Australian bosses ranked 3rd globally for employee recognition

In the global rankings of 8 countries, Australia ranks 3rd when it comes to being appreciated by their staff, only 2nd to the Netherlands. Read more here.

  • Australian bosses are ranked amongst the most appreciative of their staff, only second to the Netherlands and the USA.
  • The Australian employees who feel most appreciated by their boss are on average male, aged 18-34, working in the marketing/creative sector in New South Wales and Queensland.

With Administrative Professionals Day approaching on May 3, companies are provided with an extra opportunity to show their appreciation to their employees. In this light, research among more than 23,000 office workers around the world by specialised global recruiter Robert Half has found Australian bosses are ranked amongst the most appreciative of their staff. The findings are based on a global ranking of eight countries published in the report,  It’s Time We All Work Happy®. The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees. 

In the global rankings of eight countries, Australia ranks third (55%) when it comes to being appreciated by their staff, only second to the Netherlands (58%) and the USA (59%). The UK (50%) and Belgium (46%) are the countries where employees feel least appreciated.   

Employee appreciation by country

Country   Appreciation level
1.    USA 59%
2.    The Netherlands 58%
3.    Australia 55%
4.    Canada 54%
5.    France 54%
6.    Germany 53%
7.    UK 50%
8.    Belgium 46%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half based of more than 23,000 office workers globally.

Who is Australia’s most appreciated employee?  

Appreciated levels fluctuate with age. According to the research, the Australian workers who feel most appreciated by their boss are those aged 18-34 (61%), followed by professionals aged 55+ (56%) and those aged between 35-54 (49%). 

Gender also seems to slightly impact perceptions around appreciation, as Australian women are somewhat less likely to feel appreciated in the workplace than men, with 53% of Australian women feeling appreciated compared to 56% of their male colleagues.

Industry can also play a role, with people working in marketing/creative (74%), legal (66%) and technology/IT (63%) feeling the most appreciated, compared to those working in healthcare (48%), finance/financial services (44%) and manufacturing (43%) feeling the least appreciated. 

Across Australia, there are minimal differences between the states, apart from Western Australia. Those working in New South Wales, Queensland (56% respectively) and Victoria (55%) feel the most appreciated followed by Western Australia (50%). 

Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia said: “Employee recognition is more than a trendy buzzword. It can have a significant impact on any organisation. Employees who feel appreciated are generally more productive, more motivated, more engaged and more likely to stay with the company long term.”

“In any organisation, how bosses thank and recognise their staff for their performance is essential. Regularly praising staff for a job well-done can do wonders in terms of employee morale and retention, but just handing out compliments may not be the way to go. Even small gestures, such as a handwritten thank-you card or a company-wide recognition email can make a difference in how an employee feels about your company’s recognition efforts.”

“In competitive markets characterised by skills shortages in many industries, talented employees often have ample occasion to find new and potentially better opportunities. Giving them due recognition and making them feel appreciated can sometime make the difference between them sticking with you or joining forces with your competition.”

Here are some simple ways managers can make an impact with employee appreciation:
•    Award them – Develop and nominate staff for recurrent recognition accolades, such as “employee of the month.” 
•    Encourage professional development – Reimburse employees for participation in industry associations and conferences. Also consider giving them subscriptions to work-related publications.
•    Give a little – Rewards such as a gift card or a sporting event ticket go a long way and cost relatively little.
•    Look into monetary rewards – Few things have a bigger impact than extra pay. So provide performance-based bonuses, raises and other financial rewards if budgets allow for it.
•    Give the gift of time – Offer time off or extra vacation days for a job well done.


About the research
This study was developed by Robert Half and Happiness Works and conducted by an independent research firm. The research is based on survey results of more than 23,000 working professionals who are currently employed on a full or part-time basis across eight countries with the results segmented by geographic location. 


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]