Thank you! - the cheapest way to motivate the IT department

Being thanked for good work and having plenty of free food and drink are the prerequisites of a happy IT department.

Being thanked for good work and having plenty of free food and drink are the prerequisites of a happy IT department.

Royal & SunAlliance's employee benefits portal youatwork.co.uk asked staff in various industries about what kept them happy in their jobs, and found that almost two-thirds of IT workers wanted to be given a good pat on the back to keep them motivated.

This compared with 20% who wanted flexible working, 13% who wanted job training, and 3% who were keen on being taken out for a drink by the boss.

Staff away days, along with meaningless new job titles, were unanimously rejected by IT workers despite finding modest support in other industries.

Gerry Callaghan, chief executive officer of youatwork, said: "High-value benefits have their place but many organisations don't explain their value. This leaves staff to underplay their worth."

"Too many employers are missing the easy tricks," he added. "In the race for talent and better results, a tremendous amount of time and money is committed to motivating and encouraging the workforce when, in practice, straightforward rewards are often the most effective."

When it came to specific perks with the job, IT workers lived up to their image of living at the desk with 57% wanting unlimited free snacks and soft drinks. The survey average for unlimited food was only 44%.

Free fruit was also an option, with a whopping 70% of IT workers going for this compared with an industry average of only 42%. IT workers were also among the keenest on free lunchtime massages, with 40% wanting their well-fed flesh kneaded..

And, to make sure they could cope with all that work in between the eating, almost 40% of IT workers said they wanted stress counselling, compared with an industry average of just over 20%.

Research organisation Survey Shop interviewed 803 workers across the UK in April.

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