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Employee appreciation – the value of valuing people


Prof. Dr. Sabine Einwiller

Prof. Sabine Einwiller


About the research project

Title: Employee Appreciation – The value of valuing people

Team: Dr. Christopher Ruppel, Julia Stranzl, Prof. Dr. Sabine Einwiller, Dr. Jens Hagelstein and Dr. Ingrid Wahl (University of Vienna)

Project period: 2022 – 2024

In recent years, organizations have faced unprecedented challenges: a global health crisis paired with the remote working revolution, high turnover and a shortage of skilled labor. Employees perceive their working conditions and these rapid developments as increasingly demanding and stressful. To meet these challenges, it is crucial for leaders to actively engage with their teams, showing genuine care and appreciation.

Many employees complain about insufficient appreciation in their jobs, while this is one of the most important factors for job satisfaction and higher employee engagement. Fostering trust and a feeling of belonging, irrespective of physical location, can make organizations better able to retain their talent and thrive in today’s competitive labor market.

But how can companies best convey appreciation in everyday work? In addition to managers, internal communication also plays a key role in giving employees the feeling that their work performance is an important part of the company.

The study “Employee appreciation – the value of valuing people” by the University of Vienna provides insights into:

  • what kind of appreciation employees expect and the various forms that appreciation can take
  • the effects of appreciation on employees and the company as a whole and
  • the role of managers and internal communication professionals in expressing appreciation.


  1. Previous research findings were collected and systematically processed using literature analysis.
  2. Focus groups were carried out with employees (without management responsibility) from private-sector companies in Austria with at least 250 employees. The researchers discussed what employees expect in terms of appreciation from their employer.
  3. A quantitative online survey of 486 German employees has collected data on how appreciation affects work attitude, loyalty, and employee engagement. It also investigated the importance of an inclusive work environment.