Incentives: Cash or sense of purpose?

Want to have a more engaged workforce? A new report reveals whether employees prefer being offered cash incentives or a ‘sense of purpose’

Incentives: Cash or sense of purpose?

A competitive salary and attractive benefits used to be the biggest drivers of employee engagement but according to the latest Hays Journal, more workers nowadays prefer having a sense of purpose.

“Employee engagement was traditionally driven by a good salary and attractive benefits, but today most people see these as a given,” said Lynne Roeder, managing director for Hays in Singapore. 

“Instead they look at what an organisation is working towards and known for. Crucially, they want to know that, as an employee, they will understand what they are working towards and how they make a difference, which gives them a greater sense of purpose.”

She added that employees want to feel like they’re making a difference and that what they’re working towards is something that matters.

They become more cognizant of the organisation’s objectives and are far more likely to support them because they understand them, she said.

“They’re given ownership in the organisation’s success since they know what is expected of them and what their part is in achieving the desired outcome.”

It’s important to foster a collaborative company culture, she said. This would also give employees a sense of belonging and value as they believe that they’re part of a team working towards a common goal.

“In contrast, organisations that don’t communicate employees’ role in achieving organisational goals create an atmosphere of uncertainty where senior managers and executives are seen to rule from above. A ‘them and us’ culture is created,” she noted.


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