Compensation Cafe: What Irrational Humans Get Right

September 24, 2015 Derek Irvine

by Derek Irvine Compensation Cafe blog logoRecognize This! -- By giving away to others, we reap far more for ourselves. Did you know humans are irrational? Shocking, I know. (Seriously, a book I enjoy is Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational.) I mention this today to point you to my post on Compensation Cafe where I unpack a powerful statement made by Harvard Business school professor Francesca Gino in a recent Harvard Business Review article. She references research that shows employees are happier and more productive when they "share their bonuses with coworkers and charities." I'm happier with the bonus I deserve for my hard work when I'm also empowered to share it colleagues and those in greater need than I. Truly powerful and profound, reinforcing (as I point out in the Cafe post):

  1. We succeed through the efforts, help and support of others.
  2. There’s always someone else in more need than we are.
If our own employees are telling us, "It makes me happier when I can share the economic benefits of the power of thanks with others," why do we put barriers in their path to doing so? Perhaps we would be far better served to repurpose a portion of our bonus budgets for peer-to-peer recognition with economic value. Indeed, the results in terms of increased employee engagement, satisfaction, performance and productivity enjoyed by companies who do precisely this makes for a strong business case. Check out the full Compensation Cafe post for more.

About the Author

Derek Irvine

Derek is senior vice president, client strategy and consulting, at Workhuman.

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