Monster.co.uk has today revealed that more than half of employees (58 per cent) don’t get thanked enough at work, leaving most (54 per cent) feeling underappreciated and many (41 per cent) demotivated.
This is despite many bosses (41 per cent) acknowledging that there are not enough thanks in their workplace and that most (75 per cent) recognise that failing to say thank you has a negative impact on employee motivation.
The survey of 2,000 consumers and 500 employers uncovered a clear disconnect between what bosses believe they are doing and how employees perceive it, as most managers are aware that ‘thank you’ is an important phrase and are thankful for their staff (89 per cent).
It also shows just how much people value being thanked. On average, employees would want to be paid an extra £134 a month – or £1,608 a year – for never being thanked at work to compensate for the lack of appreciation.
Employees say they are most thankful for their colleagues and working relationships (34 per cent), followed closely by a good work/life balance (25 per cent). Salary came in a distant third (18 per cent). Respondents also reported being motived or inspired by a thank you (55 per cent) though 7 per cent did admit that being thanked publicly can make them feel a bit embarrassed.
Corinne Sweet, organisational behaviour psychologist, says: “Saying thank you is priceless at work. A genuine display of appreciation is a powerful tool and one that bosses should use more often. We can see from this research that by doing so they would encourage a happier and more motivated staff.
“As Brits we can sometimes feel embarrassed about saying ‘well done’, or giving ‘positive feedback’, so it’s not surprising that 58 per cent of employees say people don’t say thank you enough at work. This is a clear call for bosses to be more engaged with their employees and let them know when they’ve done a good job.”
Despite its clear value, many bosses reported being in situations where it wasn’t possible to express their thanks. For some it was because they didn’t realise the significance until after the event (13 per cent), for others it was a fear of awkwardness (12 per cent) or the worry that it may embarrass the person (12 per cent).
Almost all employers (93 per cent) agreed that manners are a vital part of the working environment they try to create. However, this awareness doesn’t seem to translate to the wider workforce with just a quarter (25 per cent) of employees describing their boss as grateful for the work they do. More than a fifth (22 per cent) thought their boss ungrateful, rude, or lacking in manners.
Andrew Sumner, Managing Director of Monster.co.uk in the UK and Ireland, says: “There’s a definite disconnect here. Managers can see the value in saying thanks but may be struggling to communicate it in a clear way to their employees.
“Employers need to notice when their staff do a good job and then ensure they thank them effectively. It’s the type of small change that can have a big impact on the business.”
The North West appears to have the highest rate of thankless workplaces with 73 per cent in the region saying people don’t say thank you enough. While in London, less than half (49 per cent) reported feeling that their office wasn’t thankful enough.
The research was carried out as part of Monster.co.uk’s Thank You campaign which aims to help Briton’s thank to those people who have helped them in their career.