Close this search box.
Emirates Old Trafford
Smart Group - Electric Xmas

Workers are not motivated by lump sums

Bonuses often involve sizeable investment by UK employers, but new research has found that the majority of workers are not motivated by lump sums.

One4all Rewards’ Push the Button Report questioned 1,000 UK workers about what motivates them in the workplace.

The study found that, while rewards and incentives are often effective for maintaining morale and attracting staff, simply handing out lumps of cash is not an effective way of increasing staff efforts – indeed, 78% would not work significantly harder in exchange for a bonus equivalent to 10% of their annual salary.

And even incentives equivalent to 25% of annual salaries would not motivate more than 1 in 2 (59%) of workers.

Similarly, a 10% pay rise would only result in 22% of workers working harder.

These findings suggest that incentivising staff to work harder is about much more than bumping up their bank balances – and suggests that the 64% of UK employers who are currently awarding incentives and bonuses need to design and distribute them carefully, in order to achieve tangible increases in staff output and motivation across the entire workforce.

For those businesses looking at alternatives to financial incentives, the report findings identified several effective options.

1 in 5 workers are motivated to work harder by regular rewards – such as weekly or monthly treats.

And benefits that make salaries go further by covering employees’ monthly costs – such as pension contributions, health insurance, savings on travel or food – would result in an increase in output for 18% of employees.

John Byrne, performance coach at Mindcoach, said:

“It’s very often quoted that businesses lose customers because their clients don’t feel valued, or they feel a perceived attitude of indifference to them. A singular approach to employee motivation has the same effect. Employees leave high paying jobs because their other human needs aren’t being met. It’s human to want to feel understood, valued, cared for, connected and relevant.”

To read the full report visit: