To thank a woman on your team for her hard work, consider this simple gesture

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How would you like to be recognized for a job well-done? Is a “thank you” enough? What if you hit a major goal – would you expect more? And is money the best way to say “thanks,” or do you think longer-term, like a promotion? Deloitte’s Business Chemistry Team surveyed 16,000 people about recognition in the workplace.

When it came down to how people preferred to be recognized for day-to-day accomplishments

  • Verbal “thank you”: 54%
  • Written “thank you”: 31%

(Women preferred a written thank-you at 36% to men’s 28%)

  • Celebration: 7%
  • Gift: 7%

That’s 85% of employees who expect a simple “thanks” and possibly a pat on the back for a job well done on their everyday, routine tasks.


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For major accomplishments, however, employees had higher expectations for recognition

  • New growth opportunity (like a promotion): 47%
  • Salary increase: 23%
  • High-performance rating: 21%
  • Bonus: 10%

Interestingly, a new growth opportunity was by far the most popular and preferred form of recognition for a major accomplishment – with monetary rewards like salary increase and bonus far down in the rankings. It looks like employees are thinking strategically.

When employees were asked what they would want to be most recognized for, success was king:

  • Success: 40% (46% men, 34% women)
  • Knowledge or expertise: 24%
  • Effort: 20%
  • Living core values: 16%

And when it came down to who employees preferred to be recognized by, the results were split into thirds: leadership above direct supervisor (37%), direct supervisor (32%), and colleagues (31%).

Now that you’ve been recognized and maybe even rewarded at work, how do you prefer your company to share the good news? Celebrations and balloons?

Actually, most people take their recognition with a dose of modesty. Nearly half (49%) prefer the “public, but narrow” approach – recognition shared with just a few people or delivered privately. Another 34% prefer that their recognition be delivered privately – to be shared only with them. And an extroverted 18% would wish their accomplishments be blown up on social media – they’d like the sharing to be “public and broad,” and shared with as many as possible.

Good job on the job well done.