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Just 3 in 10 UK workers feel motivated by annual bonuses

According to the latest research by Sodexo Engage, only 30% of employees feel motivated by receiving one big reward at the end of the year, despite the fact that annual bonuses have been a corporate tradition for decades.

In 2016, a record total of £46.4 billion was paid out in bonuses across the UK, with the average British worker receiving a bonus of £1,600. However, the results from the survey of 2,000 UK employees suggest that this tradition might not be as popular as many businesses think.

The research indicates a growing trend away from year-end bonuses, with only 25% of 18-24 year olds and 27% of 25-34 year olds saying they feel motivated by them. That compares to 35% of workers aged 55 or more. Instead, the results suggest that several smaller rewards throughout the year would be a more popular approach to rewarding staff. More than four out of 10 (41%) of those surveyed agree with this approach, with this figure rising to 47% among workers between 18 and 34 years old.

This shift means that employers now have the opportunity to break down 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.

Iain Thomson, Director of Incentive & Recognition at Sodexo Engage, commented:

“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.