Employees express preference for praise over perks.

Thanks works.

Hays in Australia & New Zealand have found most employees prefer to be praised by their boss for their work rather than being offered unwanted perks. “Headline-grabbing perks have been a trend for many organisations in recent years,” says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand. “However, when it comes to attracting and retaining the top talent, improving staff recognition is usually a lot more beneficial.”

In recent years, unusual perks and rewards have increasingly been used as differentiators for many organisations. From taking 6,400 staff on holiday, as Chinese conglomerate Tiens Group did in 2015, to offering egg freezing to female employees as Apple and Facebook have done, businesses have looked for new ways to attract and retain staff.

But, according to Hays, the answer is much simpler. The 2017 Global State of Employee Engagement study by Officevibe, which surveyed 1,000 organisations in 157 countries, found that 63 per cent of employees feel they don’t get enough praise, with eight per cent never receiving it.

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

“Workplace culture comprises six elements: purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, wellbeing and leadership,” says O.C. Tanner’s Alexander Lovell, manager of instituterResearch and assessment, in the recent Hays Journal: “Recognition has a tangible impact on each one of them. When it is used to improve culture, we have seen a significant impact on an organisation’s ability to retain, engage and attract talent. For example, we saw engagement increase 129 per cent in organisations that move from weak to strong recognition practices. Additionally, people stay with an organisation two to four years longer when best practice service recognition is implemented.”

“Employee appreciation doesn’t have to be expensive to be beneficial,” explains Nick. “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.”

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