Worker recognition is crucial to retaining quality employees and keeping them happy, according to survey results from OfficeTeam.

The staffing firm indicated 66 percent of employees would be likely to leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated, up from 51 percent from 2012. More than half, or about 54 percent, of senior managers told the company they believe it’s common for employees to leave because of a lack of recognition.

"All professionals like to be acknowledged for their contributions, and not just once or twice a year," said Brandi Britton, district president for OfficeTeam. "While monetary rewards are always crowd-pleasers, companies don't need to spend a lot to show appreciation to their workers. Regular praise and even tokens of gratitude can go a long way."

Survey participants were also asked to describe the strangest, or cringeworthy, forms of recognition they experienced. They include:

  • A loaf of bread
  • A CD of music written and performed by a co-worker
  • A custom statuette of me
  • Edible flowers
  • A large carving of a polar bear
  • An expired gift certificate
  • A golden key to an executive bathroom that didn't exist
  • Socks
  • A misspelled plaque
  • A plush toy
  • Fresh meat from a hunting trip
  • A foam tombstone
  • A jacket that was too short with sleeves that were too long
  • Grocery coupons
  • A $0.03 raise

Workers also noted the best items or forms of appreciation they received such as a handwritten card from the chief operating officer, a new car, all-expenses-paid trips, tickets for sports games and large bonuses.

However, appreciation also comes in simple forms. Employees said a complimentary email to colleagues acknowledging task completion or even a day off was enough to show workers that the company cared about them.