Employees ‘too busy to say thank you’ as lack of time is biggest barrier to giving recognition

Thanking employees

The two simple words “thank you” only take a couple of seconds to say, but a recent survey has found 40% of respondents only occasionally or never get the recognition they believe they deserve.

So, why isn’t more recognition given?

According to the same survey, a lack of time was the biggest barrier. 31% of respondents said they were too busy with their job to take time out to show their appreciation for their colleagues. According to recent research, employees who are now working remotely are spending more than two hours longer logged on to their computers than before the pandemic and almost half have said they are expected to do more work. This “always on” culture not only means employees are failing to appreciate each other, it could also have a serious impact on their mental health.

A further 20% of respondents to the survey said not having a dedicated tool or process was what was holding them back from giving more recognition. Employers need to make it as easy as possible to build employee recognition into the working day, providing tools and clear direction that means saying thank you is quick and easy and fits as seamlessly as possible into their working day.

With so many more people now working remotely, the opportunities to say thank you in person have vanished. Employers need to be aware of this and think about how they can replace them in a virtual world. In the survey, 18% of respondents said giving their colleagues any recognition simply wasn’t something that occurred to them. Creating a culture where employees feel comfortable and empowered to give feedback and recognition to their colleagues will be a vital part of making remote and hybrid working a success in the long term. Employees need to feel valued and appreciated for their efforts wherever they are working. If employee recognition is not made a priority, there is a danger that those who work from home can easily feel taken for granted and forgotten.

Roly Walter, Founder of Appraisd, who commissioned the research, said “Failing to articulate your appreciation for the help or support you receive from your colleagues may not seem a big thing, but it’s a lost opportunity to brighten someone’s day and give them a positive boost. We all want to feel that our efforts are appreciated and what we’re doing is worthwhile. If no one tells us we’re doing a good job it can be all too easy to lose motivation and confidence in your own abilities. Ultimately, this can lead to employees leaving to find this kind of appreciation elsewhere. Encouraging everyone to say thank you when it’s deserved creates the kind of working environment where people want to be. This is even more important in a post-Covid world where many have taken stock of their working lives and want to spend their time doing something they feel is making a difference.”