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Nice to see another voice for more material on the psychology of pay. Total Rewards should encompass a lot more than the small component that jingles in your pocket. Cash may keep you alive but it doesn't feed the soul.

It's interesting that you bring up teachers in this example - since when you go through the looking glass to our society in the U.S., we are constantly trying to figure out why we don't have more and better teachers in our system. As one who experimented with teaching for one year each in both Bogota, Colombia and Brooklyn, NY, I can tell you that the level of respect and social status is far higher outside the U.S. for teachers. Until that changes, very little will in our educational system. (It's also worth noting that in Russia, the arts are much more respected - and state-supported, making it a viable career choice.)

Great, great post, Laura. Very well done. I laughed at your statement: "They are useful – and occasionally hilarious – but theoretical until actually put into practice."

It's that putting into practice step that confounds so many.

Your conclusion is dead-on. People do indeed have to *feel* it. And that's the catch. The only way employees will *feel* recognized, appreciated, and - yes - appropriately rewarded is when they know the company's sincerity behind the actions, as communicated by their managers.

Certainly not easy, but oh so necessary.

Jim - I love the phrase, 'Cash may keep you alive but it doesn't feed the soul.'

Adam - Thank you for joining in the discussion, it's true that arts and teaching are highly respected in other countries and that makes a difference to who pursues careers in these fields.

Derek - Glad I could make you laugh, that's a non-monetary benefit. Hats off to all the sincere managers out there!

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