Friday, 6 November 2009

Now, remind me what Maslow and Herzberg said about money as a motivator….

Personnel Today magazine (who deserve an easier day from you after Wednesday’s “Sexy HR Manager” debate) have reported that there’s a marked decline in blue-chip companies seeing cash as the only reward mechanism for executive staff.

Using the results of a survey (mini-groan!) from Mercer Executive Reward, it’s reported that although most UK blue-chip Companies will offer pay rises in 2010, there would be "less emphasis on the cash element when rewarding staff and more on career development and elements of work/life balance".

According to Mercer, “cash, tarnished by the role of bonuses in the economic slump, is no longer king in the eyes of employers. It is being usurped by an emphasis on employee engagement and a focus on motivating specific, high-value employees.

Personnel Today: Blue-chip companies seek non-cash rewards

  • Where does the phrase “Blue-Chip” originate?
  • Where does money fit into Maslow and Herzberg’s theories of motivation?
  • Do you think that the trend reported above is likely to continue as the recession (hopefully) ends?
  • Do you believe that career development and an improved work/life balance appeal equally to high and low paid staff?
  • Loaded question: Is offering career development instead of cash as a reward a sign of an enlightened organisation or a con-trick to keep wage costs down?


  1. I think career development and work-life-balance will be something sorely missing by many higher paid workers, but I think this is a bit of a luxury and most lower paid workers will be more concerned about seeing their families through the recession, more days sat at home while the kids are at school, not being a big priority.

  2. Question for you: How often do career development programmes result in a promotion? If you’re lucky it’s more about broadening your skills to allow you to better perform the role you’re in. However, I’m sure we’ve all experienced those programmes that promise the world and you end up with jack all. In fact, you probably end up more cheesed off having had your expectations raised and your pay packet squeezed!

    So whilst I would love to think that such moves are as a result of enlightened organisations, the cynic in me would opt for your latter explanation!!

    Wishing all at HR Case Studies a fab weekend. And when being controversial, remember the firework code!


  3. for the longest time, US orgs dangled career development as a replacement for cash reward; employee engagement surveys demonstrated (historically), that while cash comp is important, it's not THE MOST important. i can tell you that in the most recent survey results i've reviewed, that trend is shifting. cash is actually more important. i think the IDEA of career development is potentially more appealing; i'm just afraid more employees than not are skeptical that there's any real meat on those bones. unless employers are really world-class at giving that development, forget about ain't worth a penny on the dollar or pound.

  4. hrfishbowl:

    I wonder if career development is likely to be seen as a motivator when it's an addition to a cash reward, but when it's an alternative it seems to loose its value?