1/3 of UK employees feel undervalued at work: how to create a culture of appreciation

team around a table in a meeting room

As children, we’re taught to say ‘thank you’ when somebody does something for us. But this is a skill many adults within the workforce seem to have forgotten.  

A recent study has revealed that nearly 10 million UK workers — that’s one in three of us — feel undervalued at work. We think that our efforts in the workplace go unnoticed and unappreciated.  

Let’s look at how undervalued employees negatively impact an organisation and what business leaders can do to turn things around and build a culture of appreciation.

UK employees feel undervalued at work: what the research says

The Appreciate Employee Value Report, commissioned by Appreciate Business Services, reveals that one-third of UK employees feel underappreciated at work.

The study also revealed that:

  • 74% of people would look for a new job if they felt undervalued
  • 52% of people felt their output increased when they felt valued
  • 84% of people say their loyalty to a company increases in response to receiving rewards for their work
  • 75% of people believe that regularly offering gifts to staff helps a business to attract a better calibre of employee

Showing appreciation for your team improves employee acquisition, retention, and performance.

So if you feel that your business could do better when it comes to appreciation, praise, and reward, now is the time to take action.

Where should you start? Right at the beginning of the recruitment process.

How to create a culture of appreciation during recruitment and beyond

During recruitment

Showing candidates that you value their time and effort from the very beginning of their relationship with your organisation is key to establishing a culture of appreciation.

So, try to incorporate all of the following into your recruitment process.

Good communication

Put yourself in the shoes of your candidates.

They’ve spent time applying for a role with your organisation. And they’re probably excited at the prospect of working for you. They want to know what you think of their application. And they may not be able to wait around for weeks while you make a decision.

So don’t take your candidates for granted. Instead, to show you value their time and consideration:

  • Provide useful info — like salary brackets and flexible working options — in your job ads
  • Be transparent about the recruitment process
  • Update candidates on the progress of their application
  • Reply to every applicant, even unsuccessful ones
  • Offer tips on how to prepare for the interview
  • Be prompt in your communications

Personalisation

No one likes to feel like just another number. So it’s important to do your best to take a personalised approach to each candidate. Try personalising communications (as much as possible) so applicants don’t feel like they’re being sent bulk emails. Find out if they have any additional needs that you can accommodate during the interview process.

Doing a little research and taking the time to really read an application and get to know your candidates better goes a long way. Do this for the candidates you’d like to progress with, and you’ll be able to demonstrate your interest and ask much more relevant questions when it comes time to interview.

Company values

What DEI initiatives do you have in place? Do you value input from all employees? How do you show appreciation for your employees?

Tell candidates about your approach to inclusivity and appreciation. This will demonstrate to candidates that you value all employees for their input, ideas, and hard work.

Stay in touch

A candidate may not be a good fit for a role this time around. But if you want to nurture your talent pipeline, then you need to stay in touch.

Ask unsuccessful candidates if they would like to be added to your mailing list. Then provide regular, useful email content and details of any available job opportunities to demonstrate your interest in what they offer.

After recruitment

After recruitment, you can do many things to show appreciation for new hires and long-term staff members.

Hone the onboarding process

A carefully crafted, streamlined onboarding process helps new hires to feel valued from their very first day. They see that their experience as a new hire is important to you as an organisation.

As well as giving employees all of the information they need to hit the ground running, be sure to build appreciation into the onboarding experience. Offer feedback and praise for the initial tasks that you ask new starters to complete and you’ll set a really positive precedent for appreciation.

Get to know them

An appreciative employer gets to know new hires as people, not just workers. They also encourage integration, working to build connections between new and existing staff so that everyone feels like part of the team.

Again, this shows that you care about employee experience. What’s more, the better you get to know your employees, the better you understand what motivates them. This means you can tailor your praise, perks and career progression opportunities to each individual.

Offer praise

Just two little words really can make all the difference to how appreciated your team members feel.

So say ‘thank you’ regularly. And offer prompt praise — in person, with a note, or over email — whenever you see that someone has gone above and beyond.

Also, remember that praise doesn’t always have to come from on high. Encourage peer to peer recognition, providing ways for colleagues to highlight and celebrate each other’s work.

Provide perks

Saying thank you is just part of the appreciation puzzle. Perks are another way to show your employees that you value them and their work. You might like to offer yearly bonuses, one-off gifts or gift cards, an office fruit basket, or a regular catered lunch.

Perks are most effective when they’re meaningful to your staff. So find out what perks your team is interested in. 

And don’t narrow your options to the purely monetary or material. For example, some team members might relish the opportunity to sit down with a company mentor, finding ways to progress in their career. Or it may be that some employees would love to get extra time off or the option of flexible working.

Celebrate big wins — and small wins

By celebrating company milestones as a team, you get to show your appreciation for work well done. 

But don’t save the celebrations for those big wins that are few and far between. Take the time to recognise and praise the effort that goes into smaller projects and smaller wins too. This allows you to show you value your team all year round.

Ask for feedback

Are you showing enough appreciation for your employees? You’ll never know until you ask.

So quiz your workers on what they think you’re doing well as an appreciative organisation — and where you could do better.

With employee input, you can improve your culture of appreciation, finding more meaningful and effective ways to show employees how grateful you are to have them on your team.

crooton can help you find the right appreciation balance

Creating a culture of appreciation takes time. By taking small steps today, you can start to create a positive, appreciative culture in your workplace. In the process, you’ll build a happier, more productive, and more loyal workforce.

If you’d like to put appreciation at the centre of your recruitment efforts, get in touch with the experts at crooton! We can help you refine your hiring process and ensure talented candidates feel valued and excited to work for your business.