UK workers are not motivated by Coalition-backed employee ownership business models, and instead want greater focus from bosses on a meritocratic bonus culture, a new poll suggests.

While the Government believes growth will prevail through a ‘John Lewis’ led economy, research by leading recruitment consultants, Badenoch & Clark, has found that over three quarters (76.2%) of UK workers believe a bonus scheme is a greater incentive to work harder than employee share ownership; with less than one in ten (6.5%) keen to have a stake in their organisation.

Although announcements of large bonus payments have met with some opposition, Badenoch & Clark’s research of over 1,000 office workers suggests that the promise of a bonus payment is still incentive enough for many employees. However, there is some disagreement over how bonuses should be awarded.

While just over two fifths (44.3%) believe bonuses should be based on an individual’s own or team’s performance alone, nearly a third (30.2%) believe they should receive a payout if the company does well, regardless of their own input, and over a third (35.9%) believe both factors should be considered. A further one in ten (7.6%) also believe bonus payments should only be awarded to a certain level of seniority.

Employee engagement is currently a high priority for UK organisations however it seems the potential of owning a stake in your own company at the current time is not enough to motivate and engage UK workers.

Nicola Linkleter, Managing Director, at Badenoch & Clark said: “In the current economic environment, retaining a committed workforce is an important ingredient for productivity and success. However, achieving this takes more than remuneration, and while employees may claim that bonus schemes will encourage them to do their job only a quarter (24.6%) of employees would be happy to have this awarded on their personal performance alone.

“Likewise, without this sense of personal commitment and reward, employee share ownership models will always have limited success. True motivation for such models can only ever be achieved if employees believe they have a voice in the way the organisation is run and results are visible. To create a connection between employee contribution and outcome employers must therefore first ensure internal communications are established, engaging employees in the organisation’s success and signalling their importance in its future direction.”