Employees Unhappy with Recognition Methods

January 27, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A recent poll shows a gap between how employees' performance is recognized and how they want it to be recognized.

According to the Maritz poll, even though 70% of the 1,002 employees polled are getting verbal praise, only 49% of them want it. In addition, 21% of those who want verbal praise as a performance recognition method, are not getting it from their managers, according to the Maritz press release on the poll.

Other evidence the poll found that employees and employers are not on the same page concerning recognition methods, according to the release, including only:

  • 27% of those who wanted non-monetary employee incentives such as award merchandise, gift cards, or trips are recognized that way.
  • 27% who want to be recognized by a symbolic award such as a trophy or plaque are recognized that way.
  • 29% of them who wish to receive a cash bonus are rewarded with one.
  • 30% of those who want to be recognized in a recognition event are rewarded that way.
  • 40% who want written praise receive it.

“Managers know the power of positive reinforcement for a job well done, but this study shows employees are motivated in vastly different ways and companies still have a long way to go to ensure their employees feel valued,” said Mark Peterman, vice president, client solutions at Maritz Incentives, in the release.

Maritz found that recognizing employees in ways that they desire will have positive business impacts. According to the poll results, those satisfied with their company’s recognition programs are:

  • Eleven times more likely to be completely satisfied with their jobs than those who are not completely satisfied with their employee recognition programs (76% versus 7%).
  • Seven times more likely to spend the rest of their careers with their present company than those who are not completely satisfied with their employee recognition programs (63% vs. 9%).
  • Seven times more likely to strongly endorse their company as a great place to work (80% vs. 12%).
  • Six times more likely to invest money in their company if they could (75% vs. 12%).
  • Five times more likely to feel highly valued at their job (73% vs. 16%).

In addition, 55% of employees agree or strongly agree that the quality of their company’s recognition efforts impacts their job performance.

Only 10% of employees polled strongly agree that they are completely satisfied with their company’s employee recognition efforts. Sixty-four percent think their company should offer a greater choice of rewards in the workplace, and 60% believe their company needs to refresh its recognition efforts by offering new and different awards.

The Maritz Poll survey was conducted online in October 2005 and featured responses from 1,002 randomly selected, full-time, employed adults (502 male, 500 female) ages 18 – 65+ from throughout the US. Maritz can be found at www.maritz.,com .