More than half of employees at businesses in the UK do not think their merits are being properly recognised.

The survey by Gartner company Capterra found that almost all (94%) employees saw employee recognition as being key to retaining talent and that most (78%) found recognition to be a strong motivator. But only about 50% felt that employee recognition was a priority in their company.

The three most common ways of recognising employers’ efforts were the simple verbal “thank you (34%)“; treats, such as vouchers (15%); and monetary benefits such as bonuses (13%).

Most companies did not use any specific software to track employee recognition and the ones that did cited the likes of Outlook and Slack as a tool with which to praise colleagues and employees.

Capterra content analyst Sonia Navarrete claimed that the results showed employees were more interested in informal personal recognition in the form of just saying thanks than in any structural reward involving finance.

She added that younger  workers sought recognition as a prime motivator at work: “Millennials seek recognition more often in order for them to be engaged at work, with a 41% of them stating that employee recognition is a strong motivator for them.

“Millennials look for recognition at work more often and considering that by 2025 they will account for the majority of the workforce, companies need to invest in the right software that will allow them to keep these employees engaged.”

Navarrete said companies that invested in employee recognition software might find that this helped incentivise collaboration, as well as promote peer-to-peer recognition –  thus increasing the satisfaction of employees as well as their engagement and motivation in the company.