Research of 2,009 UK employees by the One4all Rewards Spotlight Awards, which recognises and rewards workers’ contributions, found as many as 41% believe this to be true most or some of the time.
The data suggests that to get noticed, many workers feel that they have to work outside of their normal hours of employment, with 21% saying that this is how they get their bosses to notice their efforts.
Working extra hours was second only to exceeding targets (27.53%) as the reason for receiving praise. Delivering high quality work (21.11%), good teamwork (19.86%) and maintaining a positive attitude fell into third, fourth and fifth place.
Employees taking on extra training or learning new skills are being overwhelmingly under-valued by UK employers, with workers believing their employers recognise this the least (just 5.62% of employers).
Almost 1 in 3 (30%) felt that their boss didn’t recognise or reward any of these examples of good work.
17% claimed that it was mainly senior workers in their company (e.g. managers and department heads) who received recognition for their efforts.
Workers in the financial services industry are the most likely to feel their efforts go unnoticed, with 70% believing this is the case, closely followed by those in the manufacturing (51%), healthcare (50%), local or national Government (49%) and education (43%) sectors.
While employees in companies with less than 50 staff were the least likely to feel their boss didn’t recognise their contributions (24%), those in businesses in the next stage of growth – with 50-99 employees – were the most likely to feel this was the case (61.29%).
Declan Byrne, managing director at the One4all Rewards said: “When you consider how few workers are being positively recognised or rewarded for demonstrating exemplary skills and efforts at work, it’s really surprising that the British workforce is as productive as it is.
“Bosses need to do more to reward qualities like these, to encourage more widespread uptake of them in the workplace – this needn’t be expensive or complicated, a simple meeting with the worker in question to express how their hard work has been noticed and has impressed, or an employee of the month scheme where one prize is awarded per month, will be enough to reinforce these positive efforts.
“Better yet, in companies that can afford it, our data has shown tailor-made bonuses and rewards, which are based on individuals’ efforts, have the biggest impact on workers’ productivity and effort levels.”