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Job rewards are top engagement driver for US employees, Ceridian study finds

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US employers risk high levels of disengagement and staff turnover if job rewards are not addressed, research from human capital management firm Ceridian has found.

The study showed companies must address generational preferences in regards to job rewards, performance feedback and job motivation to fully engage and retain their top talent.

Ceridian surveyed more than 1,000 US employees, ranging from baby boomers, Gen Y and Gen X to analyse perceptions of job rewards, recognition, performance reviews and career satisfaction.

The study found job rewards to be the most important engagement driver for US employees. And more than half (64%) preferred non-monetary rewards, such as free personal days off, free meals and tickets to events.

Job rewards was the highest driver of engagement (chosen by 47%), followed by recognition (42%) and motivation (11%).

"A robust rewards programme is an important engagement tool for employers," said Dave MacKay, president of Ceridian HCM. "If employers feel their pay is fair, then additional rewards such as time-off in lieu, providing state-of-the art technology or free meals can help solidify an organisation's reputation as a great place to work."

Four generations

The study found employers must understand what makes a job worthwhile in order to ensure their employees remain committed to their job and their overall career.

For Gen Y and baby boomers, having "interesting work" was the main driver of motivation. However, Gen X said "a good salary" is what motivated them the most.

The study showed the most popular factors for making the job more rewarding are the options to work flexible hours, have more training and take on additional responsibilities.

Chief HR officer at Ceridian HCM Sara Hill said individual preferences and value differences have always been a part of workforce culture.

"Rapid technological changes, coupled with a workforce that spans four generations means rewarding, communicating with and motivating employees is more complicated than ever before," said Hill.

"Rather than risk losing a good employees and potential future leader, employers need to remain flexible and evolve their best practices in these areas in order to meet the current needs and desires of their most valuable asset - their employees."