Skip to content
Hays - Recruiting experts worldwide
  1. I am
    I am

It’s not all about the money: what motivates staff more?

Updated: 06 Sep 2016



Whilst money is a key factor for anyone seeking employment, it’s not always the ultimate motivating factor.


According to the 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide, the number one reason jobseekers stated they were looking for a new employer was for a better salary and benefits package. However, when those staying with their current employer were asked what made them want to stay, the top reason cited was work-life balance.


“Once our basic needs are met and we are able to pay the bills, there are other equally important factors that motivate us,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.


Even if earning their dream salary, no one will put up with working overtime every day, in a dilapidated office, surrounded by resentful colleagues, reporting into a manager that doesn’t give any time, effort or appreciation.


“Money is not the be all and end all. It’s the factors which stimulate our core desires as human beings, which truly motivate us, such as increased autonomy, acquiring new skills and being able to express ourselves,” adds Christine.


With this in mind, according to Hays, here are five other ways to motivate your workforce:


1. Learning & development: By up-skilling your employees you’re showing them that they matter and there is room for progression. You don’t necessarily need budget for this – there should be plenty of free and relevant networking events and conferences your employees can attend, you just need to look around.


2. Career progression: What’s even more motivating is being shown that there are more rungs on the career ladder. As rated by Hays Asia Salary Guide respondents, seeking new challenges was the second highest reason for leaving an organisation and a lack of career progression was the third. Ideally at least twice a year, have meetings to discuss your employee’s ambitions and their promotion prospects.


3. Recognition: Employees must be acknowledged and compensated equally for their contributions and achievements – this is a ‘hygiene factor’ (something which doesn’t motivate if offered, but does demotivate if not). We all get a kick out of being acknowledged for a job well done. Recognition comes in many forms such as formal recognition in front of other colleagues, a certificate, a team lunch or even an early mark.


4. Autonomy & responsibility: It’s important that your employees know where they stand and feel a part the business – you can help improve their sense of belonging by giving them more meaningful responsibilities. The more impact an employee feels they can make, the more likely they are to feel connected to the business, and to aggregate the business’ success with their own. It’s also important that your team is allowed to express themselves within their work and feel entrusted to make decisions.


5. Work-life balance: Improved work-life balance correlates with overall job satisfaction, productivity and motivation and can be greatly helped by granting extra autonomy or flexibility. However, it’s not just by increasing the life side of the balance that you improve motivation. Bringing your workplace to life, so people feel inspired is another way of maintaining enthusiasm. Ask your team to come up with suggestions for ways to improve the workplace and then action some of the ideas as a reward for when a specific target is reached.


A sense of friendship and belonging also serves as a powerful antidote to absenteeism and conflict within the workplace. Team building activities can help strengthen trust, respect, comradery and, ultimately, motivation.


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


- Ends –


About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2015 the Group employed 9,420 staff operating from 248 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2015:


– the Group reported net fees of £764.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £164.1 million;

– the Group placed around 63,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 200,000 people into temporary assignments;

– 23% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 41% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 36% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;

– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;

– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.

Search for jobs