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Over Half of SME Employees Don’t Think They Get Enough Recognition at Work


The study was looking to understand whether the employees of small and medium-sized businesses feel that their companies are recognising their merits; and the results showed that over half of the respondents gave a negative answer.

Key findings:

  • 78% of respondents find recognition a strong motivator
  • 94% consider employee recognition to be key in retaining talent
  • 82% of the companies don’t use an employee recognition software

Based on the results of this survey, recognition has proved to be a strong motivator for UK employees, with 78% admitting that they would work harder if they felt more appreciated. It has also been identified as a key to retaining talent. Despite all these benefits, the respondents didn’t feel that recognising employees for their work is one of their companies’ priority.

The three most common ways of employee recognition received by the respondents are verbal thank you (34%), treats (such as vouchers) (15%), and monetary benefits (such as bonuses) (13%). Interestingly, the same three ways of recognition have been identified as the most desired by the respondents.

When receiving recognition, the two ways more used are one-on-one with a manager (36%) and informally within teams (29%).

Despite this, 82% of the companies don’t use a specific software to track employee recognition, and the ones that do, cite other methods such as Outlook or Slack to praise colleagues or employees.

Sonia Navarrete, content analyst at Capterra comments:

“The results of this survey are a strong indicative that employee recognition is highly valued by workers – it is therefore vital for companies to be prepared to provide employees with the appropriate way of recognition.”

Navarrete continues:

“Employee recognition is key to retaining talent long term. Moreover, the results showed that employees are more interested in personal recognition such as verbal thank you or treats rather than monetary recognition.”

“In addition, the results showed that Millennials seek recognition more often in order for them to be engaged at work, with a 41% of them stating that employee recognition is a strong motivator for them. Millennials look for recognition at work more often and considering that by 2025 they will account for the majority of the workforce, companies need to invest in the right software that will allow them to keep these employees engaged.

Investing in  employee recognition software will help incentive collaboration, as well as promoting peer-to-peer recognition – increasing the satisfaction of employees as well as their engagement and motivation in the company”


Chris is a digital marketing and publishing whizz by trade, having worked alongside the Automotive, Information Security and Software Asset Management sectors.

Specialising in data analysis and social media, he combines an analytical approach with a creative flair to achieve the best results. With a keen interest in Technology and Politics, Chris is constantly on the look-out for the latest stories around change and innovation.

As a lover of all things innovative, he has developed a keen eye for spotting the latest trends and hot topics. He sources and reads the latest news and thought-leadership articles from the world of recruitment before sharing them with the social media population.


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