Promotions, bonuses most effective motivations: Survey

Just 28 per cent of employers have formal system to recognize, reward employees
||Last Updated: 10/09/2012

United States workers are most likely to identify promotions or bonuses as one of the most effective ways to keep them engaged, according to a survey by Randstad.

In the latest Randstad Engagement Index, 36 per cent of workers said these are the most effective motivators, however, only 27 per cent said their employers actually practice these types of incentives, found the survey of 3,251 workers. Just 28 per cent said their companies have a formal system to recognize and reward employees.

This disconnect between employees and their employers is also evident when it comes to performance reviews. While only 16 per cent of employees rank performance reviews as an effective means of keeping them engaged, reviews are the most commonly practiced employee engagement activity, as indicated by 46 per cent of employees.

But employees said their employers implement some of the most effective engagement tactics such as encouraging employees to share their ideas and opinions (45 per cent) and investing in employees' careers through training, professional development and continuing education (38 per cent).

"One of the most challenging obstacles for employers is finding what works for their culture and employees when it comes to keeping workers engaged and invested in their work and the company," said Jim Link, managing director of human resources for Randstad U.S. "Compensation usually ranks at the top of the list, however our research shows it is important to offer a full package of motivating tactics that not only provide benefits but also promote leadership and professional development."

Perhaps because many workers have stayed with their employers longer than they planned while waiting for the job market to turn around, nearly one-third of employees also perceived having a comfortable and stimulating work environment as one of the most effective incentives. However, employees also indicated that it would not take them very long to find a new job. According to the survey, 56 per cent of employees believe it would take three months or less to land in a new position.

"It is important for employers to assess their employees' needs and create programs that stimulate and inspire their workforces," said Link. "An investment now in promotions or bonuses, along with impactful programs aimed at motivating, recognizing and rewarding employees, will help with retention efforts, increase productivity, and boost employee confidence in their companies."

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