Most employers reward their most valued employees by giving them a pay raise. Turns out that may the best response for a job well done. But something must be wrong with that system, because half of American workers apparently don't feel valued by their employers.

That's what an American Psychological Association survey, conducted by Harris Poll, concluded when nearly 900 U.S. workers were queried about corporate reward practices. Asked how their employers rewarded top performers, 39 percent said raises were handed out. Another 24 percent said their employers gave bonuses or promotions based upon performance standards. A third said recognition came in the form of a verbal or written "Atta-boy/atta-girl" from their boss, a quarter got gift cards and one in five got a nice certificate with their name on it. Some said recognition came in multiple forms.

All told, 81 percent of those surveyed said their company offered at least one type of recognition.

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