WorkLife April 2017 - Page 36

PERKS, PAY RISES OR BOTH? Understanding whether employees prefer perks or a pay rise can be a difficult decision. Mina Pampus investigates. R egularly rewarding your team is a key driver of employee satisfaction and a big step towards building an engaged team. In fact, a study released by Deloitte suggests that in organisations where recognition occurs, levels of employee engagement, productivity and customer service are 14% higher than in those where recognition does not occur. It is widely accepted that recognising and rewarding employees who excel is key to building a motivated team. The question is: which rewards have the biggest psychological effect? SHOW ME THE PERKS! With millennials quickly filtering into the workforce, adapting to suit their needs and requirements has become of great importance. With a different outlook on life, what millennials look for in a reward is different to any generation before them. In fact, PWC’s study called Millenials at Work stated only 44% cite wages as the most important factor when looking for a job. Their preferences are having an impact on others in the workforce. “When we think about how people work, the naïve intuition we have is that people are like rats in a maze, only motivated by money.” * The results speak for themselves: Glassdoor’s recent Employee Confidence Survey found that 79% of employees would choose an increase in benefits over an increase in pay. Benefits can act as a good alternative to pay rises in many respects. Millennials value a good work life balance and employers who take this into consideration will emerge with a competitive advantage. Pay rises have become the default motivator of our times because of their measurable and tangible 36 nature. They have earned the reputation of being a good motivator because they are universally accepted and an easy fix from a management standpoint. Glassdoor’s report also revealed that 50% of employees were found to actually expect to receive a pay rise in the next year. However, when a pay rise becomes an entitlement, it can actually act as a demotivator and this is a trend, that we are seeing emerge. Perks as a reward can come as a surprise to the recipient and are thus a creative way to reward employees, in a way that is unexpected. Offering your employees perks that align with their interests and needs shows them that you are considerate of their lives outside of the workplace, and will encourage them to associate the value of the benefit directly back to you, forming an emotional connection. MONEY TALKS This isn’t to say that pay rises don’t motivate employees. The criticism that ‘discounts don’t pay the rent’ is rife is true: benefits should not come at the expense of deserved increases to salary. But what is becoming clear, is that benefit offerings and pay rises should enhance one another. The solution lies in striking a balance; the two should exist not only harmoniously, but should serve to complement each other, too. *Behavioral economist Dan Ariely (TED Talk: What makes us feel good about our work?)