Money Isn't Everything To Employees
Updated: Jul 29
There have been a number of studies and surveys designed to shed light on the issue of employee engagement in today’s workforce. No wonder. The cost of replacing an employee can be significant. According to some estimates, it can be as high as 250% of that person’s annual salary!
Money isn't the main reason people leave.
A 2018 article in Forbes draws attention to a shocking finding from author Leigh Branham. In her book, The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, Branham discovered that 89% of bosses believe their employees quit because they are seeking more money. Yet, the reality is that only 12% of employees cite money as their main reason for leaving.
"12% of employees cite money as their main reason for leaving."
If money isn't the cause of their unhappiness, what is?
O.C. Tanner Learning Group may have arrived at the answer, in their 10-year study of 20,000 managers and employers, they found that a shocking 79% of employees who quit their job claim the primary reason was a lack of appreciation.
Appreciation goes beyond salary, medical benefits, bonuses, vacations, pension contributions and other ‘premium’ benefits. It can be expressed in many small ways.
A simple compliment or acknowledgement of a job well done.
A formal acknowledgement (an award or mention in a newsletter, blog or tweet).
Employee perks and reward programs.
Treating employees to dinners or tickets to a game.
Team building events and casual drinks.
Casual Friday and extra holiday days tacked to a long weekend.
A pool or foosball table in the workplace.
"79% of employees who quit their job claim the primary reason was a lack of appreciation."
Do recognition and perk programs work?
There are some interesting stats that show how perks play a role in making team members feel appreciated.
In the US, 84% of businesses claim to offer employees some form of non-cash incentive awards. This includes incentive travel, merchandise, gift cards, and award points (Incentive Federation).
The best thing about these types of programs is that they can be offered at a relatively low cost per employee and are typically easy to implement. Discount and employee reward programs are generally ‘plug and play’. New employees are brought online as they join, and people can take advantage of offers independently – without the involvement of your HR team.
Employers are seeing the results of these efforts. According to one source, 89% of HR professionals believe that recognition programs are contributing to a better worker experience.
It would appear that employees agree (although they may be less gushing in their praise.) It was revealed that 49% of employees indicate that perks/benefits show that their employers are invested in them as individuals (Clutch) – while 21% of Millennial's say a company that offers incentives and perks can be defined as a good work environment (Staples).
"89% of HR professionals say recognition programs contribute to a better worker experience."
Putting perks to work.
Despite these findings, 42% of full-time employees in the US have no employee perks at all (Clutch). We expect a similar number of Canadian employees fall into this category.
Compared to the costs of replacing and retraining team members, or adding costly benefits, simple acts of appreciation and low-cost perks can go a long way when it comes to keeping your people happy - and may be all the added incentive they require to stay put.