Only 3 in 10 UK workers feel motivated by annual bonuses

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Research by Sodexo Engage has revealed that the traditional corporate end of year bonus is no longer popular with the majority of UK employees, only 30% of employees stated they felt motivated by receiving one big reward at the end of the year.

The research indicates that instead of one large reward, staff would prefer to receive several smaller rewards throughout the year. More than 4 in 10 (41%) of those surveyed agreed with this approach, with figures rising to 47% among workers between 18 and 34 years old.

There is a generational divide when it comes to year-round recognition versus annual bonuses, with only 25% of 18-24-year olds and 27% of 25-34-year olds stating they feel motivated by receiving big rewards at the end of the year. That compares to 35% of workers aged 55 and above.

Employers can address this by taking the opportunity to break down the large end of year targets into smaller and more manageable objectives, which will help to keep staff motivated throughout the year and improve overall productivity. Continually rewarding staff throughout the year also makes them feel more valued for the work they do rather than end of year remuneration which sometimes feels like an afterthought.

Iain Thomson, Director of Incentive & Recognition at Sodexo Engage, comments, “Our research shows a change in attitude among British workers when it comes to being rewarded. Cash incentives are no longer having the effect they had 10 years ago. Rewards like these have almost come to be expected by some employees, which can actually devalue their achievements. What people really want is a closer relationship with their employer and more opportunities to be rewarded. Rather than cash, which can get lost in bills and household expenses, employers have the opportunity to give their employees something more memorable. This will help businesses to create much stronger relationships with their staff.”