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Third Of All UK Employees Feel Undervalued At Work, New Research Finds

The 'Appreciate Report,' commissioned by Appreciate Business Services, Love2shop's parent company, was created to reveal the degree of workplace satisfaction in 2022.

Third Of All UK Employees Feel Undervalued At Work, New Research Finds


Eight out of every 10 undervalued employees are seeking a new job. According to new national data released recently, one-third of all employees in the UK, or nearly 10 million people, feel undervalued at work.

The ‘Appreciate Report,’ commissioned by Appreciate Business Services, Love2shop’s parent company, was created to reveal the degree of workplace satisfaction in 2022.

It demonstrates the genuine importance of employee rewards, with three-quarters of individuals (75%) believing that firms that give their employees regularly are more likely to recruit a higher caliber of employees, and 52% believing that productivity rises when they feel valued by their company. According to the survey, 41% of individuals who feel undervalued believe that regular awards from their company would increase their feeling of value, while the same amount believes that gift vouchers from their work throughout the year would make them feel more appreciated.

Nearly four-fifths (79%) of undervalued employees are searching for a new job, with the ratio rising to nine out of ten (90%) within the 18-24 age group.

According to the Appreciate Report, UK firms spontaneously gift employees an average of 1.3 times per year, despite respondents stating that this number should be increased to 2.3 times per year for employers to make employees feel valued. The research also discovered a gender disparity in workplace gift giving, with males receiving an average of 1.5 presents each year compared to women receiving 1.2. In addition, over half of those surveyed (46%) have never gotten a spontaneous present from their company, and more than a third (36%) believe their boss never or seldom appreciates their work or deeds. Surprisingly, just 12% of employees strongly feel that their bosses are generous.

In terms of a professional breakdown of workplace satisfaction, employees in publishing and journalism reported feeling the least valued, followed by those in the performing arts, the environment, and agriculture. When questioned about feeling appreciated at work, the top three occupations were property and construction, insurance and pensions, and law. Law enforcement and community members reported receiving the fewest spontaneous presents from their employers each year, at 0.3, while those in business, consulting, and management reported receiving the most, at 2.4 per year.

Workers in London and Northern Ireland feel the least valued, with an average value assessment of five out of ten, closely followed by those in the East Midlands (5.5). Employees in the South West are the most valued (6.5), followed by those in the West Midlands (6.1) and the North West (6.5). (5.9).

In addition, 92% of employees in the capital who feel undervalued are now searching for a new job, compared to 42% in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Six out of ten employees believe that days off, flexible working hours, and providing multi-retailer gift cards are the greatest methods to express thanks. If they were given a multi-retailer gift card, a startling 89% would spend it on food, drink, or apparel.  A study found that experts attribute it to the current cost of living problem with 30% indicating they would use it on their weekly buys. When asked about the importance of employee rewards, more than half of respondents (57%) say bonuses and regular rewards help employees feel valued at work, while 86% would feel valued at work if they received a surprise multi-retailer gift card or gift voucher worth £150, with only 7% saying it would not help them feel valued.

Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Appreciate, said:

“The extent to which UK workers feel undervalued and under-appreciated is alarming. 

“The fact that one-third of staff feel undervalued should be a massive wake-up call for UK business, particularly in light of the report, which found almost half (49%) of people would feel a heightened sense of loyalty to their employer if they felt valued by them”. 

“How undervalued employees are resolving this situation poses even greater concern. Our report’s data indicates that many will continue to vote with their feet by finding a business that does appreciate them”. 

“This ongoing nationally recognized trend, now known as the ‘Great Resignation’, is costing companies a huge amount of unexpected expenditure in recruitment, training, and time and that’s why it’s so important for more businesses to start making staff feel appreciated – by changing their attitude towards rewards”.