More than half (57%) of employees say feeling recognised would reduce the likelihood that they would take a call from a headhunter.

This is according to the latest State of Recognition Report from Achievers Workforce Institute, which also shows that employees are not willing to compromise on job elements such as work-life integration, career progression, and a sense of belonging and fulfilment.

They are increasingly feeling empowered (or entitled) to a culture, benefits, and perks that are the right fit for their desired lifestyle.


What makes a recognition meaningful?

Two-thirds (64%) of respondents say they would prefer to receive more meaningful recognition, as opposed to more frequent recognition.

According to the respondents, the top three factors are:

  • About something specific that I did
  • About me as an individual or about something I value
  • About the way in which I made a difference to the person who sent me the recognition


Employers miss the target on training

Training is a crucial way to introduce and reinforce recognition best practices. However, there is a disconnect between HR and employees with 90 percent of HR leaders saying they offer such training, compared to just 41 percent of employees saying they have received training.

“Business leaders in this new era of work are facing new and sustained challenges, from driving retention to adapting to hybrid ways of working and everything in-between. Recognition is proving to be the best lever to pull to influence engagement, productivity, and advocacy,” says Achievers Chief Workforce Scientist, Natalie Baumgartner.


Tips on making the most of an employee recognition platform:

Organisations with an optimised recognition platform report higher recognition rates and better business outcomes.

  1. Focus on both quality and quantity: This research demonstrates that recognition must be both frequent and meaningful. Organisations must focus on both to move the needle on engagement and retention.
  2. Recognise in the flow of work: Most employees want to recognise in the flow of work. An effective platform integrates with the HRIS, as well as the software employees use every day such as Teams and Outlook.
  3. Proactively communicate to improve participation: An effective programme includes ongoing training and communication to promote participation.
  4. Measure metrics that matter to the business: Tracking and monitoring programme usage is a helpful indicator of a recognition programme, but to demonstrate sustained impact to the business it’s necessary to capture and measure outcome metrics beyond the programme, such as engagement and retention.

“An optimised programme is critical to building a culture of recognition that starts at the top with people leaders and is supported and reinforced at every level. Recognition is a powerhouse engagement tool on many levels, and a strong culture of recognition can help retain talent by competing beyond salary and standard benefits and perks,” recommends Baumgartner.