UK workers more motivated by pay

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The UK workforce is more motivated by money than other European countries, suggesting low engagement

Research from ADP revealed that for 62% of UK employees payment is the primary reason they go to work. This compares to an average of 49% across other European countries. The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 workers across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, also found that non-financial drivers lead to higher engagement levels and greater satisfaction on pay day.

The findings highlighted a lack of engagement in the UK, with British employees the least likely to claim they come to work because they love what they do. Only 13% of UK workers said this is the case, compared to 26% in the Netherlands.

UK workers are also the most likely to feel like quitting, with 19% thinking this every week or more, and 9% thinking it most days. This is higher than all other countries, averaging 11% and 6% respectively.

The findings also showed that across Europe those who work to pay for the things they want or need are more likely to say they feel frustrated or disappointed when they get paid (16% and 27%), compared to those who love what they do and love the company they work for (12% and 9%). Employees who work for love and enjoyment are also more likely to be engaged with the mission and values of their employer.

Jeff Phipps, managing director at ADP UK, said that the research showed a worrying lack of motivation among UK employers.

“Every employee is motivated by a multitude of different factors. However, our research shows how the split between financial and non-financial motivations can have important implications for employee engagement and satisfaction,” he said.

“Engagement is proven to be an important factor in both employee productivity and overall organisational success, and these findings show concerns in the UK regarding worker engagement, with many not feeling motivated by their roles.”

Phipps added that employers must communicate with employees to help develop and engage them.

“UK leaders should think carefully about how they can engage their employees; creating dialogues with employees and processes whereby workers can develop their passions and do what they love," he said.

"Our research shows that workers who feel less motivated by their roles and more motivated by money are less likely to feel involved in their company’s mission and values, meaning less engagement and lower retention. Employers have an important role to play in reversing this trend; creating policies that build a committed workforce and lead to high-performing companies.”

ADP and Circle Research conducted an online quantitative survey in April 2018 of 2,518 employees across five countries (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK).

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