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Research throws doubt on impact of pay, flexible working and benefits on employee engagement

Pay, flexible working and employee benefits are not the key to maximising performance, new research reveals.

According to HR, payroll and talent management solutions provider MidlandHR, although employers often assume flexible working hours, good pay and benefits are fundamental to increasing engagement performance, these are in fact the three least important reasons.

The study, Investigating Employee Engagement and Predictive Analytics, surveyed the opinions of over 100 business leaders in UK public, private and charity sectors.

Of the 19 aspects that could potentially affect employee engagement, the top three most important were found to be: relationship with colleagues (95%); relationship with line manager (94%); and recognition of achievement (93%).

In comparison, the bottom three were: flexible working hours (82%); good pay (79%); and flexible benefits (62%).

Commenting on the research, MidlandHR's research director, Leslie Bowie, said: "This research acts as an important reminder to organisations that throwing money at a problem will not necessarily make it better.

"Contrary to popular belief, employees are not driven by money alone, and therefore to improve relationships organisations should take more time to look at workforce planning methods such as implementing regular appraisals.

"As the survey highlights, these can improve employee engagement and have a significant and sustained impact on the retention of top performers and therefore on the bottom line."