Are You Emotionally Compensating Your Employees? - American Society of Employers - Mary E. Corrado

Are You Emotionally Compensating Your Employees?

All of us have heard of emotional intelligence, but recently I read an article that talks about emotional compensation, which was a new term to me. However, in reading through the article, it really is just common sense in how to treat employees. It does serve as a good reminder to us though, so in this week's blog I will review the ways to emotionally compensate your team.

Employees today are looking for more than just fair compensation.  They want more.  They want to feel good about their work and feel valued. They want to be emotionally compensated. In a recent article on, the author listed seven universal human needs that must be met in order to boost emotional compensation:

1.       Respect

2.       Recognition

3.       Belonging

4.       Autonomy

5.       Personal Growth

6.       Meaning

7.       Progress


Employees want to be respected.  They want their voice to be heard and their opinion valued.  It’s important to truly listen to your employees and give all employees a voice.


In order to feel valued, employees need to be recognized for the work they do.  Managers should consistently give positive feedback.  Don’t save it for an end-of-year review. Recognition at a higher level is important too.  At ASE we have monthly staff meetings where I read positive feedback we receive from members as well as other staff members.  It’s a nice way to recognize employees and show them that their work has meaning and doesn’t go unnoticed.


Employees at all levels should be included in committees and groups.  It gives them a feeling of belonging.  Your employees want to be a part of something bigger – this is especially true for Millennials.  Give employees a chance to sign up for committees, help plan work parties, or do some group volunteer work.


I think it is safe to say that no one likes to be micromanaged.  Give your employees autonomy in their jobs. They are much more likely to go above and beyond if they have a sense of autonomy. Leaders should help to bring out the best work in their employees – not just dictate tasks.

Personal Growth

Ongoing employee development is crucial to employee engagement and retention.  It allows them to grow both personally and professionally.  In smaller companies, career advancement sometimes has to occur within the employee’s current position.  If an employee feels stagnant, they are much more likely to start looking for opportunities elsewhere. Help them to grow within their position.


Employees want to feel good about going to work everyday and know that their job and their role have meaning – both to them and the company.  I mentioned earlier that I read comments we receive from members during our monthly staff meetings.  These comments are often related to a service we provide and not necessarily targeted to a particular employee.  But it allows all the employees to realize how their jobs have meaning as a whole. It’s also important to encourage employees to thank their colleagues. Someone might be “just doing their job” but when a colleague then recognizes that work and thanks them it gives that job meaning. 


Reviewing goals and objectives throughout the year is important and helps your employees to see the progress they’ve made towards those goals.  It can be easy to lose sight of what you’re working towards and if you are making any progress.  We get caught up in the day to day.  So be sure to review goals and objectives and measure the progress that’s being made.  It plays an important role in keeping your staff motivated.

When each of these buckets are filled, employees will feel emotionally compensated.  How do you emotionally compensate your employees? Email me at

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