Better benefits and a 'thank you' from managers could make all the difference to productivity


New research has found that around 6.5 million UK workers (30%) would not describe themselves at happy at work and would move jobs for better benefits. According to Perkbox, happiness increases steadily during the work week, with a third (31%) saying they rate it as poor or very poor on Mondays, compared to Tuesdays (19%), Wednesdays (12%), Thursdays (11%) and Fridays (8%).


The power of a ‘thank you’ can often be overlooked in a business and underestimated, yet the survey found that it can elevate moods, increase engagement and uplift productivity. Over two thirds (69%) of UK workers rate company perks and benefits as important to their overall satisfaction and more than a quarter (26%) rate lack of reward and recognition for good work as their number one grievance at work.


Despite this overwhelming demand from employees for rewards and benefits, over half (53%) of UK companies do not formally recognise outstanding employees on a regular basis, while 44% believe that rewards and recognition are either very or extremely relevant to their business.


Younger workers appeared most likely to be motivated by company perks and benefits than the older generation, with 78% of 18 – 24 year olds versus 58% of 55 – 64 year olds saying that perks and benefits are either important or very important to their overall satisfaction at work. 


The majority of 18 – 24 year olds (84%) and 25 – 34 year olds (78%) say they would be more likely to stay with their current employer if they were to implement better employee benefits, demonstrating the importance of rewards beyond salaries to the Millennials - and the need to review remuneration packages on a regular basis.


Additionally, as well as lack of reward and recognition in the workplace, UK workers reported that a toxic negative culture at work was their biggest grievance (cited by 21% of respondents) while 17% highlighted micro management and 15% said long hours.


The research also revealed that just one in five (20%) workers believe their boss would be moderately or not at all supportive if they told them they were unhappy in their jobs.  Younger workers feel more supported by their bosses than the older generation, with two thirds (66%) of 18 – 24 year olds believing that if they told their bosses they were unhappy, they would be either moderately or very supportive, compared with just 49% of 55 – 64 year olds.


While most UK workers are relatively positive about their boss overall, with 15% saying their boss is ‘fantastic’, 16% or 3.4 million UK workers suggested they have either ‘poor’ or a ‘terrible’ boss.


Saurav Chopra, CEO and co-founder at Perkbox, said: 'This research indicates the scale of unhappiness in workers within UK businesses, and goes some way into revealing some of the causes of the nation’s general productivity issues. A single disengaged worker, irrespective of sector, can cost a business over £3K annually in sick leave, lost productivity, training and recruitment. This cost spirals into six figures if the organisation employs over a 1,000 people.


“Investment in employee health, well-being and engagement via perks and benefits is often perceived as a costly, non-critical ‘nice-to-have’ rather than an intrinsic tool for incentivising, retaining and recruiting talent. Yet most research already in the public domain indicates that while remuneration might instantly gratify and sway potential employees into accepting a job offer, it’s the non-financial factors that come with reward and recognition that engages and retains workers in the long run. Satisfied workers yield dividends in terms of engagement, loyalty and morale. Quite simply, happy teams accomplish great things.”