A clear gender gap when it comes to workplace recognition has been revealed. And that lack of recognition is making a quarter (25%) of Brits search for new jobs.


With staff shortages and retention the biggest concerns for UK businesses, demand for workers continues to hit new records. According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the UK is experiencing the worst staff shortages since 1997, with a 200% increase in advertised vacancies1. Another study showed that almost a quarter (24%) of workers are thinking of changing jobs in the next six months.


And while furloughs, redundancies and Brexit have played a role in this, employees’ treatment and lack of recognition has also had an impact. And a new study has revealed a clear gender gap when it comes to workplace recognition for men and women.


To find out how much it has contributed to this staff crisis and how the treatment differs between male and female employees, business gifts retailer, ADLER, interviewed 2,000 UK workers about the level of recognition they receive at work and how this affects their morale.


The study revealed almost a third (28%) of UK workers receive no appreciation from the companies they work for. This is slightly higher for women (30%, vs 24% of men), highlighting the gender gap in worker recognition. Women are also less likely to receive the following compared to male colleagues:


  Women Men
Pay Rises 21% 25%
Bonuses 27% 31%
Personal Recognition 27% 29%
Public Recognition 12% 17%
Awards 17% 21%
Gifts 14% 16%
Nothing 24% 30%


The study revealed that this lack of motivation leads to a quarter (25%) of UK workers searching for new jobs, having reduced productivity, a negative perception of management and poor mental health. In almost all instances, women seem to be more impacted by the lack of recognition. This can be due partially to a more sensitive female nature, but it also illustrates the problem of undervaluing female staff.


The only reaction to a lack of recognition that defied the general rule (women being more affected and having stronger reactions) was the change of jobs. In this category, 14% of male respondents said they’d leave a role where they don’t feel appreciated, as opposed to 13% of women. While the percentages are close, it’s interesting to notice that while women generally are more affected by this issue, they are still more likely to remain in those roles.


Some of these expectations have not gone unnoticed by employers who have had to increase their financial incentives to attract staff as well as retain them. Recent findings show that nearly two thirds of UK employers (67%) have increased different roles’ salaries in order to compete for talent2. This amounted to a total cost of £2.16 billion.


There is still however a lot more work that needs to be done. With 1.3 million non-UK workers having left the country, the vacancies will continue to need filling for many months to come. Yet to achieve this, employers will need to improve their recognition tactics and create a positive work culture where people feel valued.


You can find more insights on the study here.