Emotional Salary is the non-financial gains we obtain from working that motivate us, change our perception of work and lead to personal and professional development. Emotional Salary will be different for each individual. For some, the most important aspect of working may be the opportunity to socialise and make friends at work, whilst for others, this may not be important at all and having the opportunity to become an expert in their chosen field or maximise their creativity will be what they value most.

The ESB is an online tool which measures the Emotional Salary of a working individual (whether employed or freelance). It generates an individual report detailing the Emotional Salary of that individual, together with a plan on how to increase it.

Whilst these flexible benefits are of enormous value to the employee, they are fixed and relatively easy to quantify. However, the factors that make up Emotional Salary are variable and depend on the culture of the organisation, its leaders and the people who work in it. These factors are not always recognised by the individual, the leader or the organisation. However, when these benefits are acknowledged and acted upon, they can be consistently improved and have a huge impact on employees, the culture they live in and the performance of the organisation.

No. Flexible remuneration allows employees to allocate a percentage of their annual salary to products or services (e.g. restaurant or childcare vouchers, health insurance, transport costs) in order to reduce their tax burden. This allows employees to make significant savings while maximising their annual take-home pay.
Emotional Salary goes beyond the financial aspect. It refers to the non-financial factors that we can get from our work, and the presence or absence of which has a major impact on people’s wellbeing at work, the leadership of the organisation and its culture.

Emotional Salary should be seen as something in addition to financial pay (including flexible remuneration). Not a substitute.

Our extensive research, which included a pilot test of the Barometer with participants across 22 countries, suggests that we have comprehensively identified the elements that make up the Emotional Salary. The tool’s validity and reliability results confirm this. There may be other elements that are important at an individual level, but measuring this level of subjective data would make the tool much less statistically reliable.

Employee engagement surveys measure employees´ degree of engagement with the mission, vision and objectives of the organisation. Whilst this is valuable information for an organisation, completing an employee engagement survey has little or no value for employees. Our research has shown that simply by completing the ESB an individual goes through a process of evaluation of their work on a professional, social and personal level which is likely to result in a shift in perception. In addition, employers can use the information from the ESB to clearly identify strategies, policies and tools that will increase employees´ Emotional Salary leading to increased engagement.

No. It is notoriously difficult to define happiness. We believe that general happiness is not an appropriate metric in the workplace. Happiness encompasses many different aspects of your life, some of which are not connected to work. However, research consistently demonstrates that being aware of what you have and what you value has a strong correlation with wellbeing. The ESB facilitates this awareness in the workplace.

No. The individual reports are confidential. However, we encourage individuals to use the report in order to discuss with their manager, colleagues or teams how they can increase their Emotional Salary.

The ESB evaluates Emotional Salary in an individual’s current work. Whilst the ESB can be used by individuals to gain an awareness of what is important for them in relation to their work, it is not designed to be used by organisations in the recruitment and selection process.

It is unlikely that any individual will be completely unaware that they have a very low Emotional Salary prior to receiving their report. However, what the report will highlight is which factors are most relevant to the individual, together with suggestions and exercises on how to improve their Emotional Salary in these areas.
Who is responsible for Emotional Salary, the employer or the employee?

The responsibility for Emotional Salary lies equally with the leader, the organisation, the culture and each individual.

The first step is to become aware of the current level of Emotional Salary of employees. This information will be useful to start a dialogue with managers, colleagues or teams who may have an influence on each person’s Emotional Salary. The information gathered by the ESB can be used to develop strategies and policies to increase Emotional Salary.

With the data provided by all of the completed ESBs, the organisation will have a clear idea of what aspects of work its employees currently perceive and value. An ESB audit will help to identify patterns and trends across the organisation.

By completing the ESB, all employees can begin to identify and take responsibility for their own Emotional Salary, creating a shift in perspective and leading to the co-creation of more effective HR and people development strategies.

Even though it was not our inspiration, it is easy to find a relationship, as many of the ten factors constituting Emotional Salary can be linked with social needs, the need for recognition and self-actualisation needs.

The ESB is an online questionnaire that takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Once completed, the individual receives a detailed report with an overview of their Emotional Salary, a breakdown of their Emotional Salary by factor and other important information, including a personalised action plan and ideas and exercises on how to increase their Emotional Salary.

The unique features of the ESB are
– The ESB measures the Emotional Salary of both employees and freelancers.
– The ESB measures only the emotional benefits of work, and nothing that can be measured financially, such as any flexible remuneration aspects.
– The ESB is based on a thoroughly researched definition of Emotional Salary with extremely high statistical reliability and validity.
– Both the employee and the organisation benefit from taking the ESB – the employee receives a detailed analysis of their Emotional Salary, and the organisation receives information about the elements that could improve performance and employee satisfaction.
– The ESB encourages individuals to take ownership of their Emotional Salary and be proactive in increasing it.

It changes over time, especially when major changes of a personal or professional nature occur. We strongly recommend evaluating your Emotional Salary every 8 to 12 months or after any major changes at work to monitor how it evolves.

It is beyond our control whether employers use the justification of a high organisational Emotional Salary to make decisions about financial salary. However, employers will not receive information that could identify individuals and their Emotional Salary scores. Furthermore, an organisation with a high organisational Emotional Salary is unlikely to have a culture that supports this argument. Furthermore, it is up to the individual to weigh up the relationship between their Emotional Salary and their financial salary and make the appropriate decisions.

One of the most common challenges we face when working with organisations is how to integrate the Emotional Salary Barometer™ into an existing strategy where existing tools are used to measure or analyse employee experience, engagement and/or culture.

All the measurement tools commonly used in HR have one purpose: to tell us whether we are on the right track and whether the people who work with us agree with our vision, strategy and leadership.

By measuring the opportunities available and importance of ten factors for employees (Autonomy, Belonging, Creativity, Direction, Inspiration, Enjoyment, Mastery, Personal Growth, Professional Growth and Purpose), we can provide organisations with a comprehensive picture of the organisation from the employee perspective.

Because it fosters mutual accountability, is essential for the future of work, changes our perception of work, supports a healthy organisational culture, facilitates a people-centred approach and creates a framework that encourages open communication throughout the company.