New Workhuman-Gallup Wellbeing Study Shows Employees with High Wellbeing Are More Likely to Be Told They Are Top Performers

Research also reveals that wellbeing, coupled with strategic recognition, takes performance to a whole new level

WASHINGTON & FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Workhuman® and Gallup released their latest report, From “Thank You” to Thriving: A Deeper Look at How Recognition Amplifies Wellbeing, which shows that employee recognition is a critical element of employees’ personal and professional lives and a powerful tool for leaders to revitalize wellbeing. In a large-scale analysis across hundreds of organizations and thousands of teams, Workhuman and Gallup found employees with high wellbeing are more likely to be told they are top performers, feel like their pay is fair, and are less likely to be actively looking for job opportunities. In contrast, those with low wellbeing admit they are less likely to be considered a top performer, less likely to feel their paychecks are fair, and are more likely to be actively searching for another job.

Further analysis of the data reveal how a combination of various levels of wellbeing and strategic recognition can predict employee experiences across all three areas. In fact, the results show great strategic recognition experiences can buffer the toll low wellbeing takes on employees’ performance, perceived fairness of pay and job-searching tendencies. In short, when people are struggling or suffering in their lives, recognition matters even more.

When looking at performance in the United States, employees who have suffering wellbeing are 12 percentage points less likely to be told they’re a top performer, compared to the average employee (42% vs.54%). Despite this, when suffering employees have great strategic recognition experiences, Workhuman and Gallup found they are told they’re a top performer at a rate of 70%. In contrast, employees who are doing well in their lives overall, but have poor recognition experiences, are much less likely to be a top performer than their peers with better recognition experiences. Only 44% of thriving employees with poor recognition experiences have been told they’re a top performer, compared with 74% of thriving employees overall when recognition is not considered.

The Workhuman-Gallup study found only 31% of U.S. employees strongly agree their paycheck is fair. However, workers with high wellbeing feel they’re paid fairly at a significantly higher rate (60%) than those who are struggling or suffering (30%, and 18%, respectively). Employees are more likely to perceive their pay as fair if they experience great strategic recognition no matter their level of wellbeing. The study found the rate of employees who strongly agree their paycheck is fair remains at least 63% for those with great strategic recognition experiences, across all wellbeing levels. Emphasizing the need for recognition, the study found that only 6% of employees who are thriving in their lives overall, but have poor recognition experiences, feel they’re paid fairly.

Turnover is incredibly expensive and prior Workhuman and Gallup research found a culture of recognition can reduce turnover costs at a 10,000-person organization with an already engaged workforce by up to $16.1 million dollars. In this recent study, 50% of employees were actively looking for job opportunities. In addition, 75% of employees with poor wellbeing and recognition experiences were perusing the job market. Despite this, the study discovered how strategic recognition can help curb attrition. When employees have suffering wellbeing, but are experiencing great strategic recognition, only 40% of them are actively looking or watching for job opportunities.

“This analysis clearly demonstrates the connection among strategic recognition, performance and employees’ wellbeing,” said Ed O’Boyle, Gallup global practice leader. “Whether an employee is thriving, struggling or suffering in their wellbeing, recognition improves perceptions of their performance and insulates top performers from leaving.”

To read the full report and learn the four key strategies organizations can use to increase both recognition and wellbeing:

For information on Workhuman, visit

About Workhuman

Workhuman® is helping companies meet today’s biggest human capital challenges — including unprecedented turnover, employee engagement, hybrid work environments and DEI — through the Workhuman Cloud®, a secure SaaS platform that provides the industry’s best-in-class Social Recognition® solution. As the leading global provider of technology solutions, analytics, expertise and services helping organizations of all sizes build and foster workplace cultures powered by employee recognition and crowdsourced feedback, Workhuman is revolutionizing the way employees celebrate, connect with, and appreciate each other in the workplace. Combined with unmatched data through Workhuman iQ®, we empower HR (Human Resources) and business leaders with proactive insight to understand issues as they develop and tools to help them make the right decisions to align business objectives and culture to deliver immediate impact. And, with world-class award redemption from our proprietary global network, Workhuman is committed to building more connected human-centered workplaces that recognize the value and potential of each and every employee.

For more than 20 years, Workhuman has been pioneering the human workplace by disrupting legacy and obsolete HR approaches to improve the employee experience at work, with solutions that engage with approx. seven million customer employees in 30+ languages, in 180 countries, generating 100 million instances of human connection. With dual headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and Framingham, Massachusetts, Workhuman deploys solutions and services at scale and is committed to helping companies improve returns on their most important investment — their people. For more information, please visit

About Gallup

Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.


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