While nearly half (45 per cent) of Canadian workers say they feel recognized by their employer at least once a month, fewer than a fifth (17 per cent) say they feel meaningfully recognized, according to a new survey by Achievers Solutions Inc.

The survey, which polled more than 3,600 employees and more than 1,390 human resources leaders in Canada, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S., found U.S. workers were most likely to say they feel recognized monthly (60 per cent), followed by Australia (52 per cent) and the U.K. (49 per cent).

U.S. employees were also most likely to say they feel meaningfully recognized at work (27 per cent), while workers in Australia and the U.K. were least likely to agree with the statement (15 per cent each).

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While six in 10 (60 per cent) global HR leaders said they don’t see business results from their employer’s recognition program, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) said they plan to increase their recognition program budgets.

Three-quarters (74 per cent) of HR leaders said they use data from their recognition program to support employee performance, followed by engagement (69 per cent), learning and development (65 per cent), talent acquisition (63 per cent), skill identification and internal mobility (58 per cent), workforce planning (56 per cent), merit/bonus cycles (47 per cent), informing their employer’s diversity, equity and inclusion program (42 per cent) and identifying turnover risk (25 per cent).

“While it’s great to see recognition platforms grow in popularity, it’s truly troubling that shadow contributors have doubled,” said Caitlin Nobes, head of workforce research and content at Achievers, in a press release. “Recognition is not just about celebrating a few star players. It’s even more critical that unseen talent receives kudos for their work. What gets recognized gets repeated and organizations must start treating their recognition programs for what they are — powerful positive reinforcement strategies.”

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