Recognition matters to employees. Learn how to retain employees by using data related to employee rewards and recognition.

Thousands of US employers ranked employee retention as their No. 1 operational and HR priorities in 2023.1 But retaining employees doesn't happen without a conscious effort. Many factors count, from career growth opportunities to compensation — and recognition for contributions. While rewards and recognition may not be leading indicators for keeping talent from leaving, data shows these acknowledgments matter. A quick look at how other employers approach this important aspect of the employee experience can provide insight into potential improvements.

Why does employee recognition matter?

Recognition is a top-5 retention driver.

Recognition for contributions ranked as one of the top 5 retention drivers for 2023.2

70% of companies have or are considering recognition programs.

Have either implemented structured employee recognition programs or are considering them.3

4 ways organizations are recognizing employee performance

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of employers recognize superior performance.1 Many also rely on guidance from supporting polices to make effective decisions.3

19% of companies give monetary awards; 18% offer training and development; 17% have a formal review process; 17% have recognition and team building

Make it meaningful

How rewards and recognition are delivered affect how they're received. About a quarter to a third find that employees show an especially positive response to five methods.3

34% of companies give awards; 31% give verbal praise; 29% give written praise; 26% recognize work anniversaries; 22% give public recognition

Get leadership involved

Most organizations provide best-practice training to help leaders recognize employee contributions in ways that matter the most. Consistency promotes inclusive and equitable approaches.


1"2023 Workforce Trends Report Series: Career Wellbeing," Gallagher, Aug 2023.

2"Employee Experience and Engagement Trends," Gallagher, Apr 2023.

3"Organizational Wellbeing Poll: Company Culture and Trust, and Employee Awards and Recognition," Gallagher, May 2023.

4"Organizational Wellbeing Poll: Social Connectedness, Performance and Health," Gallagher. Unpublished internal data.


Consulting and insurance brokerage services to be provided by Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. and/or its affiliate Gallagher Benefit Services(Canada) Group Inc. Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. is a licensed insurance agency that does business in California as "Gallagher Benefit Services of California Insurance Services" and in Massachusetts as "Gallagher Benefit Insurance Services." Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., nor its affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice.