Sleep is better than a pay rise!

Researchers at Oxford Economics have found that a good night’s sleep is worth more than quadrupling an employees disposable income.

Of course there are other ways of motivating employees, or resisting the pay rise!

It is an illusion, beyond a threshold level, that money is a strong motivator. It is certainly a mistake to offer a pay rise to an underperforming employee in the hope that he or she will perform better. Like the new car, a pay rise is always good but soon becomes part of the new norm. Performance may increase for a while but it soon drops back to previous levels.

HR professionals will cite many examples where the “flavour of the month employee” suddenly becomes the one they are asked to dismiss. That does not look good in a Tribunal where many ill-considered pay-rises end up!

So here are some thoughts to reduce pay rise requests:

  • Offer training. Learning is a true motivator and can lead to better performance from increased skills and knowledge.
  • Make work expectations clear; not knowing what your boss expects is stressful and undermines performance
  • Reduce role ambiguity which is a major source of stress, this is an especial risk where an employee has two bosses, a direct line one and a “diagonal” one.
  • Less is more – seek to avoid excessive workloads, employees will sleep better, be happier and thus be more productive.
  • Beware misleading statistics on average salaries. The average writer earns around £20k per year; but that includes J K Rowling and is therefore deceptive. Half of all writers earn less than £10k a year. (Approximate figures).
  • Create a “happy” work environment, encourage good relationships between colleagues, show interest and flexibility, encourage exercise and good food.
  • Finally, do what you can to ensure employees have a good night’s sleep!

Malcolm Martin FCIPD
Author Human Resource Practice

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