Can money buy loyalty?

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​If money was the only motivator for job seekers, no one would volunteer or take a lower paying job because they believe in the cause or love the company ethos. In truth, humans are complex creatures, and we are motivated to perform at our jobs by a multitude of physical and psychological rewards besides financial gain.

Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards

Rewards can be divided into two broad categories, namely intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Job seekers would do well to look for a company that offers a total rewards program which includes a wide variety of rewards from each category. Let’s take a closer look at the rewards contained in these two categories.

What are extrinsic rewards?

Extrinsic rewards come from external sources. These are the rewards we get from our employers, supervisors, professional bodies or even from fellow workers. They include financial rewards such as base salary, salary increases, performance-related bonuses, incentives and paid time off.

In addition to these financial rewards, we are also motivated by non-financial extrinsic rewards such as verbal praise, public recognition or awards, or even a better office.

How much we are challenged by our roles, the amount of responsibility and autonomy we have, and the variety of tasks we perform at work can all be powerful motivators.

Career development is also important to many employees, and this is provided through extrinsic rewards such as learning, training and development opportunities, succession plans, career progression, promotions and additional responsibilities.

Social extrinsic rewards including a positive and supportive organisational climate and management culture, performance support, work group affinity and work/life balance should form part of any effective total reward program.

What are intrinsic rewards?

Intrinsic rewards originate internally in the employee. They are self-administered and self-defined and include things such as professional growth and a sense of personal achievement, pleasure and accomplishment.

What to look for in a total rewards program?

There are five key elements to look for when evaluating a company’s total rewards program.

1. Salary: Although it has been shown to be less important than non-financial rewards, you still want a fair deal. Make sure the pay package they’re offering is a good fit for you. Ideally, it should reward excellent performance with incentives and bonuses.

2. Benefits: Australian’s can expect to receive certain benefits such as superannuation contributions and paid sick leave. Other benefits that may be on offer include employee assistance programs, discounted health insurance, wellness centres or gym facilities.

3. Work/life balance rewards: Do they offer incentives for a healthy work/life balance such as flexible working arrangements, paid time off, maternity/paternity leave, or carers’ leave?

4. Performance and service recognition: Are there incentives to stay loyal to the company such as long service leave?

5. Career development opportunities: Do they provide training, subsidised conference attendance, study incentives or loans?

What motivates you?

Whether you’re actively looking for a job, or just feeling a little restless and under-valued in your current role, it’s a good idea to take a moment or two to think about what really motivates you. Make a list of all the rewards that speak to you, not just salary or financial rewards, and then compare the job ad or your current rewards with the items on your list. Do they add up? If not, look for a company that offers what you’re looking for or talk to your supervisor about the rewards you’d like to see.

If you’d like help finding a position with a company where you’ll be well-compensated and rewarded and where your career will flourish, get in touch with our friendly team today. We have more than 15 years’ experience helping businesses create greater workplaces and people find greater careers.

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