© SewcreamStudio / stock.adobe.com

Stronger Employee Engagement Through Communication and Appreciation


Prof. Dr. Sabine Einwiller

Prof. Sabine Einwiller

About the research project

Title: The role of internal communication in conveying appreciation

Team: Professor Sabine Einwiller, Christopher Ruppel, Julia Stranzl (University of Vienna)

Project period: February 2021 – spring 2024

Many employees complain about insufficient appreciation in their jobs. Yet appreciation is one of the most critical prerequisites for job satisfaction and employee engagement and might result in higher employee turnover and staff shortages if missing.

A research project by the University of Vienna investigates how companies can best convey appreciation at work. Team leads are in the top position to give employees the feeling that their work matters to the company, but internal communication also plays a crucial role. The study provides insights into what kind of appreciation employees expect, gathers ideas on how corporate communications can support appreciation and explains which strategies have proven successful.


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

The full results will be published in the spring of 2024.