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May 30, 2014

The secret to staff happiness – it's not money

The secret to staff happiness – it's not moneyTraining and development, flexible working and regular company social events are at least as important as a pay rise to employees within UK small businesses, according to new research by Viking.

The survey on workplace satisfaction reveals that team building and training are more important than a pay rise. However, it also found that 42% of employees are not happy at work, saying they are stressed and unmotivated. One in three people are not happy for half the working day.

The poll reveals that small business bosses could spend £476 per employee on social outings and training courses and see happiness increase by 35%. This compared to a pay rise of £5,000, which only yielded a 3% increase in happiness.

Viking polled more than 1,000 staff in SMEs across a range of sectors to discover the biggest factors of being happy, or unhappy, during their working day.

Sophie Christopher, from Viking, said: "We often think that more money will bring greater happiness, and while this is true to a certain extent, it is not the whole story. Employees value being valued."

Respondents also revealed that there are distinct areas that employers could improve on. Almost half (47%) of employees feel that lack of job security and not being informed about "the bigger picture" in terms of company objectives and goals is a main cause for unhappiness.

In addition, the employee benefits package was a bigger source of dissatisfaction (53%) than salary itself (51%), showing the importance of flexible working hours, additional holiday entitlement and team social events.

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