Emotional salary: an increasingly key intangible value

Flexibility in schedules, empathy in dealing with others individual considerations are some of the keys to paying what is priceless. Each employee’s ability to self-assess what motivates them and what their limits are.

“Work is no longer something separate from personal life. We spend part of the day sleeping; part with friends, family, on social media and watching television, etc, but most of the time is spent working”, says Maria Isabel “Marisa” Elizundia, born in Mexico and based in Madrid, creator of the Emotional Salary Barometer. And she reveals: “According to the latest statistics on this issue, 80 percent of people feel unhappy working. In other words, we have to change the way work is managed ”.

Marisa is 53 years old, she is a specialist in Human Resources and offers a revolutionary outlook. “The emotional salary is a shared responsibility between the company and the employee. In this framework, leaders are an essential agent. The collaborator has to be considered from an holistic point of view. But, in addition, they should know themselves enough to know what they have as strengths, what they need for their own motivation, what they value ​​and what their limits are. Many say ‘I want more freedom’, but, can I administer it with enough discipline? ”

It is not about “asking and getting it given to you”, but about knowing our own needs to grow. Therefore, she believes communication is vital. “Labor relations are something to work on constantly. It’s not like you take a pill and the problem is solved, ” she adds.

Regarding the possibility of designing tailor-made emotional salaries, the specialist sums up: “Since it is unique for each individual and has to do with what is important for that person, it must be emphasized that each one designs their own, taking responsibility for what is important for them”.

On a concrete level, Elizundia proposes the application of the emotional salary barometer, which allows to measure what employees perceive they have in favor and what they lack. Among the factors to be analyzed are: autonomy, a sense of belonging, creativity ―the capacity to analyze problems from different perspectives―, direction ―that leaders think flexibly―, enjoyment ―promoting events so that employees can meet―, inspiration, mastery ―that leaders recognize their collaborators―, personal growth ―for positive traits and strengths―, professional growth ―through skills exchange sessions― and purpose ―for the development of clear and reviewable objectives―.

“The diversity of perspectives is given by a large number of factors, such as gender, education, geography and culture, among many others. It is important to understand that there are different ways of seeing the world and living one’s life and that it is built from the experience and history of each one”, says Verónica Giménez, People Executive Director for Latin America at Globant.

“In that sense, ensuring spaces for visibility and listening is key to designing a strategy. Generate a culture that enhances autonomy and empowerment so that different people face proposals. Being able to build that culture by having the perspective from different scenarios is what allows us to build a policy that includes diversity ”, she adds. This is why the company’s Be Kind to Yourself Program stands out, focused on physical, mental and spiritual well-being of each employee and which includes sessions to stop smoking, mindfulness spaces, yoga classes, reiki, days off, among other possibilities.

So how important is this emotional aspect in a job market looking to retain talent? “Very”, from Elizundia’s point of view. “Obviously, the economic salary will be very important, but the emotional salary will be differentiating. The money is there. The competition of the future will not be salary, but emotional salary. All taking into account that it is something changeable and adaptable. The growth of work from home as a result of the pandemic showed a lot of this, ”she says.

And Giménez agrees: “I dare say that in the current labor market, meeting these types of needs and generating concrete initiatives is a fundamental axis for any company in the sector. It is highly relevant to build an active listening structure to develop an organizational culture that enhances the best of each person. Nowadays, organizations are aware that generating a balance between personal and professional life is key ”.

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