Will a Raise make you Happy?

“Let me tell you something. There’s no nobility in poverty. I’ve been a poor man, and I’ve been a rich man. And I choose rich every f…. time” – Wolf of Wall Street

Salaries are to people what chargers are to phones. It is undoubtedly one of the main motivating factors which help us wake up in the morning and function. It appeals to our need of survival.

More often than not, our psyche associates a high salary with an increased level of job satisfaction. With a high income, we can buy a big house, have a nice car, travel to different exotic places and earn the respect of society as we achieve our social ambitions. We are social animals and the way we are perceived by others makes a world of difference to us. In our circles we want to feel that we are successful and looked up to.

Society’s circles put an increased amount of pressure on us to buy things which are heavily dependent on our income. In light of this we are constantly striving to achieve better income which makes us feel one step closer to our respective goals. In this regard I argue that salary not only has an impact on job satisfaction, but also life satisfaction, hence it is important to reward high performing employees and build salary increment plans depending on their contribution and performance.

Salary is also one of the driving forces which makes employees want to consider other opportunities, especially in a market with inflation as that of Malta. Today we have grown accustomed to significant salary increases when jumping from one job to another, which is why it has become all the more tempting to change jobs more regularly throughout one’s career.

Although salary is a key driver in maintaining employee satisfaction, I argue that it is not the sole factor which makes employees happy. Other factors come into play such as career development and the learning curve. Some employees are engaged by the prospect of being faced with new challenges and to come up with innovative solutions to address such problems.

The work environment is also critical and heavily impacts job satisfaction. Toxic working environments bring about dissatisfaction and are more than enough to overweight good salaries, as employees will still seek other options.

In conclusion, although salary upgrades are indeed good motivators, we need to consider other things which make us happy, such as career prospects, work life balance and other employee friendly benefits.

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