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Emotional pay: 5 fundamental pillars

El salario emocional y sus 5 pilares fundamentales

What is emotional pay?

Emotional pay is all non-financial compensation for work, which satisfies the employee needs at different levels. This type of salary is usually perceived as more valuable than the monetary one, and plays an important role in aspects such as employee motivation or productivity. 

The concept of emotional pay is revolutionizing the HR landscape. In an Infojobs report on motivations for changing jobs, the main motivation was salary (79%), followed closely by better working schedules (55%) or work-life balance (54%). 

These data are especially relevant for all those companies wanting to reduce employee turnover and absenteeism, improve their employer branding, and even implement happiness in the company. Emotional pay plays a very important role in these trends that drive job change, as it satisfies employee needs at a new level. 

Examples of emotional pay

In order to understand the fundamental pillas of this type of salary and its advantages, it is first necessary to understand what it exactly consists of. Here are some examples of emotional pay: 

  • Flexible remote work: possibility to work from home for a better work-life balance. To learn about your company’s obligations in this regard, take a look at our blog on remote working law in Spain.
  • Social benefits: personalized benefits and/or flexible compensation plan. 
  • Training and professional development: continuous learning thanks to a career plan, access to training and/or language courses…
  • Flexible working hours and extra days off
  • Access to resources: own spaces such as a gym or meditation room, or equipment at home needed for remote working.

Advantages of emotional pay

Emotional pay can become key to employee performance and, ultimately, the company’s productivity level as well as its branding. Some of these advantages are: 

  • Psychological well-being: thanks to the recognition and satisfaction of their needs, the employee benefits from lower stress levels and increased commitment and motivation. 
  • Reduced turnover and absenteeism: employees feel more at ease and satisfied, so they want to stay with the company and have no need to miss work.
  • Increased productivity and competitiveness: it is proven that a happy employee is more productive, and the company will be able to compete with larger companies in attracting talent with a more personalized and attractive compensation package.
  • Improved compensation without increasing the budget: the company can improve its compensation package without having to invest more money.

The 5 key pillars

Octavius Black, CEO of Mind Gym, already highlighted in 2010 the 5 fundamental pillars to consider in emotional pay. Until then, it was not common to consider non-financial aspects that impacted employee motivation when deciding on their salary. 

The 5 pillars of emotional pay are: 

  1. Recognition of the importance of the employee’s work
  2. Communicating your expectations
  3. Assurance that they have the necessary resources to perform their job
  4. Fostering a good working environment and relationships between managers and employees
  5. Establishing transparent and fluid communication

At the end of the day, Black also highlighted a general and essential pillar: empathy and connection. As he rightly pointed out: 

"We subconsciously identify and empathize more with other people when we can see something of ourselves in them.”

- Octavius Black

Employee happiness

Undoubtedly, one of the great benefits of emotional pay is that it promotes happiness, making the employee feel better both at work and personally. To promote employee happiness, it is important to provide time for HR managers to focus on activities such as achievement recognition or performance appraisal. One of the easiest ways to do this is by installing HR software. 

Do you want to learn more about how to facilitate the daily work of your employees? Request a free demo with niikiis!

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