Is employee recognition in the workplace worth it?

Let’s start this with two alarming stats based on a 10-year study with over 200,000 employees.

February 12, 2021

Let’s start this with two alarming stats based on a 10-year study with over 200,000 employees.

  • 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a key reason
  • According to Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace” report, only21% agree their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.

You might then think that building out recognition programs would be among the first things a company may tackle when blueprinting their culture. Spoiler, It’s not. To the contrary, it’s often met with severe skepticism and probably fairly so as it can be difficult to quantify and qualify the ROI on programs like these. Let’s dive into and address some of these concerns and questions often brought up by the executives making the decisions on whether or not to add a recognition program to their retention and talent happiness strategy:

How does recognition affect workplace culture?

Employee recognition enhances all six aspects of “attractive workplace cultures,” including leadership, purpose, well-being, opportunity, success, and appreciation.

Will recognition improve employee engagement or employee experience?

Yes, it will — big time. There has been found a 32% boost in engagement for those who feel “appreciated” at work. The same study also found a 26% increase in employee engagement when employees are encouraged to “give appreciation.”

How will recognition help with recruiting and retention?

Showing meaningful, consistent appreciation to workers is a simple and effective way to create an attractive company culture. According to Gallup: “Workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.”

How does recognition affect our bottom line?

This is often the most critical for decision makers and the make or break point. We like to take a different approach and answer this from the other side and ask how costly it can be to not have an employee recognition program. Here’s a thought experiment: “The average cost-per-hire for companies is $4,129, and it takes 42 days to fill an open position. The facts, companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving employee engagement have 31% lower voluntary turnover.”

By now, it’s a well-known fact that employees aren’t feeling valued at work. And honestly, there really is no such thing as “too much recognition.” If you really want to keep your employees, motivate them through recognition. That simple validation has the power to drive productivity through the roof.

If interested in creating a recognition-rich culture, visit Assembly to learn more and/or email us at