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Emotional Salary: A Better Way To Retain Talent

Paying employees large monetary salaries is often not enough in the current climate for companies to attract top-tier workers, especially professionals from the millennial generation.

Instead, employees are increasingly drawn to new opportunities offering a significant amount of so-called “emotional salary,” which refers to benefits beyond compensation that businesses provide to boost the psychological well-being of their workforce.  These perks, including social benefits, are typically ones that help workers create a better work-life balance, boost their productivity, and promote self-development. For example, one study found that happy workers dedicate 65 percent more energy toward completing their daily tasks. 

Moreover, enhancing the positive feelings your employees have about your company is not only suitable for the workforce, but is also beneficial for the all-important bottom line.

Here are some effective ways of giving your workers an emotional salary:

Flexible Environment

Employees have become more accustomed to companies that allow them to work flexible schedules, and with good reason. The opportunity for workers to complete their hours when desired permits them to ensure key family responsibilities as a priority, a significant contributor to achieving work-life balance. Parents, especially those responsible for childcare during the week, are one group of employees that particularly value a flexible workplace.

Roughly 84 percent of working parents rank workplace flexibility as a crucial factor in a potential job, according to a FlexJobs survey. In addition, flexibility is often non-negotiable for millennials. Workers in that age group appreciate the opportunity to not only work outside of the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. window, but they also desire the ability to work remotely consistently.

If they feel they are not receiving the type of flexibility they want, millennials are not shy about moving on to the next opportunity. Checking in with them about their work satisfaction can facilitate conversations about further changes they would like to see in the workplace.

Health and Wellness Programs

Employers would also be wise to offer initiatives that prioritize the physical and mental health of their workers. These two topics are closely related to each other, as better physical health boosts mental health, and vice versa. Active wellness challenges employees can participate in together, such as “Bike to Work Day” or a “Get Outside Challenge” are a fun way to encourage your employees to get exercise.

Companies with larger budgets to support efforts in this area could follow Google’s lead, which offers employees yoga and fitness classes, as well as climbing and running facilities. Smaller-scale versions of that approach could include having a small gym on-site or contributing a small amount to pay for employees’ gym memberships.

Offering meditation sessions and permitting employees to take mental health days are great ways to promote emotional well-being among your workforce.

Professional and Personal Development

When deciding whether to take a new job, candidates will often ponder whether they will be provided with opportunities to develop skills that will help them advance their careers. Offering both professional and personal development programs can demonstrate that your company wants to help them do just that.

Trainings that teach workers how to use new technologies in your industry or highlight ways to improve core competencies are useful. These should be offered on an ongoing basis, so workers do not feel like they are stagnating, but are continually growing in ways that will serve them well and boost their production for the company.

Businesses should also emphasize that developing new skills will play a significant role in decisions about internal promotions. Providing training on skills such as public speaking that are applicable in almost all industries and helpful in one’s personal life are appreciated by employees as well, and they help build loyalty.

These are just a few ideas for offering top-notch professionals the type of emotional salary that will draw them to your company and ensure they remain in the fold for years to come. Satisfied workers will provide productivity and boost performance, a win-win scenario for employees and your business. 

Be sure to visit our blog to discover more about the latest trends regarding Human Resources, Employee Retention, and Recruitment topics.

By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

President and CEO of Barbachano International (BIP),

The Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA, offering high-impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.

About Barbachano International

Barbachano International (BIP) is the premier executive search and leadership advisory firm in the Americas (USA, Mexico, Latin America, & Canada) with a focus on diversity and multicultural target markets.  Outplacement and Executive Coaching services are provided by our sister allied company Challenger Gray & Christmas. Since 1992, BIP and its affiliates have impacted the profitability of over 50% of Fortune 500 Companies.  BIP has been recognized by Forbes as Americas’ Best Executive Search Firms and currently ranks #27 and #3 on the West Coast.  Headquartered in San Diego, California with satellite offices in Florida and Mexico.  As member-owners of NPAworldwide Recruitment Network, we are supported by partner offices in over 50 countries.


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