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The number of employees getting a pat on the back from their employer is on the rise, new research shows.
A study by employee recognition firm Globoforce found that 60 percent of employees are satisfied with the recognition they're receiving at work, up 22 percent from a year ago.
The research revealed the increase coincides with a surge in overall employee happiness. This year, 67 percent of employees said they felt appreciated, up from 61 percent last year, while 64 percent now love their job, an increase of more than 10 percentage points.
"U.S. employers have made incredible progress moving the needle on employee satisfaction levels in 2012," said Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce. "These levels of increasing positivity are great signs for companies as we head into 2013."
The study discovered a significant difference in the way employees who receive recognition view their job, compared with those who don't. Of workers who were applauded for their work within the last six months, 78 percent report loving their job, compared with just 49 percent who haven't been acknowledged by their employer.
In addition, 56 percent of those who have received recognition consider themselves highly engaged, compared with only 33 percent of those who don't get any credit for their work.
"Our recent survey indicates a direct correlation between the frequency of recognition and the percent of employees who feel appreciated, love their jobs, and intend to stay," Mosley said.
The research shows that just 18 percent of employees who are recognized for their hard work are searching for a new job, nearly 15 percentage points less than those who are acknowledged.
The study was based on surveys of 742 employees working at companies with at least 500 employees.