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The secret to reward finally revealed

Jamie King

Annual leave and public recognition are the work-related benefits most likely to make employees feel loved at work, according to a survey of nearly 2,000 employees. Contributor Jamie King, Head of Global Reward – Xexec.

The results also found that employees wanted to be rewarded spontaneously and for good work, whilst also suggesting that they valued bespoke, personalised awards over monetary value. Xexec surveyed 1720 employees on a range of issues relating to employee reward and recognition and discovered some interesting results:

Annual leave and public recognition were the most popular work-related awards: 43 percent of those surveyed picked annual leave as the work-related benefit that would make them feel most loved at work, compared with a range of other options which included public recognition (15 percent), team drinks (15 percent), training (10 percent), professional mentoring (7 percent), having a lie in every week (7 percent) and getting a parking space for a month (2 percent).

The timing of rewards is important: employees want to receive rewards spontaneously and for good work (47 percent and 38 percent respectively) over traditional calendar events such as birthdays (10 percent) and Christmas (5 percent). The majority of employees would prefer to celebrate rewards with their families (52 percent) rather than their colleagues (39 percent).

Employees were more likely to value bespoke, personalised awards over money: 66 percent of those surveyed said that receiving two tickets to a concert of their choice would make them feel loved, compared with 34 percent who favoured having three times the value of those tickets being paid into their paycheck over the course of a year. The opposite was true for small, non-personalised gifts such as cake, ice cream of chocolate. When asked their preference only 35 percent of employees favoured the token gift over being given 10 times the monetary value of that gift in additional salary (preferred by 65 percent of employees)

Comments from Jamie King, Head of Global Reward, Xexec: “Employee recognition is about motivating and engaging team members by recognising their day to day contributions, so it pays to know what rewards will be popular. Employees want things that are going to make a difference to their personal lives and interests, whether that be extra holiday or tickets to a concert of their choice. Indeed the monetary value of a reward is by no means the key concern for employees. At the same time, it’s clear that employers need to go above and beyond things like annual bonuses and birthday treats if they really want to make their employees feel loved and appreciated! Regular and spontaneous recognition has a much greater impact on employee engagement.”