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Could lack of recognition be the reason Aussie workers are sick of their jobs?

By Kace O'Neill | |5 minute read

Not only is it key to employee morale, but recognition also has ripple effects on employee productivity, retention and more. So why is it scarce in so many companies?

Appreciation, respect, and recognition are principles that should be embedded in every workplace across Australia, but in our current working climate, they are few and far between.

Reward Gateway recently launched its workplace engagement index, which found 61 per cent of Australians do not frequently feel recognised within their workplace, while 65 per cent of Australians would not describe their managers as appreciative towards them or the work they do.


More than six in 10 employees do not frequently feel the recognition they deserve; the outcome is that 35 per cent of workers are re-evaluating their employment and blame the lack of recognition as one of the reasons they are exploring other job opportunities.

On the other side, 79 per cent of HR managers believe that they are fulfilling their duties of making employees feel recognised and appreciated, thus highlighting the clear disconnect between the two. A reason for this could be the lack of funding that rewards and recognition programs receive, with just under half (49 per cent) stating that they are indeed underfunded.

Kylie Green, managing director of the Asia-Pacific region for Reward Gateway, commented on the index: “We know that engaged and productive employees are the lifeblood of every successful organisation and that recognition and rewards are crucial to keeping productivity high.”

“If employers do not make significant efforts to bridge the clear disconnect gap in priorities, they run the risk of further disengagement and, ultimately, employees leaving.”

Good managers give their employees positive feedback and clear recognition on a consistent basis. Eighty-three per cent of employees feel more motivated and productive at work when they have a manager who cares. However, managers themselves have stated that they feel undertrained and under-resourced to consistently provide this for their employees, with 27 per cent acknowledging this.

With growing financial pressures and considerations becoming insurmountable for Australian workers in a cost-of-living crisis, the fact that 55 per cent feel their financial wellbeing hasn’t improved over the previous two years is alarming.

To assist in alleviating these pressures, employers can focus on restructuring their systems to ensure that their workers feel recognition, appreciation, and respect. This is so they can start enjoying their work rather than it adding to the already high number of potential concerns that are negatively affecting their wellbeing, such as the cost-of-living crisis.



When an organisation or its members can uphold their commitment to a cause or institution in the face of adversity, this is referred to as their morale. It is frequently used as a general evaluation of a group's resolve, submission, and self-control when they are charged with carrying out a superior's instructions.

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill is a Graduate Journalist for HR Leader. Kace studied Media Communications and Maori studies at the University of Otago, he has a passion for sports and storytelling.