EngagementCultureWhy do people work?

Why do people work?

Why do people work? What motivates people to get up in the early hours of the morning, and what keeps workers from not quitting their job.

A recent survey created by Paymentsense found that only 16% of people go to work each day solely for their fondness of their job. From an early age, we were always encouraged as kids to go out and follow our aspirations through education and career path. However, only 16% of the people that answered this survey seem to be doing a job that they fully enjoy. However, 21% of people are in their job to build their career and knowledge.

Chris Marjara, CMO at The Access Group talks about how they aim to aid their employees in their career progression, saying “Another path to retention comes from ensuring training needs are fulfilled, enabling employee self-service, central recording and skills assessments. All of this data can then be fed directly into performance reviews and appraisals for line management, making the entire process seamless and supportive of an employee’s career aspirations and goals.”

When looking more in depth as to why people go to work. The vast majority of this was simply to live. With 72% of people listing this reason. As well as 50% saying that they work to support their family, and 50% to pay their mortgage. So it does seem that money is a hugely influential reason why UK workers work. In the UK this aspect of a job has been reported to be a positive, as in a report by the Office for National Statistics revealed in September that “latest estimates show average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms increased by 2.9% excluding bonuses, and by 2.6% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.” So although a majority of UK workers are motivated by money, it is a positive that average earnings in the UK are going in the right direction.

Jonathan Richards, CEO of BreatheHR talked about what they do to motivate staff to come to work and grow within the business. “We currently have 32 employees and staff turnover is low, the main thing we do everytime overshare, we see a kick up in energy, people want to be talked to treated by adults, people benefit from honesty, and they feel part of it, if you have a culture of being apparent, when you get it wrong people pick up on it, which makes it a better culture to work in”

Although 67% of UK workers did claim that their current role has little to nothing relating to their degree. 74% did, in fact, stated that they were fond of their jobs. Such a high percentage of workers seem to like their job despite a much lower percentage having a passion for it. This could potentially be due to the recent changes to the perks and benefits that are added to a job in today’s age. For example, flexible hours, free snacks, working from home to name a few.

When it comes to the overall most important aspect of choosing a job, salary is the key factor for 86%. A close second was the benefit of having a 20-plus days holiday per year, with 79% of respondents marking this as important.

72% are thinking ahead to retirement, placing a company pension as third most important. Flexible working was also popular, as 69% said this was a significant aspect of a job, suggesting that businesses may want to be sure their flexible-working policies are appealing if they are to attract the right talent.

So it is clear that benefit packages are an essential factor in motivating staff to come to work every day. So much so that 77% said that a job that offers zero to no perks would be off-putting to them. As well as 48% saying that 20 days holiday would also put them off also.

Looking at what demotivates people from working, lack of career progression was at the top of the list at 19%, closely followed by 17% regarding pay-cuts and lack of support from managers.

Julia Lindsay, CEO of iOpener Institute for People and Performance talked about how simply listening could be the key to improving staff happiness and motivation in the workplace “Listening is a vital skill for leaders that can support all these. By actively listening, you show you are interested in colleagues’ thoughts and opinions. This is a type of Recognition and it can build a sense of Pride, helping colleagues give their best at work..”

Work-life balance is also such an important of UK workers. With a significant percentage taking their work home, and this being the reason for stress. The Work-Life Balance – The Tools for Retention revealed that one in five (21%) 25-34s are unhappy with their work/life balance, compared to around one in six 18-24 year-olds (15%), 35-44 year-olds (14%) and 45-54 year-olds (17%). The study finds that just one in 10 (11%) over-55s are dissatisfied with their work-life balance.

Dean Forbes, CEO at CoreHR comments on the importance of making sure that there is a healthy working pattern, saying “HR leaders must proactively seek to fulfil these expectations and pick a fight against unhealthy working practices. Only by meeting employee expectations for a seamless, collaborative and balanced working experience, will businesses be able to harness their potential.”

Although it is apparent that many UK workers wake up every morning for the most money and less for a passion for their jobs, it is imperative for employers to be constantly offering more than just the job, through perks and benefits it can help an employee in feeling happy within a business. With most workers also preferring a better work-life balance, it is also important to see to this, constantly making a company a good place to work, that will eventually result in more and more UK workers looking forward to waking up to go to work in the morning.

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