While speaking with a candidate last week it became clear to me that a motivated, happy employee isn't just a sign of a good pay check. Feeling fulfilled at work also requires an emotional salary which consists of all the non-monetary benefits that a company provides employees. Many times, during the call this talent highlighted the importance of the benefits more than the basic salary itself.

If you want an employee to perform well, it’s important to provide them with a fair salary and bonuses, or other types of incentives. Money isn’t the only thing that keeps employees motivated and satisfied, emotional salary is increasing in popularity in today’s workplaces.

But how do you lead to happy employees?

First, recognise employee’s work as a result of their effort and real results. A word of appreciation, a positive word, keeps employees happy and motivated. Internal career opportunities and development plans keep employees engaged and focused on the medium-long term objectives. Increasing their responsibility keeps them awake and challenged. You cannot perform if around you people don’t allow you to express your talent and collaborate.

A good work environment is essential for the team members. It all starts with the leader: having a stressed manager will cause a stressed team, whereas creating a pleasant work environment, creative, where communication flows, will have positive effects within the team.  Any opportunity that the company offers for professional development, mentoring, coaching and continuous feedback that contributes to the growth are key.

And why not Include family when arranging activities outside of the office, such as family days, or share benefits with them like healthcare. Employees feel more appreciated when benefits can be extended to members of their family and can be used multiple times. Not to forget the incentives that keep employees with the same company for many years: stock, RSU, options are all other forms of gratitude, trust and empowerment.

Nevertheless, organisations need to be aware that a high emotional salary can’t make up for a low economic salary.

At the end of the day, the emotional salary is something that adds to the economic salary so if companies want to retain their best talent, they must provide the appropriate economic compensation, keeping in mind the importance of the whole package, especially when it is about senior talent.