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Kronos Survey Reveals the Secrets to Day-to-day Happiness in the Workplace: It’s Easier (and Less Expensive) Than You Think

March 9th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

CHELMSFORD, Mass., March 4, 2015 – Providing a competitive salary, good benefits, and professional development opportunities are considered table stakes for most successful organizations today. Yet two simple words – “Thank you” – could be the difference between a happy employee and one with a foot already out the door.

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of Employee Appreciation Day on March 6, The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated commissioned an online survey of more than 850 U.S. employees, conducted in February by Harris Poll1, to explore the roots of day-to-day happiness in the workplace. The power of thank you and positive recognition score high with employees, while co-workers can play a significant role in how appreciated people feel in the workplace.

News Facts

  • Employee feelings of appreciation in line with engagement studies. The good news for organizations is that more than half of employees (53 percent) say they feel either “very appreciated” or “mostly appreciated” at work. However, those who feel less appreciated in the workplace align with well-known employee engagement statistics.
    • According to a Gallup study2, 51 percent of U.S. workers say they are “not engaged” at their current job. Compare this with the 47 percent of employees in the Kronos study who either do not feel appreciated or feel only somewhat appreciated at work.
    • In the same Gallup study, 17.5 percent of workers are “actively disengaged,” compared with 15 percent of employees who feel “not that appreciated” or “not at all appreciated.”
  • A grass-is-greener correlation with feeling underappreciated. Overall, 61 percent of employees have thought about searching for a new job in the past year, and more than a quarter of employees (26 percent) thought about looking for a new job in the past week.
    • Of the employees who thought about searching for a new job in the past year, 59 percent either do not feel appreciated or feel somewhat appreciated at their place of work compared with 11 percent who feel very appreciated.
    • Forty-four percent of employees say their company is “average” compared to other organizations when it comes to showing appreciation to employees, while 20 percent say their company is “one of the worst / worse than most.”
  • Pay raises don’t always boost appreciation. If they do, they’re quickly forgotten. While salary, promotions, and bonuses typically win out in employee motivation surveys, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of those who ever received a pay raise say it did not improve their motivation or general feelings of appreciation at work.
    • Perhaps worse, of those who had ever received a past pay raise, 40 percent said it improved their motivation or general feelings of appreciation for six months or less, while 30 percent say the raise boosted these feelings for a mere month or less; making day-to-day acts of gratitude and appreciation in the workplace that much more important.
  • The power of “Thank You” can’t be underestimated.

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