These are the top 10 little gestures that go along way for workers

Workers have revealed the top 10 little things that go a long way during their working day - including receiving a cake on their birthday, socialising at the end of the day and a free lunch.

A poll of 2,000 employees found getting help from a colleague even though they are busy, a pat on the back for a job well done, and the flexibility to attend family commitments when needed also featured high on the list.

While 24 per cent believe an invitation for food or drinks after work is a gesture that is well received.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

More than eight in 10 (84 per cent) claim these kind actions make their job feel worthwhile, with 61 per cent performing better as a result.

Alison Snowden, an engineer for British Gas, which commissioned the research and will be recruiting 3,500 apprentices over the next decade, said: “For me, it really is the little things that make all the difference in the workplace.

“I’ve worked in my current job for nearly 30 years now and those small moments of appreciation are so important. One of the many benefits of taking up a trade like engineering is the instant gratification of solving a customer’s problem.

“Along with developing new skills, practical careers give you the chance to make a tangible difference to people’s lives and to the world around you, which can be extremely rewarding.”

The average employee experiences a kind gesture twice a week, with one in 10 claiming the positive feeling it gives them lasts for a whole day.

And receiving a small act of kindness inspires 55 per cent to return the favour, which workers will typically do four times a week.

Small gestures, big difference

It also emerged 87 per cent claim it is important for them to ‘know their worth’ when it comes to the workplace.

But a third of those surveyed, via, currently feel underappreciated, with a fifth keen to change careers in the new year to something that will make them feel more valued. Of those, public services and administration, IT, and energy and utilities are among the industries they’d most consider changing to.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The average 2024 job seeker has been at their current company for seven years, with 46 per cent claiming their next career change will be for the long haul.

Earning a higher salary, helping others, and doing something their family can be proud of also featured on the list of new job goals. The study also revealed the things that are most valued by employees, including a good work-life balance (53 per cent), quality leadership (20 per cent), and training and development opportunities (15 per cent).

Alison Snowden added: “For anyone considering a new role, apprenticeships are a fantastic option - whether you’re at the beginning of your working life or looking to retrain.

“Engineering certainly gives you a lot of rewarding moments, especially working somewhere that has a supportive culture. It’s so satisfying to go into people’s homes and help them in their hour of need, leaving again having fixed the problem and feeling good about my role in that.”

Top 10 gestures which go a long way in the workplace

  1. A manager saying ‘thank you’
  2. A customer or client saying ‘thank you’
  3. Getting a ‘pat on the back’ for a job well done
  4. When someone helps you even though they are busy themselves
  5. Being able to finish early due to family commitments
  6. Someone offering to make you a cup of tea or coffee
  7. Getting a cake or card on your birthday
  8. Someone picking up a job for you to help you out
  9. Free lunches or breakfasts
  10. When you are included in team activities



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.