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Emotional salary: Meaning, Elements, Factors, Benefits and Examples

Last Updated : 15 Jan, 2024
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What is Emotional Salary?

Emotional Salary is the satisfaction that a person gets from a job. It’s a non-monetary type of compensation that is provided to an employee in a company. It is different from material salary and benefits and serves as a source of motivation for the employee. It’s about feeling appreciated, happy at work, and recognized for the contribution. It’s not just about finishing tasks for money, but enjoying them and feeling a connection with a job. Important elements of emotional salary include recognition, autonomy, feedback, learning opportunities, work-life balance, and job security. Emotional salary can be considered the heart and soul of a job. If the company focuses on these factors for giving high emotional salary, then they can create a workplace where every day is a fulfilling adventure, with lots of small victories.


Geeky Takeaways:

  • Emotional salary can be understood as a non-monetary compensation that an employee gets in the form of job satisfaction and inner peace on performing the job.
  • Emotional salary serves as a motivational factor that boosts the productivity of an employee and also creates a healthy work environment.
  • Performance Recognition, Job Security, Authority, and Autonomy in decision-making are some forms of emotional salary

Basic Elements of Emotional Salary

Some fundamental elements of emotional salary that contribute to an individual’s emotional well-being and satisfaction include:

1. Recognition:

The recognition and appreciation an individual gets for his skills among colleagues and managers provides satisfaction to him. Recognition is being recognised for a job done well. Recognition can be in many forms like, employers can send employees a thank-you note for completing achievements, they can provide certificates, they can provide awards, etc. It will boost their confidence, and self-esteem, which will increase their loyalty, engagement, and motivation for work.

2. Autonomy:

The freedom that an employee receives in his workplace for completing his tasks, goals, etc., is called autonomy. For example, the employee is given the freedom to choose the teams they want to work with, choose projects they want to get involved in and choose a schedule for their work are some ways of increasing autonomy. It will boost their emotional salary, then they will feel free to show their creativity, expertise, and initiatives aligned with their strengths, and preferences. In this way, they will feel like an integral part of the company and can contribute to the decision-making process.

3. Learning Opportunities:

If there are learning opportunities available for employees such as a library of books, helping managers, and co-workers, and resources for practice and training like seminars workshops, etc., then they can learn from them and increase their skills, performance, and efficiency because of which they can contribute better for company. Learning is essential for individuals at personal and professional levels, as it helps in increasing potential. Day by day technology is improving, and people are learning new methods of doing work, so to move with the world continuous learning is important. To provide a proper work-life balance for employees, employers can take steps like providing flexible work arrangements, a supportive work environment, a reasonable workload, or personal time. It will increase their emotional salary, thus employees will be happier, be less stressed, and fulfil their personal as well as the company’s needs more efficiently.

4. Opportunities for Innovation and Creativity:

The opportunities an employee receives being a part of a company to show his creativity and contribution boosts the emotional salary of employees as it will enable them to stimulate their creativity, passion, and imagination to make a positive impact or difference in the organization. Employers can provide certain opportunities such as collaborative work opportunities, learning opportunities, challenging work, etc.

Factors of Emotional Salary

The factors contributing to emotional salary vary across individuals. However, key factors that contribute to emotional salary are:

1. Relationship with colleagues:

Doing the job means one has to stay with employees that’s almost half the time of the day. So, good and cooperative relationships with colleagues and managers are very important for well well-being of individuals. And it directly affects your emotional salary. If relations among colleagues are bad, the work environment becomes unhealthy making the job a burden for the employees.

2. Growth:

Employees will feel demotivated if not promoted after working on the same title for years and this hampers the personal job growth of an employee. If a person does the same things for multiple years, he will get stressed up and bored from the work that’s why growth is necessary. Companies should have a good promotion culture so that employees enjoy their work and don’t feel like quitting.

3. Relationship with Manager:

If the manager hears issues of employees and has a good leadership style, guidance, and good communication, then it will be a determining factor of an individual’s emotional salary. If an employee has any problem, then the manager is the only person they can approach. If managers don’t respect them, then employees will hesitate to tell any of their problems and it will affect their performance.

4. Fair compensation and Practices:

While financial compensation is not part of the emotional salary, fair practices such as getting a salary according to market value and receiving a salary on time and equal pay for equal work are factors that contribute to emotional salary. If their salary is unfair or lesser compared to their colleagues, they won’t take the job seriously and feel ignored.

5. No Discrimination:

If there is discrimination done on any basis, such as gender, colour, or anything, then it will adversely affect the emotional salary of an employee. Equality is a factor that determines emotional salary. Discrimination in a workplace makes employees feel like he is not equal to other employees and he is not worthy. So, company officials should make strict regulations regarding equality in the organization.

6. Work-Life Balance:

Work-life balance is the ability to balance work responsibilities with personal and family life. An organization shall make flexible work arrangements that accommodate individual needs. Stress-free personal life has a positive impact on the professional performance of an individual.

Examples of Emotional Salary

  • Getting a thank-you note, a certificate, or a trophy from a manager or organization after completing a project or goal.
  • Working in an organization that respects everyone’s values, ethics, and ideas.
  • Getting a safe and stable working environment where an employee feels confident about the security of their positions and the long-term stability of the organization.
  • Getting a choice of flexible working hours, work location, etc., and consideration of decisions and problems.
  • Getting regular feedback on work by managers, and colleagues, as well as getting the opportunity to provide feedback to others.
  • Providing equal learning opportunities, and resources for employees, as well as conducting training programs, workshops, or seminars for better engagement and learning.
  • A good and healthy balance between work and home helps to perform well in a job and also helps to complete responsibilities and hobbies.
  • Treated respectfully by colleagues, and other members of the organization.
  • Feeling that their work is meaningful and valuable and that they are making a positive difference in the organization and society.

Benefits of Emotional Salary

Emotional salary can have many benefits for both the employee and the organization, such as:

For the Employee:

  • Increased motivation, satisfaction, and engagement with their work and organization.
  • Improved performance, productivity, and quality of their work output and outcomes.
  • Enhanced creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills.
  • Reduced stress, burnout, and turnover intention that promotes mental peace.
  • Higher happiness, well-being, and health.

For the Organization:

  • Attracted and retained talented and committed employees that reduced the labour turnover ratio.
  • Strengthened organizational culture, climate, and identity.
  • Boosted organizational reputation, image, and brand.
  • Increased organizational competitiveness, profitability, and sustainability.
  • Contributed to organizational social responsibility and impact.
  • Development of a positive and supportive work culture, characterized by teamwork, collaboration, and positivity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Why is emotional salary important?

Emotional salary is as important as material salary because it will give you job satisfaction, motivation, and proper management between personal and work life. It also helps in self-development and increases self-esteem.

2. What ways you can try to increase your emotional salary?

You can form positive relationships with your colleagues, give and welcome feedback with a positive attitude, improve communication and listening skills to understand others and talk to your manager for any needs.

3. How do small victories contribute to emotional salary?

Getting recognition and appreciation for small victories will create a sense of encouragement and motivation in employees to achieve and complete goals. So, it will contribute to the emotional salary of employees by boosting their morale, and motivation.

4. What strategies companies can implement to celebrate small achievements and milestones?

They can organize events, awards, or personalized recognition, boosting emotional salary by acknowledging individuals. For example, Rewarding employees with the title of Employee of the Month, Hero of the Year, and so on.

5. How does emotional salary contribute to a company’s success?

Emotional salary has a high role in the company’s success because employees with high emotional salary are more committed, creative, and contribute positively to their team. They work efficiently and with full loyalty towards the achievement of organizational goals.

6. Is emotional salary applicable to only certain professions?

No, the concept of emotional salary is relevant for all types of professions because it’s about emotional rewards that one can get and provide in a job regardless of profession.

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