We just want to be loved

2004

Making staff feel valued and respected is the best way to motivate them and far more effective than simply offering them more money.

Research for the fourth annual Capital Incentives & Motivation survey suggests that ‘being treated fairly or valued’ is still the main motivator for most people, with almost eight out of ten of those surveyed saying it was important.

The research echoes previous studies that have underlined the very real business and performance benefits that stem from making employees feel valued. Most notably, a Finnish study last year suggested that workers who are poorly-treated have much higher rates of sickness and absence than those who feel that they are treated unjustly.

Second on the list for the 1,990 respondents was ‘good relationships with colleagues’, cited by almost seven out of ten.

Good pay was third, cited by fewer than six out of ten (56 per cent), but this was a rise of some ten per cent on 2003's figures. Similarly, job security rose from 42 per cent in 2003 to fourth place, at 54 per cent, this year.

But 'good benefits' saw the biggest rise, from 23 per cent in 2003 to 47 per cent this year, just behind 'good leadership' at 50 per cent.

But the interpersonal theme still dominates the list, with 'feeling important and involved' and 'having a good relationship with boss' both scoring 45 per cent.

Graham Povey, MD of Capital Incentives & Motivation, suggests that the growing concern with perks and remuneration may be connected to continuing instability in the jobs market and rising interest rates.

"Flexible benefits are becoming very important to staff as life becomes more complicated to manage and these can include financial or lifestyle related benefits. We see this growing through the coming year," he said.