Staff engagement boosted by learning opportunities over benefits

Staff engagement

It is often assumed that salary, bonuses and office perks are essential to staff engagement as the most important criteria valued by employees, but a new survey suggests otherwise. Instead, the survey by totaljobs found that across all age groups and industries what people value far more than anything else is learning on the job, selected by almost all (97 percent) of 6,829 people questioned. Loyalty and variety in a role, valued by 93 percent of respondents, also came out strong, emphasising that for most people work is about a lot more than a pay check. The need to feel they are progressing, learning new things and the company appreciates their contribution were all important factors in how much people enjoy their jobs. The other things valued most by employees were  variety in a role (93 percent); working autonomously (68 percent); perks and benefits (67 percent) and structured teams (64 percent).

A narrow majority of respondents (43 percent) said they felt better suited to the fast-moving ethos of a start-up, with over half the people made for working in this kind of firm based in sales, consultancy or security. Working at a large firm was by far the second most popular option, with 37 percent of respondents who according to the survey, are most suited to working in this environment, with people in this size company largely working in arts, design or computer programming.

There were also differences in the way staff engagement is viewed according to age, with younger respondents more likely to value mentors than their older peers, probably because when people start working they need more guidance. Regardless of age, there was one fact about work that everyone agreed on: talking about issues face to face, rather than by email or phone, was the best way to communicate. However, it was notable that older respondents had a much stronger preference for talking face to face, with some 71 percent of 55-64-year-olds preferring this method of communication compared to 57 percent of 16-24-year-olds.

Conversely, younger respondents showed a greater liking for emails, with 34 percent of 16-24-year-olds saying they would rather communicate this way compared to just 21 percent of 55-64-year-olds. In terms of regions, Londoners (75 percent), compared to the rest of the UK (64 percent), value perks and benefits the most. In terms of demographic, the survey found mentorship was what younger people valued most.

Click to view an infographic of the survey.

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