Majority of Brits feel under-thanked at work
London, 1 May 2014 – Britain may have a reputation as a polite nation, but there is one key pleasantry that appears to be lacking in its workplaces: saying “thank you”.
New research by Monster.co.uk shows that more than half of employees (58%) feel they don’t get thanked enough at work, leaving most (54 per cent) feeling under-appreciated and many (41 per cent) demotivated. And even many bosses (41%) acknowledge that there are not enough thanks in their workplace.
It also shows just how much people value being thanked. On average, employees would want to be paid an extra £134 a month – or £1,608 a year – for never being thanked at work to compensate for the lack of appreciation.
The survey of 2,000 employees and 500 employers is part of the Monster ‘Thank You’ campaign. It is inspired by the Native American proverb that ‘it takes a thousand voices to tell a single story’ – that the story of your life and career are shaped by many more people than you alone. The site provides a platform to encourage Brits to share their appreciation for those that have helped them in their career.
Regionally, the North West appears to have the highest rate of thankless workplaces, with 73 per cent stating that people simply don’t say thank you enough. Whilst in London, just under half (49 per cent) reported feeling that their office wasn’t thankful.
When asked if there was one group or industry in particular that workers would like to thank, the top three were clear: emergency services (22 per cent), mothers (21 per cent) and nurses (13 per cent).
The awareness of the importance of a simple thank you comes at a much needed time, when survey respondents find their bosses ungrateful (11 per cent), lacking manners (8 per cent) or even downright rude (3 per cent). Most tellingly, a simple verbal thank you is even considered more important than a pay rise as the most popular form of thanks when an employee has gone the extra mile, say 63 per cent of employees.
Corinne Sweet, organisational behaviour psychologist, explained: “Saying ‘thank you’ is priceless at work, as employees would rather receive appreciation than extra cash. This is because ‘thanks’ is a positive reinforcement of hard effort and productivity, in behavioural terms.”
“People feel ‘lifted’ emotionally by their bosses, and thus feel good about themselves and perform better. We even have raised endorphin levels, the feel-good biochemical in our bloodstreams, when we are thanked – which in turn helps boost our immune system to combat stress-related symptoms. This, in turn, can reduce absenteeism and boost office morale; so saying ‘thanks’ is, literally, worth its weight in gold.”
Andrew Sumner, Managing Director of Monster.co.uk in the UK and Ireland, commented: “This research shows that employers need to thank their staff more often. Saying thank you is the type of small change that can have a big impact in the workplace. Managers may be seeing the value in saying thanks, but struggling to communicate it in a clear way to their staff.”
“Monster helps people find better each day, with great jobs and career advice, but we recognise that we’re not the only ones that help. Our careers are shaped by many people – friends, family, colleagues and even people we don’t know personally – and our campaign is about thanking them.”
The Monster ‘Thank You’ campaign allows people to publicly acknowledge anyone who has helped them ‘find better’ by submitting a message, picture or video to a unique website: monsterthankyou.co.uk. The campaign can also be followed on Twitter with the hashtag #monsterthankyou.