2019 Employee Recognition Report

Employees celebrating the recognition they received.

Last year, the Recognize Team ran a number of surveys on employee recognition and analyzed the results. This year, the team has examined how demographic groups (such as gender, age, etc.) prefer to receive employee recognition in different ways. Here, we provide initial research on how organizations can tailor recognition to different populations and satisfy a diverse range of people.

Data came from a number of surveys that are further explained in the following reports:


Highlights

  • Younger demographics may be more excited about receiving additional PTO and fun experiences as an employee recognition reward
  • Women, entry-level employees, and those in lower income levels may need to receive more employee recognition and, overall, better employee recognition than they currently are

How to read report

Questions are measured on a Likert Item from 1: Strongly Disagree to 5: Strongly Agree.

Employee recognition preferences by age

Younger folks appreciate paid time off

Younger employees tended to prefer additional paid time off as an employee recognition reward more than older employees.

Q: When receiving recognition at my company, I prefer additional paid time off.

Younger employees prefer paid time off than older folks.

Younger employees prefer experiences as an employee reward

Compared to older employees.

Q: When receiving recognition at my company, I prefer experiences, such as a massage or sky dive trip.

Younger employees prefer experiences as employee reward than older folks.

Younger employees prefer company trips more than older employees

Q: Do you like to go on a company trip or retreat for a holiday reward?

Younger employees prefer company trips as employee reward than older folks.

Employee recognition preferences by gender

Men slightly prefer public recognition

Whereas women slightly preferred being recognized in private, either from a manager or company.

Women slightly prefer private recognition and men prefer public.

Women are less satisified with the frequency of recognition they receive

Female employees were slightly less satisfied with how often they received employee recognition. This might be due to less frequent recognition than men but without further analysis it is hard to tell at this time.

Younger employees prefer company trips as employee reward than older folks.

Overall, women are less satifisied with the employee recognition they receive in general

Compared to their male colleagues.

Younger employees prefer company trips as employee reward than older folks.

Employee recognition preferences by job level

Senior employees are more satisfied with how often they receive employee recognition

As might be expected, employees with more senior job levels tended to be more satisfied with how often they received employee recognition.

Q: I have been satisfied with how often my company gives me recognition.

Women slightly prefer private recognition and men prefer public.

Senior employees are more satisfied with how they receive employee recognition

Overall, employees with more senior job levels tended to be more satisfied with the employee recognition they received.

Q: I have been satisfied with how often my company gives me recognition.

Women slightly prefer private recognition and men prefer public.

Employee recognition preferences by income level

Higher income very slightly preferred cash rewards

Employees with a higher income level had a greater preference for cash rewards as a way to receive employee recognition. We must note that we were unable to report the statistical variance, and thus the results for this may actually be the same for the general population.

Q: When receiving recognition at my company, I prefer cash rewards.

Women slightly prefer private recognition and men prefer public.

Lower income employees prefer merchandise more than higher income

Merchandise, which is already not employees’ preferred way to get recognition, became slightly more disfavored as income level increased.

Q: When receiving recognition at my company, I prefer merchandise.

Women slightly prefer private recognition and men prefer public.

Job title and income preferences are similar for employee recognition

Similar to the observations by job levels, employees with higher income levels also tended to be slightly more satisfied with how often they received employee recognition.

Q: I have been satisfied with how often my company gives me recognition.

Women slightly prefer private recognition and men prefer public.

Overall, higher income employees slightly are more satisified with employee recognition

(Results are an average of three Likert Items that examined the construct of how satisfied employees were with the employee recognition they received. The Likert Items were measured from 0: Strongly Disagree to 4: Strongly Agree.

Women slightly prefer private recognition and men prefer public.

Employee recognition preferences by education level

Take away

Those who completed a higher level of education were more likely to appreciate recognition.

A hypothesis is that those with a higher level of education are more likely to be in job positions that offer ample employee recognition, and therefore they are also more appreciative of it. Further analysis is required to dig into this topic.

Q: I appreciate being publicly recognized by my company for my contributions.

Women slightly prefer private recognition and men prefer public.

Miscellaneous

Contrary to intuition, nurses who worked longer hours did not prefer more paid time off as an employee recognition reward.

It is unknown why this is the case, and whether this is specific to nurses or a sign of a general trend across industries. Again, further analysis in future studies will look at this in more detail.

Q: When receiving recognition at my organization, I prefer additional paid time off.

Women slightly prefer private recognition and men prefer public.

Conclusion

This report is a valuable follow-up on last year’s report of employee recognition statistics. Keep in mind that these are still initial investigations and further research studies will be needed to establish results, as well as to determine the practical significance of these results.

Regardless, the findings are certainly exciting. As we implement employee recognition programs, instead of providing the same rewards to everyone, we would benefit from considering the backgrounds of our employees and tailoring recognition to something that they find truly valuable.

Written by Rigel Kim


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