Appreciation from managers critical in employee retention, survey shows

Break out the gift cards and “nice job” emails.

Demonstrations of appreciation by managers are a significant factor in keeping employees from wanting to leave their jobs, according to a new survey.

Forty-nine percent of office workers would be somewhat or very likely to leave their current position if they didn’t feel appreciated by their manager, according to OfficeTeam, an administrative staffing service, which interviewed about 430 office workers for the survey.

Workers between the ages of 18 and 34 were most sensitive to management appreciation; 65% of respondents in that age group said they would be somewhat or very likely to leave if they didn’t feel appreciated.

Fortunately for managers, the survey shows that many of them appear to understand the importance of demonstrating their appreciation to employees. Just 16% of workers surveyed found recognition lacking in their current position.

Tangible compensation was the most popular reward cited by workers, as 38% of all respondents said they prefer financial rewards or gift cards. Twenty-one percent said they like to be rewarded with opportunities to learn and grow, and 19% said they prefer verbal or written praise.

And one in five said they don’t need acknowledgement for doing a good job.

Ken Tysiac ( is a CGMA Magazine senior editor.