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May 24, 2023

Study: Recognition and Wellbeing

One of the Ubuntuworks Project’s main principles is wellness, or the holistic integration of mind, body, and spirit, all of which are influenced by our surroundings. Wellness is also vital for healthy families, communities, and workplaces. Research findings indicate that when employees receive regular recognition for their work, it positively influences their wellbeing and they tend to feel valued, motivated, and satisfied in their jobs. Creating a culture of recognition in the workplace can have a significant impact on employee wellness and contribute to a healthier work environment.

The Ubuntuworks Resource Hub provides organizations and individuals interested in a more connected and compassionate world with data, stories, studies, and support for the importance of Ubuntu-based principles in our world.

Excerpt from “From ‘Thank You’ to Thriving: A Deeper Look at How Recognition Amplifies Wellbeing” by Gallup and Workhuman


Four in 10 U.S. employees say their job is negatively impacting their mental health. On top of that, fewer than one in four employees say their organization cares about their wellbeing. These numbers suggest organizations need to start getting serious about addressing employee wellbeing. Gallup and Workhumans’ latest research shows recognition done poorly can even undermine the benefits of great workplace wellbeing efforts.

EXCERPT: Employee recognition is more than a nice-to-have — it’s essential. When done right, it touches every critical element of employees’ personal and professional lives and unlocks a powerful tool for leaders to revitalize wellbeing.

Let’s be blunt: Employees are struggling with stress, burnout and loneliness like never before. It’s no surprise that four in 10 U.S. employees say their job is negatively impacting their mental health (1). You read that right: Forty percent of Americans who showed up — or signed on — to work today are struggling more in life because of it.

So, what are organizations doing about it? Not enough, apparently. Fewer than one in four employees say their organization cares about their wellbeing (2)— nearly half the number who said the same before the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the workplace. These data suggest the workforce is headed toward a tragic wellbeing crisis if things don’t change.

It’s time for business leaders and managers to consider — and implement — the innovative and research-backed solutions we know will help. This isn’t a cliché call-to-action; it’s a reminder of the woefully untapped tool that every person reading this sentence has at their disposal: recognition.

Download the study PDF:

Original citations:

  1. Witters, D., & Agrawal, S. (2022 November). The Economic Cost of Poor Employee Mental Health. Gallup.com. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/404174/
  2. Harter, J. (2022 March). Percent Who Feel Employer Cares About Their Wellbeing Plummets. Gallup.com. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/390776/

For the full study, go to: https://www.gallup.com/analytics/472658/workplacerecognitionresearch.aspxutm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=new_workplace_non_branded_employee_engagement&utm_term=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-57Mg9qv_gIVRhitBh3AJgZvEAAYASABEgIRh_D_BwE

Photo: Pablo Heimplatz

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