Black and Hispanic Employees Who Receive Authentic Recognition Are 7x More Likely to Feel a Sense of Belonging at Work

Workhuman and Gallup released their latest report, “From Appreciation to Equity: How Recognition Reinforces DEI in the Workplace,” which outlines how recognition, when done authentically and frequently, can help to build more equitable and inclusive workplaces that allow employees to thrive. In the study, derived from two surveys of over 10,000 working adults, Workhuman and Gallup found that when employees believe that the recognition they receive is authentic, they are five times more likely to feel like they belong in their workplace. This pattern is even stronger for Black and Hispanic employees with both being seven times more likely to feel a sense of belonging at work. When it comes to women at work — in particular, women in management — recognition can act as a shield to feeling burned out on the job.

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“From Appreciation to Equity: How Recognition Reinforces DEI in the Workplace”

Additionally, the data reveal how authentic recognition helps employees see a path to grow at their organization and feel like the organization cares about their overall wellbeing. The relationship is strongest for Black employees, who are eight times more likely to see a path for growth at their organization when receiving authentic recognition compared to White and Hispanic employees, which are both five times more likely.

The study found that frequent recognition acts as a buffer against employee burnout. Regardless of the factors that make them unique from one another, employees who feel they get the “right” amount of recognition are 30% less likely to experience burnout than those who do not believe they are getting the right amount of recognition. Female, Black and Hispanic employees are significantly insulated from burnout when they receive the right amount of recognition. Breaking it down: Women are 63% less likely to experience burnout, Black employees are 43% less likely to experience burnout and Hispanic employees are 44% less likely to experience burnout if they strongly agree that they’re getting the right amount of recognition for the work that they do, versus those who do not strongly agree.

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The study also dug into the impact that frequent recognition has on one of a business’s major expenses — turnover. Prior Workhuman and Gallup research found that a culture of recognition can reduce turnover costs at a 10,000-person organization with an already engaged workforce by up to $16.1 million. By frequently recognizing employees for who they are and what they do, organizations can prevent them from heading for the exit. Overall, employees who strongly agree they receive the right amount of recognition for the work they do are 37% less likely to be job hunting. More specifically, women are 43% less likely to say they’re job searching when they strongly agree they receive the right amount of recognition, compared to 26% of Black and Hispanic employees, respectively.

“Recognition is foundational for creating a system of equity around advancement for employees to access opportunities within organizations,” said Camille Lloyd, Director of the Gallup Center on Black Voices. “People aren’t looking to be tokenized. They want authentic and meaningful recognition that makes them feel like they truly have an opportunity to contribute value at work while having a path to achieve their own career goals.”

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