It’s Employee Appreciation Day – so how well are you doing?

Today is Employee Appreciation Day. So how are employers stacking up when it comes to whether staff feel they're appreciated? We take a look at the research timed to coincide with today:

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Mar 1, 2024

That popular HR trope – ‘people are our greatest asset’ – gets shouted about a lot.

And it kind of makes sense that it does, because at a time where technology is so homogenous now, it’s the insight and thoughts of real ‘humans’ that differentiate businesses.

But here’s the bad news.

Today ‘should’ be when this sentiment is celebrated the most – given that it is officially ‘Employee Appreciation Day’.

And yet, there is a palpable ‘appreciation gap’ between what employers ‘say’ and what they do.

To mark this Employee Appreciation Day, TLNT decided to conduct a bit of a round-up of research produced to coincide with today, to get the low-down on how employees really feel they’re appreciated.

So how do employers fare? Let’s have a look…

Learning management system provider, TalentLMS, surveyed employees at US-based companies on appreciation practices and their favorite ways of receiving recognition (for the full research, click here).

Here’s what it found:

1) Appreciation – is it a location thing?

NO (but with a small caveat)

It found appreciation doesn’t appear to be dramaticallty impacted by location (ie whether people get more of it if in the office vs those who work remotely). It found 45% of employees feel acknowledged, whether they work remotely or on-site. That said, a significant minority (16%), still feel they receive less recognition when working off-site.

2) Appreciation – is it an age thing?


Younger employees report feeling less valued than their older colleagues. Some 70% of employees over the age of 54 report feeling appreciated at work. This contrasts starkly with younger employees., where just 49% of workers 24 years and younger feel recognized. But the figure drops further still: 30% of Gen Z workers don’t feel appreciated at work.

3) Appreciation – Does it need to be a regular thing?


The research revealed that overall, workers do feel appreciated at work – with 62% saying so. Less than one-quarter of employees (23%), said they felt they were underappreciated at work. However, 28% of workers said they rarely or never receive praise for their work from managers. And 33% are recognized only sometimes. Overall, it found a combined 61% of the workforce don’t get regular appreciation from their supervisors.

4) Appreciation – is it a money thing now?


Much as we’d all love the power of a verbal ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ to go a long way now, it seems the sort of appreciation employees want nowadays is of the more substantial type – cash, time off, and gifts. Across all age groups, the research found cash bonuses were workers’ top pick, but amongst younger workers, it’s paid time off that they think shows employers appreciate them.

Appreciation – does it need to come from a ‘real’ human?


A surprising finding is that while we might expect appreciation to be sought from a real human being – someone that has genuinely been impressed by someone’s work – employees are more than happy to let AI do the appreciation for managers. A staggering 36% of employees said they find it gratifying to receive appreciation and recognition from AI for their work contributions. Moreover, 41% think AI-driven programs could actually enhance their company’s approach to employee recognition.


Preply Business, the an online language learning marketplace also recently conducted its own research on appreciation.

It found:

1) Frequency matters:

Broadly, it found only 13% of employees said they receive recognition frequently, and 39% of employees feel they don’t receive recognition frequently enough. Only 2% of people said they were shown appreciation on a daily basis, and only 11% said they saw it on a weekly basis. By far the most common frequency was quarterly.

2) Expectations around appreciation aren’t being met:

While managers might save showing appreciation for people ‘exceeding’ their goals, employees expect appreciation for simply meeting their goals. Some 94% of employees questioned said they expect recognition for achieving their work ambitions.

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