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Robert Levasseur


Almost 80% of U.S. companies have an employee recognition program. Although there is a great deal of research on the factors that affect employees' job satisfaction in general, little is known about the effect of employee appreciation methods on support staff's job satisfaction within higher education institutions. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the effect of seven employee appreciation methods on the job satisfaction of support staff within higher education institutions. The study's theoretical framework consisted of Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation, Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory, Frederick Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory, and Arne Kallenberg’s theory of job satisfaction. Survey data provided by a sample of 241 participants were used to test the eight study hypotheses. The results of t tests showed that each of the seven types of employee appreciation methods significantly influenced support staff's job satisfaction. The result of the ANOVA test on all seven employee appreciation methods collectively led to a rejection of the null hypothesis, as there were significant differences between the mean job satisfaction scores for some of the employee appreciation methods, with not having an employee appreciation method having the least effect on job satisfaction and using verbal one-on-one appreciation methods having the highest effect. By implementing the findings of this study, organizational leaders and managers could demonstrate their compassion and concern for the well-being of support staff, thus creating positive social change for these employees as well as the customers and other stakeholders they deal with in higher education institutions.

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