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09/22/2010

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the more interesting question may be "At what level of compensation should we no longer 'feel the need to recieve' or feel like we are owed appreciation.
hmmm

Pay buys groceries but no amount of cash can fill the hunger of the heart, the mind or the ego.

I think "super stars", especially athletes, grow up receiving and wanting to receive the adoration of the fans. From the time they are little they are told they are the best and when they become a pro they still want that. I would wager that "appreciation" to them is every bit as important as is that big paycheck, if not more so. Moss exemplifies that.

Great article. Of course, Mr Moss is publicly appreciated more often than he is not. He cheered for, has his jerseys purchased etc. It is essential that we show people appreciation, but we also need to ensure that they understand its not only about appreciation.

Benjamin poses an interesting question -- "feel like we are owed appreciation." This is tough to dissect. I think we all, if we're honest with ourselves, would admit to a need to hear "thanks." Does that mean we think we're "owed" appreciation? It could certainly be interpreted that way.

Jim puts it well in his comment -- compensation doesn't fill the need of the heart, mind and ego to hear: "I see you. I see what you do. Thank you for it."

Michael, much of what is written about GenY would argue that you could simply replace "super stars/athletes" in your comment with "GenY." I've argued against that a bit elsewhere in a post called "GenY: So Different They're the Same", but I agree with your point here. The more you grow up with constant feedback, you more you need to hear it. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so.

Anonymous' comment starts to get to this point a bit and raises another. Yes, it's not only about appreciation. But it's also not only about compensation. And we seem to largely hear about those two extremes. The pendulum needs to stay more in the middle with a careful but important balance between compensation and appreciation.

On this point, I'd refer interested readers to the BlogTalk radio link I reference in the post. It's a great discussion among several well respected HR pros on the need for this balance.

Derek, we agree with your point that appreciation trumps money. Except for maybe a select few money mongers, most of us don't just want a dollar sign to replace who we are and what we do. That need for validation is seen all the way down to when we were children chasing after the approval of our parents - remember "Hey mom and dad, look at me!" as we made a basket in the hoop, got a good grade or did a backflip.
That need for positive validation never leaves us.
Executive recruiter Allan Fisher has worked with all kids of execs who list "appreciation" as a primary reason for leaving their companies:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbMQTd1s2tM

LTC, your video makes an excellent point. I could have phrased my question "at what rank/position should you no longer need compensation?" And the answer would have been, there is no such level. We all need appreciation for our efforts, even the CEO.

Frank Roche put this very well several months ago when he said:

“I don’t remember what age I was when I noticed that people no longer told me that I was doing a great job. It’s not like I stopped doing good work — it’s that people think that once you get to a certain age or certain place in life that you don’t need praise anymore. … But what I do realize is that people need praise throughout their careers. Senior managers like to hear that they’re doing well as much as they did when they were junior functionaries. It applies to everyone — the price of praise is free. Tell someone today.”

(Citation for Roche's comments here: http://globoforce.blogspot.com/2009/11/tenet-of-strategic-recognition.html )

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