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Employees' Xmas Wish List: Most Employers Miss This Vital Manner of Motivation

admin December 22, 2015

What is your employees’ Xmas wish list? Have you collected it yet? If you haven’t, just do it, or your efforts to motivate or retain employees may fall flat.

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Much has been touched about the need to motivate your workforce. Workers these days are skilled, all-around, risk-seeking and mobile. You have to motivate A-players for them to want to stay; otherwise, they will leave for greener pastures. But how?

Certain research over recent years has shown that money shouldn’t be your primary tool. Companies should focus more on branding corporate culture, their sense of purpose, their investment in learning and development, their perks, their work-life balance, etc. And all of these are important. Yet, not all of employers get the workplace employee benefits and perks right.

According to new research, most employers don’t know what their workers, present and future, want. That’s why they may have harder time sourcing talent.




As staff’s thoughts turn to Christmas and a gradual wind-down to the end of 2015, many are gearing up for a new working year and thinking about what they want their employers to offer beyond pays and bonuses. As per independent research among UK workforce undertaken by the specialist recruiter Robert Half, there is a significant mismatch between what workers want and what bosses think they would like when it comes to the work next year.

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What do employees want?

Workers were asked, “Other than additional compensation, which one of the following do you believe would top your wish lists when it comes to your jobs next year?” And here is the result:

Topping the employees’ wish list is more holiday/ annual leave (ranked most desired perk by 40% of respondents), followed by more flexible working hours (28%). 16% want more training or professional development opportunities. 12% want home working/ telecommuting, and 3% want other corporate services like iron services or fitness centre.

  • More holiday/annual leave: 40%
  • More flexible working hours: 28%
  • More training or professional development opportunities: 16%
  • Home office/telecommuting: 12%
  • Other corporate perks like ironing services or a subsidised gym:  3%




While what employers assume their employees want?

CFOs were surveyed, "Other than additional compensation, which one of the following do you believe would top your employees' wish lists when it comes to their jobs next year?"

The findings on employees completely contrast with view from employers, who assume that the No. 1 perk in demand from their employees is flexible working hours (56% of finance directors surveyed) – exactly twice the percentage of workers who actually want flexibility. 

23% of CFOs believe that more holidays top employees’ wish list, whilst 9% think employees would rather work from home, and 5% assumes their workers want to have more corporate services. Interestingly enough, half of the percentage of CFOs (8%) as staff (16%) placed more training and professional services at the top of the wish list.

  • More flexible working hours: 56%
  • More holiday/annual leave: 23%
  • Home office/telecommuting: 9%
  • More training or professional development opportunities: 8%
  • Other corporate perks, such as ironing services or a subsidised gym: 5%





Understanding what your employees want is of utter importance. Don’t just assume you know. Instead, ask your workers which workplace benefits and perks are most meaningful to them, try to provide the incentives ranking highest on their wish list. Your efforts to satisfy their true demand show them that you value their desires. Without understanding and realizing what your employees want, you wouldn’t be successful in staff motivation or retention.

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