Thanks, But No Thanks

Survey Reveals Strangest Forms of Workplace Recognition; Majority of Employees Would Leave Their Jobs if They Didn’t Feel Appreciated

Toronto, ON -- How important is recognizing your employees? Two-thirds (66 per cent) of workers surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they’d likely leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated. That’s up from 51 per cent who responded that way in 2012. In contrast, just over half (54 per cent) of senior managers interviewed believe it’s common for staff to quit due to lack of recognition.

OfficeTeam is releasing the findings in advance of Administrative Professionals Week (April 23-29, 2017) as a reminder of the importance of acknowledging the hard work of office staff in support roles.

When it comes to giving thanks to colleagues, is it really the thought that counts? Employees polled were asked to recount the strangest form of recognition they’ve received at work. Here are some of their responses:

  • “A loaf of bread”
  • “A CD of music written and performed by a coworker”
  • “A custom statuette of me”
  • “Edible flowers”
  • “A large carving of a polar bear”
  • “An expired gift certificate”
  • “A golden key to an executive bathroom which didn’t exist”
  • “Socks”
  • “A misspelled plaque”
  • “A plush toy”
  • “Fresh meat from hunting”
  • “A foam tombstone”
  • “A jacket that was too short with arms that were too long”
  • “Grocery coupons”
  • “A $0.03 raise”

Workers were also asked to describe the best form of appreciation a boss or colleague had given them. Their responses included:

  • “A handwritten thank-you card from the chief operating officer”
  • “A new car”
  • “Being named employee of the year”
  • “An all-expenses-paid trip to Jamaica”
  • “A donation to a nonprofit organization in my name”
  • “A message was sent to all employees acknowledging my work”
  • “Baseball playoff tickets behind home plate”
  • “A day off”
  • “A fancy watch”
  • “Being flown to corporate headquarters and receiving a plaque”
  • “An awards show-style event”
  • “A large bonus”
  • “Lunch at a private club”
  • “A key stakeholder sent a complimentary email to my supervisor”
  • “A surprise party after completing a task”

“Professionals in various levels and positions want to be acknowledged for how their work contributes to the success of the business,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Companies don’t need to spend a lot to show gratitude. Regularly saying thanks and giving small tokens of appreciation can go a long way in establishing an environment where employees feel valued and engaged.”

For ideas on showing appreciation to staff during Administrative Professionals Week and year-round, download 20 Easy Recognition Tips to Help Employees Work Happy at

About the Research

The surveys of workers and senior managers were developed by OfficeTeam. They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from more than 750 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments, and 600 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees, in Canada and the United States.

About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter and the OfficeTeam Take Note® blog at for career and management advice.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]