’t motivated by the rewards; moments of recognition aren’t seen or celebrated by other people; and it doesn’t allow for continuous or immediate recognition. To overcome these challenges and improve their programmes, almost three quarters of HR employees surveyed said they would be likely to invest in recognition and reward within the next year.

Another barrier to successful recognition programmes is that managers are ill-equipped to give effective recognition. Only 16 percent of managers strongly agreed that their company provides them with the tools and understanding on how to recognise their colleagues effectively.

Meanwhile, many managers are failing to recognise their employees effectively, as just 20 percent of managers strongly agreed that their company praises or thanks employees for the good work they do based on their company’s values, and over a quarter agreed that they struggle to find the time to give out thanks and praise.

Doug Butler, CEO at Reward Gateway, said: “While it’s great to see so many HR leaders understanding the positive impact of employee engagement on business, traditional methods and manual processes to achieve current workforce employee engagement goals are no longer an option. What employees want is continuous, instant and impactful recognition which reflects the ‘always-on’ workplace culture and the ‘always connected’ personal life many now have.”

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