Why do people work?The motivation to work is derived from many different sources. Of course, the paycheck is always the reason cited first. However, various studies show that people who could get paid MORE at another job sometimes decide to stick around -- even though they are sacrificing a bigger paycheck. The fact that some people consciously decide to work for less money demonstrates that other powerful rewards are at play.
Life is short, and the choices we make on how to spend our time and develop our interests are important. There are valuable "non-financial rewards" that we seek in our jobs. As employees, we must take the non-financial rewards into account when deciding between jobs. And, as managers, we must identify the non-financial rewards and then dole them out liberally. Here are a few examples worth considering:
Experience: Careers flourish as a result of professional experiences. On-the-job training beats the classroom any day! The opportunities you are given to try new things and step out of your comfort zone are, in fact, valuable. Good managers identify "stretch assignments" for their employees and make an effort to spread them across a team. New opportunities are a form of compensation -- especially for people early in their careers. One classic story is the college graduate that decides between an invigorating job at a start-up and a undefined menial job at a corporate giant. While the corporate giant may be offering 10% more, the start-up is offering an incredible experience. Often times, the college grad will be short-sighted and focus only on the money rather than try to quantify the value of the experience in both roles.
Feedback: People want to know how they are doing, and everyone wants to improve. Managers that make an effort to share frequent feedback with employees enjoy higher retention and an improving workforce. Employees should expect and actively seek feedback because it is another form of compensation that ultimately benefits them. The best managers recognize the value of feedback exchange and make the effort to support it.
And there are many more... The best managers and employees take the broader perspective when it comes to "compensation." Money is just one dimension of compensation. You'll under serve yourself if you only focus on one aspect of the rewards you receive for your work.