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Love over gold

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Researchers at the University of Leicester discovered that people are happier when their jobs have variety and autonomy and that performance-related pay, including bonuses, make no difference to employee satisfaction or stress.

Stephen Wood, the University of Leicester Professor of Management who led the research, said: “The way jobs are designed has a huge impact on employees’ sense of happiness at work. “But this is in danger of being neglected, at a time when people are worrying about unemployment, job security and the fairness of large salaries.” Lucy Turner, Head of the HR Consultancy Unit at leading law firm Clarke Willmott, said in her experience businesses that made job satisfaction a priority had a competitive advantage.

She said: “The large majority of employees are motivated by factors other than just money and when that is recognised the result is a far more creative and productive workforce. Management and director recognition, as a means of employee motivation and satisfaction, is often valued by employees as much as money. In organisations with a high degree of central control, we encourage the need to empower individuals and make them accountable for their own decision making.”

In the current climate, it’s encouraging for employers that employees don’t simply base their workplace happiness on money. There’s a lot more you can do to make sure a person enjoys their job than solely what goes in to their pay cheque. “People want to feel valued and the businesses that realise that will reap the benefits.” The report is based on data from the government’s Workplace Employee Relations Survey, which involved 22,451 employees at 2,295 workplaces in the UK. The research measured two separate forms of well-being: anxiety and job satisfaction.

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