UK leaders are getting better at effectively appreciating the efforts and results of their employees but there’s still work to be done. In fact, 49 per cent of UK workers believe that productivity and bottom lines are more important to their organisation than its people. This is according to O.C. Tanner’s 2021 Global Culture Report which surveyed over 40,000 workers globally including 1,629 from the U.K.

56 per cent of UK employees believe that their leaders are acknowledging the great work they do, which has slightly increased from 2018 figures in which just over half of UK workers (51 per cent) felt that their achievements were recognised by leaders. The quality of recognition giving has also improved with 58 per cent of employees believing that the recognition they receive is sincere, compared to 43 per cent three years’ ago.

“It’s encouraging that recognition giving is on the increase and the quality of recognition is improving”, says Robert Ordever, Managing Director of workplace culture expert, O.C. Tanner Europe.

However the research also highlights that UK organisations still need to do more in the way of appreciating their staff and celebrating their achievements. Almost half of employees (49%) believe that their organisation prioritises profits over people, and only 45 per cent of employees feel as though their organisation consistently rewards high performing employees, demonstrating the haphazard nature of many organisations’ recognition efforts.

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of leaders appreciating and recognising their people”, says Ordever. “It’s one of the pillars of a thriving culture and is key for staff wellbeing, engagement, loyalty and productivity. After all, people who feel appreciated and looked after, will always give more.”

Ordever adds, “Those organisations that still aren’t prioritising staff appreciation and recognition or are doing it inconsistently, need to wake up to the value a clearly thought through recognition strategy can deliver. Ignoring recognition is no longer an option for businesses looking to connect their people and help them to thrive.”