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UK workers more motivated by cash than European counter-parts - New research from ADP

Money is more important to the UK’s workforce than other European countries, according to new research from ADP, which reveals that more than half (62%) of UK employees say payment is the primary reason they come to work.

  • Financial rewards trump UK workers’ passion for their job, with 62% claiming payment is their biggest motivator for coming to work
  • This is far higher than other countries, with only 49% of workers from other European countries claiming pay is their biggest motivator
  • UK workers most likely to feel like quitting, with 19% think about it every week or more
  • Employees motivated by non-financial factors are more engaged in company mission

Money is more important to the UK’s workforce than other European countries, according to new research from ADP, which reveals that more than half (62%) of UK employees say payment is the primary reason they come to work. This compares to an average of 49% across other European countries. The study, which surveyed over 2,000 workers across France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the UK, also shows that non-financial drivers lead to higher engagement levels and greater satisfaction on pay day.

UK employees were also the least likely to claim they come to work because they love what they do, with only 13% of UK workers saying this is the case, compared to 26% in the Netherlands. Worryingly, UK workers are also the most likely to feel like quitting, with 19% thinking this every week or more, and 9% going as far to think about it most days. This is drastically higher than all other countries, averaging 11% and 6% respectively.

The findings also showed that European-wide, those who work to pay for the things they want or need are more likely to say they feel frustrated or disappointed when they get paid (16% and 27%), compared to those who love what they do and love the company they work for (12% and 9%). Employees who work for love and enjoyment are also more likely to be engaged with the mission and values of their employer.

“Every employee is motivated by a multitude of different factors however our research shows how the split between financial and non-financial motivations can have important implications for employee engagement and satisfaction,” commented Jeff Phipps, Managing Director at ADP UK. “Engagement is proven to be an important factor in both employee productivity and overall organisational success, and these findings show concerns in the UK regarding worker engagement, with many not feeling motivated by their roles”.

Phipps continues: “UK leaders should think carefully about how they can engage their employees, creating dialogues with employees and processes whereby workers can develop their passions and do what they love. Our research shows that workers who feel less motivated by their roles and more motivated by money are less likely to feel involved in their company’s mission and values, meaning less engagement and lower retention. Employers have an important role to play in reversing this trend, creating policies that build a committed workforce and lead to high-performing companies.”


About the research

ADP and Circle Research conducted an online quantitative survey in April 2018 of 2518 employees across 5 different countries (France, UK, Germany, Netherlands and Italy). The sample was a representative mix of employees by age, gender, full-time / part-time workers, salary brackets and seniority.

Circle Research are the B2B research experts. With offices in London and New York, we are dedicated to helping our B2B clients understand how business decision-makers behave and think. Visit www.circle-research.com.

About ADP

Powerful technology plus a human touch.  Companies of all types and sizes around the world rely on ADP’s cloud software and expert insights to help unlock the potential of their people. HR. Talent.  Benefits. Payroll. Compliance. Working together to build a better workforce.  For more information, visit ADP.com.