A recent survey conducted by Achievers, an industry-leading provider of employee recognition and engagement solutions, revealed that more than 1,700 respondents indicated that recognition and rewards impact their decision to stay with their current employer or look for new employment. In fact, more than half surveyed said they plan to seek new jobs in 2018, with more than one-quarter citing a lack of recognition for their efforts by their current employer driving their decision.

Achievers General Manager, Owen Sagness, said, “With unemployment at record low levels, it’s more important than ever before to retain valuable talent. These findings underscore that employees are less influenced by incentives such as free lunch. They want to work for an employer that recognizes and rewards their contributions to meaningful work.”

Conducted from December 5–15, 2017, the online survey received 1,724 responses from employees in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia. Job titles ranged from coordinator up through vice president and across vertical industries such as retail, hospitality, financial services, technology, healthcare, professional services and government. More than half (55 percent) of the respondents said their 2018 plans include switching jobs, with the main reasons being ready for a change (31 percent) and lack of recognition and engagement at their current employer (44 percent).

When asked what would motivate them to remain with their current employer, respondents cited interesting work (74 percent) and recognition and rewards (69 percent) as the top factors. Compensation was seen as a lower priority for the workers surveyed, ranking below positive corporate culture and opportunities for career advancement.

When asked about additional perks, more time off (57 percent) and the ability to work remotely (55 percent) garnered more favorable feedback in relation to increased retention. Other extras such as onsite game rooms and fitness classes, and free food and social events received more neutral rankings.

The group of survey respondents based in North America expressed firm opinions when queried about the role a positive corporate culture played in their decision to stay with or leave their current employer. Seventy-six percent cited a positive corporate culture as important or very important. When asked if they plan to look for a new job in 2018, 74 percent of the same subset of respondents said yes.

Ben Eubanks, Principal Analyst, Lighthouse Research & Advisory, commented, “A positive corporate culture motivates employees by offering career advancement combined with recognition. That blended approach helps employers fill critical roles with highly motivated staff, because nothing derails a business faster than having knowledgeable employees leave for the competition. Organizations should heed findings such as those uncovered by this Achievers survey.”