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Why a verbal thank you goes a long way

By Moses Omusolo | October 25th 2019

A majority of workers prefer to be appreciated verbally than through any other means, a new study has shown.

The recent Deloitte study on “The Practical Magic of Thank You” found that most modern employees prefer to be recognised frequently for their day-to-day contributions.

Of these, 54 per cent said they preferred verbal appreciation, written thank you (31 per cent) while celebration and gift tied was at (seven per cent).

The study also found that most professionals (85 per cent) want to hear “thank you” in day-to-day interactions.

“Today’s employees want a relationship with their employer that is personalised, flexible and customised, and they want to feel appreciated and valued for what they do,” said the report.

Deloitte also found that for most millennials and other generations of employees “cash is not king” when it comes to better ways of appreciating their efforts.

“Across organisational levels, generations, genders and business chemistry types, the most valued type of recognition is a new growth opportunity —particularly for millennials, pioneers, and drivers.”

The study said people differ in “how” they want to be recognised, “for what” and “by whom.”

“Three-quarters of people are satisfied with a “thank you” for their everyday efforts. However, 36 per cent of women would prefer you make the extra effort and put that in writing,” said the report

But for employees who like taking risks or “pioneers”, Deloitte found that 59 per cent prefer their accomplishments to be recognised with a new growth opportunity.

Big wins

However, most “integrators” — employees who value relationships — want recognition for the effort they put in, not just the big wins.

Further, 37 per cent of “guardians” — workers who value the status quo — prefer that the recognition be delivered privately rather than shared with others.

At the same time, most “drivers” — workers who value new challenges — are also different from the rest, as they prefer recognition from the leadership level above their direct supervisor.

The drivers share the opinion of many other professionals who mostly prefer recognition that is shared with a few people or delivered privately rather than widely shared.

Conducted between January of 2017 and December of last year, the  study involved some 16,066 professionals who completed the Deloitte Business Chemistry assessment online about their recognition preferences.

The firm said participants worked at varying organisational levels, representing more than 4,000 organisations in 101 different countries across a variety of industries.

Among other important insights, the study found that recognition at work is associated with increased levels of engagement and improved productivity.

Moreover, the tax advisory firm found that when any person recognises someone for their unique contributions to the team or organisation — especially in ways they prefer —it validates them, demonstrates that they belong, and helps them connect with that sense of meaning.

“At the same time, you can positively impact your work environment, while making the world a better place,” said the report.

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