More than a third of workers are thanked by their employers less than twice a year, a survey by performance improvement consultants Maritz showed.
Independent research commissioned by Maritz revealed recognition in the form of a thank you has a very positive effect on employee morale, productivity and retention.
But shows of gratitude to employees are few and far between, and the survey found 19% of staff never received a thank you from their bosses, a 3% increase on the past year.
However, at the other end of the scale, the same number of people are thanked several times a week, indicating a great discrepancy in the way companies treat their people.
When asked how being thanked affected their morale at work, almost all (95%) employees said it had a very or quite positive effect.
Nearly nine out of 10 rated the effect on their productivity as very or quite positive.
With the average cost of recruiting an employee estimated to be £8,200 Graham Burt, incentives specialist at Maritz, said the value of a simple thank you could not be underestimated.
The Maritz research revealed 86% of those surveyed said a thank you had a positive on their desire to remain with their company.
Burt said: “A culture of saying thank you in an organisation can go a long way towards creating a happy and productive work force.
“Backing this up with a well-designed and thought-out recognition programme really shows all employees, regardless of age or sex, that their employer genuinely values their hard work and contribution to the business.”