6 January 2016

Employees prefer recognition to money

Donut chart showing the different influences of corporate behaviour, with 'tone at the top' taking up the lion's share of the chart.
Source: ACCA report. Tone at the top influences corporate behaviour the most, according to 61% of respondents.

A new report, Culture and channelling corporate behaviour: ACCA member survey, published by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has found that recognition at work is the highest motivator, regardless of age, industry or location – even outstripping monetary reward.

The survey, which was co-funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council), harnessed the views of almost 2,000 ACCA finance professionals from across the globe. The results also highlighted geographical variations, including the desire to reach a more senior position as being a stronger motivator in Africa and Asia while having a more challenging role was most important for employees in the Americas.

Jo Iwasaki, ACCA Head of Corporate Governance, said: “The survey highlighted some clear distinctions between employee views in Europe and America and Africa and Asia. For example in Africa and Asia rules and procedures play a larger role than for respondents in Europe. However, the tone of corporate leadership is vitally important in channelling the overall culture of an organisation in any region.”

The issue of performance management will be of particular interest to business leaders. Although half of the respondents conceded that performance-related pay schemes could help foster best performance, nearly two-third thought that such systems may invite people to exaggerate or otherwise falsify their measures. This shows the fine line employers need to tread when putting in place performance related targets and the need for careful consideration when linking them to pay.

Konstantinos Stathopoulos, Professor of Accounting and Finance at Manchester Business School and co-author of the report, said: “The survey results reveal there is no 'one size fits all' strategy when it comes to building corporate culture and behaviour. Even though the role of leadership in setting the tone is highlighted in most responses, the survey uncovers significant differences in attitudes and perceptions regarding effective channels of corporate behaviour. These disparities are also intensified by differences in respondents’ geographic location, industry and characteristics.”


Read the report