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Canadian workers lack praise from the boss

Feel like you aren’t getting enough praise from the boss for all of your hard work? Turns out the boss may disagree, especially those in Canada.

A new survey shows a huge gap in Canada between bosses who think they’re properly thanking their employees, and staff who say they’re receiving it.

Research commissioned by staffing services firm Accountemps shows 85 per cent of Canadian bosses feel they do an “adequate job” of thanking employees when they do good work on an assignment or project, while only 59 per cent of staff believe they get thanked enough.

Workers in Quebec feel most appreciated, the survey shows, with 70 per cent reporting enough praise from their manager. That compares with 63 per cent in B.C. and 55 per cent in Alberta. Workers in the Ontario felt the most under appreciated, with just 54 per cent saying the boss said thanks often enough.

"Everyone wants to feel like their on-the-job contributions are recognized and valued," said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. "Although compensation is important, professionals also want to know that their work makes a difference."

The survey is based on telephone interviews with about 260 chief financial officers across Canada, and online interviews with more than 280 office employees.

The picture is much different in the U.S. Maybe it’s the tough job market south of the border, or that Canadians are more sensitive, but in the U.S. only 65 per cent of managers said they offered up enough praise, while 76 per cent of workers felt appreciated.

Not surprisingly, managers at smaller companies who are closer to their staff were more likely to receive praise, compared to the fewer thanks handed out at larger firms.

U.S. cities reported to have the “most thankful” chief financial officers include Salt Lake, Utah, in first place, followed by Washington, D.C, and New York, of all places. (So much for the reputation of New Yorkers being rude).

Accountemps used the poll results to offer 6 tips for managers on how to properly thank staff:

Give timely praise
When employees go above and beyond the call of duty, don't wait to acknowledge it. The sooner you recognize the achievement, the greater the impact your action will have.

Make it count
Cash isn't the only reward that carries weight. Vacation days, movie tickets and even handwritten cards can mean just as much. Ask employees what type of acknowledgement they find most satisfying to ensure your recognition program remains relevant to them.

Scale recognition to fit the achievement
A heartfelt "thank you" may be enough for smaller accomplishments, but truly outstanding performance should be acknowledged more ceremoniously.

Take note of accomplishments
Track employee achievements so you can highlight them during feedback sessions and performance reviews.

Foster a culture of recognition
Praise from colleagues is often as meaningful as a nod from a manager. So be sure to support a corporate culture that encourages members of your team to commend each other openly for a job well done.

Ask for their opinion
Consider surveying employees if your company does not currently do so. Getting feedback in this way can help to ensure employers and their staff is in sync on recognition efforts and also could open the door for a better organizational communication.