Ensuring staff are thanked for their work can improve employee engagement by up to 30 per cent.

That is according to a study of over 10,000 employees from 13 countries conducted by employee appreciation firm OC Tanner.

The study revealed that praising staff can have a significant, positive impact on the performance of workers, regardless of where in the world they come from.

Commenting on the results of the study, Chester Elton, co-author of bestselling book The Carrot Principle, said: "We’ve always known that appreciation positively affects employee engagement.

"What we wanted to determine with this study is whether or not this holds true on an international scale … and the answer is yes."

Adrian Gostick, the book’s other author, explained that the study revealed cultural differences in the way people preferred to receive praise.

British employees responded best to "private recognition from their boss", he said, while Chinese and Russian workers valued team recognition.

DIY store B&Q recently launched an employee reward scheme whereby staff members could be eligible for a gift card in recognition of exceptional work.