Want to Motivate Staff? Pay them more and give them time off!

It may not be the most earth-shattering of revelations, but staff have said that prizes containing cash and days off would increase motivation and productivity.

The research, which was conducted by Purely Digital, looked at the types of prizes that companies offer their employees, surveying staff on what they would prefer to be given. The aim was to explore the effectiveness of modern HR departments which are using prizes as a way to get the most productivity and enthusiasm out of their employees.

Before you think you need to be offering cash bonuses to every employee, 39.1% of respondents claimed that they would be happy to receive a scratch card or bingo campaign as a reward for work-based competitions.

In second place was ‘more annual leave’, with 36.9% of employees saying that additional time off would improve morale. Third place fell to ‘activity days’, such as spa retreats or go-karting, which only 16% of respondents were keen on. In fourth place were free products,  and finally, discounts on other services came in fifth.

Both male and female respondents were mostly in agreement, with a pretty even split across the board, except for discounts on service of which 67% were men.

Extrapolating from their results, Purely Digital suggests the following guidelines for businesses looking to run these schemes:

  • Define beforehand what behaviours they wish to reward and what they hope to achieve
  • Communicate to staff why these incentives are being offered
  • Make all rules, regulations and criteria clear from the outset
  • Set out the timeframe in which scheme is being run
  • Let all employees know why certain workers have been rewarded

Speaking on the results, Andrew Edmondson, Managing Director at Purely Digital, said:
“I’ve seen managers and HR departments offer a range of prizes, anything from cash bonuses and extra days off to 10 per cent discounts on the company’s range of goods and services. However, the data seems to show that away-days and special offers are too prescriptive, with employees preferring to receive prizes that give them more freedom of choice.”

“For a company that already realises the importance of incentivising staff through such techniques, this information is very useful and could make the difference between an average-performing campaign and one that truly motivates its employees to go that extra mile.”

Incentivising Graduates

Whilst for some, receiving cash prizes might be a good enough incentive, the latest research says that graduates are incentivised to stay at a company as long as they are offered clear career prospects.

Fifty-one per cent of graduates surveyed said that, in looking for a new employer, the most significant factor was the opportunity to progress to a higher role within the company. A fifth of respondents said that the opportunity to learn about different roles and departments within the company and the option to potentially transfer were a serious consideration.

However, 22% of graduates also deemed that the most important factor was to gain experience and skills that could be utilised in another job. This means that almost a quarter of graduates don’t see their first job as a long-term career option.

Perhaps a few scratch cards are in order…


ABL Recruitment team



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