The Importance of an Emotional Salary at Work

A motivated, happy employee isn't just a sign of a good paycheck. Feeling satisfied at work also requires an emotional salary. An emotional salary consists of all the non-monetary benefits that a company provides employees. Read on to find out why emotional salaries are important!
The Importance of an Emotional Salary at Work
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

If you want an employee to perform well, it’s important to provide them a fair salary and bonuses or other monetary incentives. However, money isn’t the only thing that keeps employees motivated and satisfied. In this regard, emotional salary is gaining popularity in today’s workplaces.

Dr. Steven Poelmans, Professor of Neuroscience and Strategic Leadership at Antwerp Management School in Belgium, says that “An emotional salary is the set of non-monetary benefits that a company offers their workers and that complement the traditional salary with new creative formulas that adapt to modern needs.”

An emotional salary motivates workers and allows companies to keep their talent. This second benefit is so important that we’ll discuss it more in depth later on.

Employees with a good emotional salary.

Types of emotional salary

The different types of emotional salary vary from company to company, but there are some basic ones that may lead to happy employees:

  • A good work environment. Having a good work environment will ensure that the employees feel good and work effectively as a team. Bringing in a business psychologist is one way to help manage conflicts that arise between coworkers.
  • Personal and professional development. Providing ongoing training opportunities for employees is crucial. Continuing education to refresh old skills and learn new ones is a very good way to keep workers motivated. Offering your employees a way to get promoted can also have very positive results.
  • Compatibility with personal life. Giving days off for medical appointments or to take care of personal matters, having a flexible schedule, allowing employees to work from home once a week, or giving vacation days for meeting certain goals are all great elements to include in an attractive emotional salary.
  • Having a voice in the company. Listening to your employees’ opinions before making decisions is very important. They’re an essential part of the company and nothing would work without them. Thus, giving them a voice, listening to them, and showing them that their opinions and feelings matter can lead to positive consequences.

“The most productive work comes out of the hands of a happy man.”

-Victor Pauchet-

The importance of retaining talented employees

In a way, a good emotional salary is one way to keep talented employees in the company. On the other hand, it’s also important to hire the right employees. Every business has its own values and if the potential hire doesn’t fit in with those values, it won’t matter how good of an emotional salary you offer.

That’s why every business needs to have an idea of what their “ideal employee” looks like. This will also help them choose the types of emotional salary that will be important for that ideal employee, and which aren’t especially relevant.

A woman working in a cafe.

Talented people are very valuable. They have creative minds that can help the business advance and achieve goals that once seemed unreachable. They fall into the “ideal candidate” category and, once they’re part of the team, it would be a mistake to let them go.

A good salary isn’t enough to keep talented people. If another business comes along and offers them more flexible hours, an on-site daycare, a cafeteria, and a break room, they’d probably quit and decide to start working there.

“My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors.”

-Steve Jobs-

All employees need an emotional salary to feel like their work is meaningful and have professional development opportunities. When employees are motivated in this way, they’ll want to work hard to achieve their goals. A successful workplace is one in which the business and the workers all win.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.