Fair treatment at work is more likely to motivate staff than better pay, a survey has found.
The study also found that job security is an important motivational tool for firms in the North and especially the Midlands.
Motivation and incentives company Capital Incentives carried out the survey using responses to an on-line questionnaire from 1,780 people who visited its web site.
Being fairly treated was the most popular choice for employees both in the north and the south, ahead of good salary, good pay prospects and job security.
Graham Povey, managing director of Capital Incentives, said, "Many employers will be surprised by these findings. Most people automatically presume good pay and promotions are what motivate people at work – but these results prove that this is not always true.
"Successful businesses are not just about good pay – creating a happy and productive work environment is, I believe, far more important."
Northern employees rate job security as the fourth "very important" factor to their motivation at work, while this was only the seventh choice listed by southern employees.
The survey revealed a difference between the rewards and incentives employees received in different regions.
Employees in the Midlands and Scotland said they receive cash as their primary reward but southern employees are most often rewarded with entertainment schemes such as free gym membership, the survey claimed.
But all employees questioned said their preferred reward would be cash, followed closely by vouchers and entertainment, if they were given a choice.