The P&MM Workplace Recognition Audit looked at over 30,000 UK staff and the ways they are recognised in the workplace.
The results show companies operate three levels of recognition schemes. Almost a third (30%) give rewards in the form of a 'thank you' gesture, 58% use low-level monetary awards and 12% give high-level monetary awards.
Men both give and receive more financial incentives than women. Three-quarters (75%) of rewards handed out to men have a financial value, compared to 64% of those given to women.
Male leaders also hand out almost twice as many high-value rewards than their female counterparts. Almost two-thirds (65%) of these awards are given by men, compared to 35% by women.
P&MM motivation director Adrian Duncan told HR magazine the data shows a "gender divide" in workplace recognition. He put this down to female workers valuing intrinsic recognition higher than men, who favour extrinsic rewards, which include financial incentives.
"The audit highlights that there is an element of bias in the way in which men and women are recognised at work," he said. "It suggests the process of recognising staff may be more emotional rather than objective."
Pay rises still below inflation
Separate research by XpertHR last week showed that pay awards for existing staff are still on average below cost of living increases, but they are rising.
Annual pay awards stood at 2% for 2013, below the 2.7% retail prices index (RPI) for that year. In the first quarter of 2014 the average annual pay award was 2.5%. Despite being higher, this is still below the 2.8% RPI forecast for this year.