Jobs: Being told ‘thank you’ is second most popular employee benefit after pay rise

Employers could keep their staff happy at very little cost just by saying “thank you” every now and again.

That’s according to Capital Employee Benefits which has questioned more than 3,000 people for a survey which looked at the retirement plans and employment of British adults.

Unsurprisingly pay comes in first as the most valuable workplace benefit but in second place, at 34 per cent, is being thanked or recognised for work.

Humble praise topped a promotion or training (both 17 per cent) and flexible hours (22 per cent).

Being recognised or thanked was particularly popular among women (39 per cent), those over 55 (41 per cent), and residents of Derby (46 per cent) and Edinburgh (40 per cent).

More than one in five respondents (22 per cent) would like more employer pension contributions and this was particularly appreciated by respondents in Brighton and Leicester (28 per cent) and in Newcastle (35 per cent).

Robin Hames, head of marketing at Capita Employee Benefits, said: “Although a pay rise ranks as the most important thing an employer can do to make staff feel valued, with 58 per cent of respondents to our survey choosing this, being thanked or recognised is, surprisingly, the second most important across all age groups.

“Making people feel appreciated is a low cost and easy to implement benefit, so in these times of austerity it’s important for employers to know how highly this is valued.”

Being thanked or recognised was also the second most popular choice in almost every industry sector, but was particularly popular with those working in retail (47 per cent), health and social care (42 per cent) and government (39 per cent).

But those employed in IT would prefer flexible hours (24 per cent) or professional training and development (23 per cent); only one in five (22 per cent) choosing being thanked or recognised.