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Employees want purpose not ‘flashy perks’, says report

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Employees rate having a purpose and feeling valued at work more than getting a pay rise, a new report has found.


Nearly half (45 per cent) of workers polled for Headspace Health’s fourth annual report on workforce attitudes towards mental health, said that being recognised for their work was the most important factor when it came to workplace wellbeing.

Further, 9 in 10 employees said they do their best work when they feel included and connected to their team and 88 percent of employees agreed that it’s important that they bring their “whole self” to work.

Today, when employees say “more,” they actually mean, purpose, meaning, to feel valued, says the report by Headspace. Photograph: iStockToday, when employees say “more,” they actually mean, purpose, meaning, to feel valued, says the report by Headspace. Photograph: iStock

“Giving employees a reason to stay involves more than providing flashy perks and for many, even increased pay,” says the report. “Today, when employees say “more,” they actually mean, ‘purpose,’ ‘meaning,’ ‘to feel valued.’”

“The new currency is less about dollars and more about experiencing compassionate support, psychological safety, and a sense of belonging.”

Improving mental health support – crucially making it more personal and individual – as well as making work more purposeful, was now key to employee retention it said.

The findings come as another poll said the UK is facing a ‘disengagement crisis’. Two in three workers in the poll by recruitment company, Robert Walters said they feel disengaged from work.

According to the research half of white-collar workers claimed that their workplace has become unrecognisable in the past 12 months, with high staff turnover (54%), less people coming into the office (49%), and a subsequent decline in team socials (43%) the main drivers.

Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters said: “What is apparent here is the traditional tactics used to build a lively, inclusive, and social workplace culture are simply not cutting it. The hybrid-working world and subsequent decline in office attendance is having a detrimental impact on employee engagement and companies must act fast to keep employees engaged and attract the best professionals.”

Read the Headspace report here: bit.ly/3AgVGUo

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