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Beyond the Pay cheque: Embracing Emotional Salary for Employee Retention and Satisfaction

Beyond the Pay cheque: Embracing Emotional Salary for Employee Retention and Satisfaction

At Pyou, we have always stayed ahead of the curve by anticipating and adapting to changes in the job market. We constantly evaluate what motivates jobseekers, and our observations reveal a shifting landscape.

In a rapidly changing labour market, attracting and retaining talent is more challenging than ever. Traditional wisdom suggests that a higher salary is the primary motivator for jobseekers. Still, traditional reward systems, particularly those based on monetary benefits, are increasingly insufficient to keep employees motivated and engaged. This is where the concept of “emotional salary” steps in. 


What’s the emotional salary

This “emotional salary” is defined by the Spanish Association for Quality, it refers to non-economic elements of an employee’s remuneration, designed to satisfy personal, familial, and professional needs, thereby improving the quality of life and promoting work-life balance. The notion of salary has shifted from being purely monetary to encompassing aspects that ensure a better work-life balance and personal growth.


The Value of Non-Monetary Benefits: A New Perspective

Employers must recognize this shift and adapt to it. At Pyou, we have seen that the employees of today are not just looking for a job, they’re looking for a project, a place where they can grow, develop their skills, and work towards their career goals. This can be a challenging task for companies, but it also presents an opportunity to attract and retain talent by offering a comprehensive package that not only includes a competitive salary, but also comprises several other benefits.

  • One such sought-after benefit is training. Continuous learning and development opportunities have become a significant draw for employees. The provision of such opportunities not only enhances the skills and productivity of the employees, but also boosts their morale and job satisfaction. At Pyou, we understand this and have incorporated it into our strategy to support our clients. We help companies develop and implement training programs that align with their employees’ aspirations, thereby fostering a culture of learning and growth. Training opportunities, which not only enhance employees’ skills, but also fosters motivation and teamwork. Companies are seeing a 20-30% annual turnover in their workforce, a severe cost to the business. By offering opportunities for personal and professional growth, companies can demonstrate their commitment to their employees, which in turn can help reduce turnover. Furthermore, training is a valuable non-monetary reward that can be particularly appealing to employees. The 2020 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.
  • Emphasising non-monetary rewards also requires leaders to be more involved in providing regular and constructive feedback. According to Gallup, leaders who offer frequent and continuous feedback are more likely to lead employees who feel motivated to do outstanding work, and those employees are nearly three times more likely to be engaged at work​. In fact, nearly 60% of employees surveyed stated that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis. This number increased to 72% for employees who are under the age of 30. Feedback is critical for developing and refining skills, especially communication and empathy, which are related to building and nurturing relationships and enhancing performance. There are several ways leaders can provide feedback, such as through 360-degree feedback assessments, direct solicitation of feedback, reviewing performance reviews, and active listening.
  • Flexible work schedules and the ability to work remotely are other non-monetary benefits that are gaining popularity. These benefits contribute to a healthier work-life balance and show the company’s trust in its employees, thereby boosting their loyalty and commitment.
  • Benefits like healthcare, childcare vouchers, and meal facilities are often highly appreciated by employees and can improve their quality of life​.


How to understand the emotional salary your workforce wants

In the context of personal branding, feedback plays a crucial role. It’s important to remember that your brand isn’t solely about introspection, but also requires external validation. Regularly seeking and processing feedback is essential for keeping your self-perceptions real and refining your skills, especially those related to building and nurturing relationships and enhancing performance. There are various ways to receive feedback:

  • Conduct a 360-degree feedback assessment: This can provide candid, anonymous feedback and turn diverse input into actionable insights​.
  • Actively ask for feedback: Make it a habit to request feedback regularly, demonstrating genuine interest in others’ opinions and continually refining your thoughts and actions based on their responses​.
  • Review your performance reviews: These can offer powerful insights into external perceptions, especially when you receive input from respected individuals who have had first-hand experience with you​.
  • Listen to what others say about you: This can provide insights into how you are perceived by others, as the way you’re introduced or complimented often relates to your unique skills or differentiators.



In conclusion, while salary remains an essential factor, it is no longer the only determinant. Employees are seeking a holistic approach to compensation that not only rewards them monetarily, but also contributes to their overall growth and well-being. This shift in perspective presents an opportunity for companies to innovate their compensation packages and create a more engaging and rewarding work environment.

At Pyou, we remain committed to assisting our clients in navigating this evolving landscape. Our specialised recruiters are equipped to identify highly qualified professionals and align them with companies that value their needs.