Staff Motivation – the holy grail for a happy workforce?

21st January 2016

Motivating staff is difficult for any organisation. Understanding the workforce is key but expectations and requirements vary from employee to employee; while some may be motivated by cash bonuses others may prefer flexible working or wellbeing strategies. We have spoken previously about how important it is to have a wellbeing strategy in place to retain employees – this blog will look at the difficulties involved with motivating employees and the various approaches available.

One size doesn’t fit all

No one wants to be just another employee, but historically that is how benefit schemes have been designed, with health care, gym membership, cash bonuses the typical ways in which organisations have been rewarding employees. Yet while some employees prefer gym membership over health care, and others prioritise financial reward, there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to staff benefits.

A recent piece of research has highlighted that cash bonuses are not the most effective way to reward staff. In fact almost four in five UK employees would not work harder for a bonus of up to 10% of their salary, while 41% wouldn’t be motivated for an additional 25% of their salary. 

With feedback from employees demonstrating that traditional benefits just don’t cut the mustard, how can organisations ensure that they are building the benefits strategy with the employee in mind?

One in five employees stated that they would work harder for rewards such as weekly or monthly treats; a further 18% stated that they would be inspired by benefits which would reduce spending such as pension contributions, health insurance and relevant discounts on travel and food. In short the majority of employees prefer bonuses which can make a difference to their day to day lives rather than a lump sum once a quarter.

Organisations must therefore ensure that they are asking employees for their preference when it comes to bonuses. What will motivate them and drive them to continue to want to outperform for the business? Taking employee feedback into account when building a benefits strategy is vital in ensuring that employees feel motivated and listened to.

There is no one size fits all approach to maximising the performance of the workforce. By finding out what employees want when it comes to benefits, organisations are able to not just engage and motivate employees but are also able to get the best return on investment from their wellbeing strategy.