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A human connection as simple as saying “thank you” can make a real difference to the happiness of your workforce and boost employee retention, according to new research.

Research published last week suggested that workers want a positive work-life balance more than a pay rise, and now, a study by global services provider Appirio reinforces the idea that paying higher salaries is not the key to a happier team.

It found that when considering a job offer, just 4% of candidates are concerned with how often employees have a pay review. In fact, 60% of those surveyed said that knowing whether or not the staff feel appreciated by management is the most important factor in their decision.

Harry West, head of worker experience solutions at Appirio, said: "Recruiting tech talent is a problem plaguing the C-suite: 90% of employers say finding the right talent is a primary issue facing the executive team.

“Our survey found that appreciation, connectedness, and emotional safety all outrank compensation as important factors in career decision-making. Employee engagement can’t be solved by simply showering workers with raises and bonuses — companies must be dedicated to providing transparency, support, and technologies that keep high-end tech talent happy.”

The survey found workers want a boss who acts as an advocate (33%) above such aspects as: a clear path to a promotion (22%), receiving regular performance reviews and feedback (17%), earning incentive-based bonuses (12%), or even being beloved by senior executives (12%).

Over half (55%) of workers value receiving a “thank you” from their managers for a project well done, while only 8% would feel disappointed if the same project didn’t result in a cash reward.