All 21 Key Employee Recognition Statistics Leaders Must Know (2024)
All Recognition and Rewards

21 Key Employee Recognition Statistics Leaders Must Know (2024)

Author: Ravijojla Novakovic Last updated: March 5, 2024 Reading time: 10 minutes

Acknowledging employees for their accomplishments and conduct is a powerful strategy to motivate and engage them. Recognition has been shown to enhance team dynamics and influence key HR metrics such as turnover and absenteeism.

While HR professionals understand the significance of acknowledging employees’ efforts, upper management often fails to see the value in investing in employee recognition software, viewing it more as an expense rather than an investment.

This article aims to challenge that perspective. We present you with the most crucial employee recognition stats to demonstrate the transformative power of acknowledging employees’ contributions.

Continue reading to discover what research reveals about the benefits and best practices of employee appreciation. But before you delve in, consider downloading our employee recognition playbook to learn how to construct effective employee recognition programs.

Boosting Engagement, Productivity, and Trust: Insights From Employee Recognition Statistics

employees work harder when they are appreciated statistic
  • 78% of US workers say that being appreciated motivates them at their job. Source: TINYPulse
  • According to 84% HR Professionals, employee recognition positively affects employee engagement. Source: SHRM
  • 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated. Source: Aberdeen 
  • 88% of employees who receive strong performance recognition are proactively innovating. Source: Aedion
  • 50% of employees believe being thanked by managers builds trust with their higher-ups. Source: Cicero group
  • 58% of employees say that their leaders could engage them better by recognizing them. Source: Psychometrics
  • According to SurveyMonkey, recognition is deemed crucial for workplace happiness by 82% of employees. Source: SurveyMonkey
  • In a survey, 41% of individuals aged 18-24 indicated a preference for not working over experiencing unhappiness in their jobs. Source: Vega HR.


Employee engagement is something that a lot of companies struggle with. Research shows that disengaged employees cause $500 billion in losses to companies in the US on an annual level.

Engagement is strongly correlated with employees’ motivation, morale, and productivity. When employees realize that what they do is valuable to their companies, they are incentivized to do more of it.

In fact, it’s very simple: we all need positive reinforcement to do anything continuously. Our jobs are often stressful, and we want to know we are doing a good job. 

Employee recognition positively affects employee performance, which in turn boosts business performance. Therefore, recognizing employees is a smart business decision!

If You Want to Know More

Here are some additional resources for you to understand the connection between employee engagement, recognition, and productivity:

Why do Moments that Matter matter

How to motivate employees to go the extra mile

Reducing Employee Turnover

why employees leave their jobs statistic
  • Employee recognition programs positively affect retention, according to 68% of HR Professionals. Source: SHRM
  • 32% of workers left their jobs because they were unsatisfied with the recognition for their contributions. Source: LinkedIn
  • 66% of employees say they would leave their jobs if they didn’t feel appreciated. Source: Select Software Reviews.


Ever heard about the Great Resignation Era? 

It is a movement of voluntary resignations that swept the US in 2021. Although the reasons why employees have quit were different, one of them was a lack of appreciation from their employers.

In fact, lack of recognition for continuous work, effort, and loyalty are frequent reasons why employees leave their employers.

As turnover is one of the most important metrics that HRs need to focus on – and improving it is frequently on their KPIs – knowing that employee recognition plays such an important role in preventing high turnover is essential.

Read on to find out how employees want to be recognized!

Best perks to retain employees

Understanding Employee Preferences: How Employees Want To Be Recognized  

how employees prefer to be appreciated
  • 88% of Millennials say that prepaid cards are their favorite type of monetary reward. Source: Blackhawk network
  • 80% of Gen Y employees say they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews. Source: LinkedIn
  • 54% of employees prefer verbal “Thank you” for their day-to-day accomplishments, while 47% of employees prefer growth opportunities for a significant accomplishment. Source: Deloitte
  • 42% of organizations help employees celebrate life events with a gift or a gift card. Source: SHRM
  • 52% of employees want more recognition. Source: HR Magazine
  • PwC research shows employees equally value recognition from peers and managers, with 71% favoring verbal praise among various forms of acknowledgment. Source: Big Fish Benefits.


Maybe these findings are in line with what you would expect: for their day-to-day accomplishments, employees need just a simple thank you.

They also want it to be informal: employee recognition doesn’t mean going overboard and sending gifts to an employee every time they do a regular task.

When it comes to recognizing their bigger achievements, they want growth opportunities, monetary rewards, or better benefits.

Apart from gift cards, employees mostly expect and want bonuses as rewards for their accomplishments. 

An important thing to note here is that employee rewards need to be laid out in a structured way.

In other words, employees need to know what they can expect for their behavior and accomplishments. Rewards mustn’t be random acts of gratitude – and they need to apply to everybody equally.

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Thoughtful gift ideas for employees

Work anniversary messages and emails

Peer-To-Peer Employee Recognition Statistics

  • Peer-to-peer recognition makes 90% of employees more satisfied with their work. Source: SHRM
  • Peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to positively impact financial results than manager-only recognition. Source SHRM


Employees don’t need to be recognized and thanked only by their superiors. Social and peer-to-peer recognition are crucial to build healthy team relationships and company culture.

When coworkers appreciate each other’s work, they collaborate more easily, innovate better, and tend to go the extra mile to help each other. Hence the positive impact on financial results explained in the statistics section above.

Moreover, peer-to-peer recognition is a way towards a more inclusive workplace, which has benefits on its own.

When employees recognize each other, and it’s displayed company-wide, it motivates others to portray similar behavior.

That’s why social recognition is so powerful: it can bring one small team’s dynamic to a higher level and spill over to other teams.

If You Want To Know More

Appreciation emails to thank your coworkers

The Impact of Appreciation: Employee Recognition Statistics

  • Companies see 15% increase in employee satisfaction with their day-to-day recognition by their immediate supervisors. Source: The Walt Disney World Resort
  • Companies with most sophisticated employee recognition practices are on average 12x more likely to generate strong business outcomes than their peers. Source: Josh Bersin by Deloitte


Making employees aware of how valuable their work is to your company could prove to be critical for optimizing employee retention, engagement, and productivity.

However, superficial recognition and occasional “good work” aren’t the answer either.

Proper recognition ties employees’ behavior to the company’s mission and values to yield the best results.

This means that recognition programs yield the best results when they are built in a smart and thoughtful way. 

HRs need to know their company and their employees to create impactful recognition programs. Most importantly, they need the right technology to make it happen.

If You Want To Know More

Everything you need to know about recognition and rewards

How employee recognition leads to higher customer satisfaction

How To Give Meaningful Recognition

In order for employees to truly feel valued and appreciated for their hard work, the recognition they receive should be meaningful and sincere.

To ensure that your employees feel recognized and motivated, it is important to follow some basic guidelines that will help them to receive the recognition wholeheartedly.

Create an employee recognition program

An employee recognition program is an approach used by employees whose goal is to make employees feel valued and appreciated and acknowledge employee performance.

Employee recognition programs can take various forms to show appreciation to employees, such as sending emails to acknowledge a job well done, granting the employee of the month award, providing positive feedback, or simply saying thank you.

These programs are essential for organizations that aim to establish a company culture that fosters healthy and positive relationships while making employees feel valued and appreciated.

Be specific when you recognize employees

When giving recognition to an employee, try to be more specific and precise. This means that you should emphasize the thing they have done well, avoid generalization, and aim your recognition to be genuine and honest.

This way, you can also emphasize what employees have done correctly and use this appreciation to give positive feedback and boost employee morale and employee productivity.

Give recognition in a timely manner

Recognition is crucial for it to be meaningful and valuable. Ensure employees receive appreciation promptly after accomplishing something successfully.

Delayed recognition can lose meaning and seem ingenuine and result in unhappy workers.

Timely recognition also shows employees that you are attentive and ensure everyone’s work is appreciated and recognized.

Make recognition personal

Writing personal recognition by adding the employee’s name and traits that make them unique helps manager recognition be more meaningful and shows that managers really know and appreciate their employees.

This way, the recognition appears sincere and honest, which helps employees feel valued for their work.

Encourage peer recognition

Nothing is more rewarding than knowing that your colleagues appreciate you as much as the team leaders and managers do. Being a useful addition to the team is one of the most memorable recognition any teammate can receive.

Managers should encourage a culture of mutual recognition among employees instead of fostering competition.

What Is the Role of HR Tech in Building Effective Recognition Programs?

Yes, employee recognition has a myriad of benefits for the company. However, the impact of every recognition initiative needs to be measurable in order to improve it even further and optimize its results.

Moreover, every company is different – it operates in different countries and industries, to say the least. That’s why it’s best to opt for custom-made software to support the specific needs of a company when it comes to employee recognition.

Our employee recognition software – JobPts – is built to cater to the specific needs of the company at hand. Its functionalities operate in service of HRs that want to make data-driven decisions and bring the power of recognition to every employee in their organization.

Find out more about JobPts and contact our team to see it in action.


In conclusion, employee recognition is not just a feel-good factor but a strategic necessity in today’s dynamic business environment.

The statistics we’ve explored in this article underscore the significant impact of employee recognition on engagement, productivity, trust, and retention.

While HR professionals are cognizant of the importance of recognizing employees’ efforts, upper management must view this not as an expense but as a strategic investment that can yield substantial returns.

The transformative power of employee recognition is evident in its ability to enhance team dynamics, reduce turnover, and boost key HR metrics.

It’s not just about acknowledging achievements but about fostering a culture of appreciation that motivates employees to strive for excellence.

It’s clear that effective employee recognition strategies are more important than ever.

So, whether you’re a seasoned leader or a budding manager, we hope that the insights and resources shared in this article will empower you to leverage the power of recognition to create a more engaged, productive, and loyal workforce.

Remember, we’re here to assist you in your journey toward creating a thriving workplace environment.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for more insights on employee recognition and its role in shaping successful organizations. 

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