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Lots of good points in this post. I would agree that communicating about "meaning and value" is certainly important and that more rewards communications should discuss non-financial rewards. But, that being said, it is still the case that many employees don't fully understand and appreciate the basic dollars-and-cents components of their total compensation. It is a common occurrence in the work that my firm does, that when we solicit feedback on total compensation statements that we send out, that employees commonly respond with comments such as "I had no idea that my employer paid so much for my health insurance." So while expanding the definition of "total rewards" is an excellent idea, it's important not to look at communications as an either/or exercise but, rather, as an integrated whole.

David, I couldn't agree more and apologies that wasn't more clear in my post. I intended my message as an "in addition to" for those organizations already communicating total rewards well, and a "perhaps you should consider" for those who are not.

Thank you for fleshing this out a bit more completely.

Thanks for a great blog post, Derek. Good comment by David as well.

Your piece is making me think about Dan Pink's arguments (I recently re-read his book because he's coming to WorldatWork Conference this summer) -- about autonomy being so important. But I have to wonder about the commissioned sales person in both contexts. For the sales person, is it really about "meaning" and "autonomy"? Or are we saying: everyone except the commissioned sales person?

It's amazing the glowing feeling you get when someone tells you what a difference you made... I still like money better ;-) but recognition matters.

Ryan, good point about Dan Pink. I had the pleasure of leading a webinar with him when he first launched "Drive." His approach to Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose fits right in with employee recognition (true "now that" recognition, that is, which occurs as praise/appreciation when a task is complete, not as an "if then" incentive to achieve a goal). I summarize some of Dan's thoughts from the webinar in this post: http://bit.ly/eHysDd

As to commissioned sales teams, you might be interested in Dan's take on that specifically in this Telegraph (UK) article: http://bit.ly/dyRjAF

Laura, I think you'll like my next Compensation Cafe post...

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