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Benefits and Employee Motivation

The first rule of employee motivation & benefits

Firstly, you need to realise one thing; money isn’t the answer.

Lots of employers fall into the trap of thinking “I pay my staff a lot, surely that’s enough?”. Well, research has proven that this isn’t always the case. Staff are rarely motivated by money.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t give a financial incentive – it just pays to motivate them in more creative ways.


‘Perks’ are of course an added benefit to working anywhere. These typically can be divided into two types;

  • Formal benefits like holiday allowance, company sick pay, staff discounts, childcare vouchers and bike schemes- most of these will be covered in your contract.
  • Informal benefits which are likely to be more ad-hoc, and could be anything from the odd round of cakes or doughnuts to say thanks, a random performance bonus, or a few drinks down the pub on a Friday, these are all likely to be non-contractual.

Quite often it is the informal benefits that have the most motivational impact, as the unexpected recognition and personal thank-you’s usually say much more than the benefits package staff accept at recruitment. So it’s worth trying to make sure you don’t repeat yourself too often, as the team will soon think that the perk is just ‘par for the course’ – reducing its impact.

Make staff feel they belong

We all want a great team working for us, and to achieve this we need consistency in our staff, so to ensure that stay to become a long-term member of the team, you’ll want to foster a sense of ‘belonging’ in the company.

  • Take the time to regularly explain to them what the business objectives are, so they understand how they contribute

  • Try to update the team on how the company is performing, along with any other relevant news.

  • Celebrate birthdays to bring staff together and make them feel valued.

Make staff feel valued

You can’t do all of the above every day. So you’ll want to take the time to get into a few good habits to ensure that your employees feel valued throughout their employment with you.

One great way to do this is to ask for their input on tough business decisions. Listening to their ideas attentively, and making them feel their thoughts and ideas have real value, can really help to make them feel more involved in the business every day. It’s not just you that has great ideas, after all.

Everyday things like taking the time to say thanks, give feedback, or even just saying hello are all things that cumulatively build a sense of appreciation. And don’t just do it when things are going well, the people you want will work just as hard when the going gets tough, so that’s when you’ll need to make them feel more valued than ever.

How we can help

If you’re struggling with employee benefits or motivation, our HR consultants can help. Available over the phone as part of our HR support service, our team of HR experts have a wealth of experience helping small business with their people management.

Whether you have an idea that you’d like to run past them, or if you feel employees are expecting more benefits as part of working for you, our HR consultants can help you to make the right choice for your business.

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