Australian workers favour praise over perks, Hays finds

While many businesses will use perks as a way to entice new staff to join the business, new research from recruitment company Hays found that most employees prefer receiving praise, rather than rewards at work.

Companies like Apple and Facebook are well known for offering elaborate perks and rewards, including egg freezing for female employees. But smaller businesses need to explore different ways to retain staff.

“Headline-grabbing perks have been a trend for many organisations in recent years. However, when it comes to attracting and retaining the top talent, improving staff recognition is usually a lot more beneficial,”
said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

The 2017 Global State of Employee Engagement study by Officevibe found that 63 per cent of employees feel they don’t get enough praises, with 8 per cent saying they don’t get any at all.

“The fact that so many workplaces are foregoing recognition is concerning, given the impact doing so can have on a business, including its culture,” said Deligiannis.

O.C. Tanner’s Alexander Lovell, manager of Institute Research & Assessment, said in a recent Hays Journal that workplace culture should have six elements including purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, well being and leadership.

He said workers stays in a company two to four years longer when they are recognised for a job well done.

“Instead, it’s more about taking the time to recognise success and make your employees feel valued. It should be personal and therefore more effective. Good bosses know what motivates and engages their staff and will take the time to treat them as individuals,” added Deligiannis.

Hays recommends several staff recognition tips including saying ‘thank you’; recognition from the top; peer-to-peer recognition; and utilising internal social media and annual events to recognise employee efforts.

He said that while it’s important to recognise what an employee has achieved, it’s also very helpful to others to acknowledge how they achieved it.

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