Survey claims bonuses fail to drive workers

NEW RESEARCH from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) suggests that bonuses are not a major contributor to an employee’s motivation to work.

According to an ILM report released yesterday, only 13 per cent of 1,000 employees surveyed said performance-related financial incentives were among the top three things motivating them at work.

Those employees who did suggest that they were driven by bonuses are, according to ILM, more likely to dislike their employment, and less likely to feel that their employer treats them well.

In comparison, 59 per cent of people list their personal enjoyment of the job, 49 per cent their regular salary and benefits, and 42 per cent how well they get on with their colleagues at work.

However, there is a considerable gap between workers of different ages. While only 11 per cent of people aged over 30 say a bonus is an important motivator, twice as many people under 30 say the same.

The ILM suggests that, based on the findings, more performance-based pay schemes may be misguided: “Increasing base salaries and investing in improving an employee’s basic enjoyment of their role would be more effective ways of improving performance.” It adds: “Improved office environments, team and company away days and schemes that encourage innovation and creative thinking are all more effective drivers.”

The survey also finds that workers often have issues with the way in which appraisals are conducted by their managers. Only 61 per cent of respondents said that their employer used an appraisal system at all, and only a quarter of those believe that such assesments are performed poorly by their bosses.