6 examples of how emotional wage can help to find and retain talent

exterior de la sede del centro tecnológico Gradiant

The percentage of employees who value work-life balance over wage is growing

Companies and technology centers such as Gradiant have different formulas to ensure the well-being of their employees


Galicia has become the sixth community in demand for professional profiles in the technology sector due to its boom. In Spain, 120,000 people are needed to meet all the needs of the technology sector. In a context such as the current one, many companies and technology centers are placing the well-being of the people who work with us at the center of their strategy, because it is the human team that makes the different objectives set for our organization possible. Attracting and retaining talent have become two tasks in which we invest time and imagination, where communication with the team is paramount, because the needs of the team member go beyond the economic salary. Whether a candidate chooses to work for one organization or another is influenced by many factors other than salary. This is what we call emotional pay. 

The days when workers preferred to earn more and had fewer opportunities to balance work and home are over. Game rooms in technology companies, pet days… have given way to teleworking, flexible working hours and other benefits. There are different forms of emotional wage, which can be divided into three types: social, leisure and additional. These are the most popular types in our experience at Gradiant:


1.- Holidays

Holidays are always short, first of all because there are a lot of tasks that can only be done on a working day. Also because we often spend our weekends doing the things we were unable to do at home or with family during the week. On top of the 23 days off and the eight national, four regional and two local public holidays, there are some additional days off. 

On your birthday: what better way to celebrate a new turn around the sun than with a day off work? Of course, the day after you come into the office, you should bring a treat, preferably something sweet. 

Troula days. Enjoy one free Friday a month to do whatever you want: some use it for climbing, others for a walk in the countryside with their pet, others to do nothing at all.


2.- Positive Feedback

It is perhaps one of the most subtle emotional rewards. Despite it is not as common, it provides the best results in terms of retaining talent in an organization. It can be given in many ways: 

The quality of the relations with the supervisors, the freedom to express ideas and suggestions to generate changes, or also the possibility of applying for other positions, the horizontal communication. We have the “Breakfast with Management” tool for all this. These meetings are an opportunity for communication about the need for change. These are some of the examples of this positive feedback. It is one of the most important emotional salaries paid for the well-being of the person. 

We also have Faladoiros at Gradiant. This is a confidential meeting with our HR team to discuss your needs for a new team or a new position. Before you have to look for a solution in another company, we may be able to offer it within the same organization.

Recognition of good performance and company loyalty is also important. We have other ways of rewarding and recognizing good work, loyalty, and the activation of suggestions that promote the company culture, in addition to financial recognition for achieving certain goals, for which Gradiant offers a variable percentage of salary. Monthly, we have a coffee hour meetings where we hear about new achievements and projects that different team members are working on. We also recognize some of the accomplishments of the company that are driven by the people that make up Gradiant. Furthermore, every time a member of the organization celebrates 5, 10 or 15 years at our technology center, they receive a special gift.


3.- Training plans

A professional who has the desire to learn more about his or her field is always a value that any company should take care of. Gradiant has invested more than 150,000 euros in the training of our team over the last five years. For this training, each member of the team is able to dedicate eight hours of his or her working day every month. We care so much about them that they have spent more than 21,000 hours learning and developing over the past five years.

When we talk about training, we include several types: technical training that can improve on-the-job skills aligned with the division’s business strategy; soft skills or aptitudes, such as courses in English, team management and leadership, time management, and so on. There is also a third type. This is the recurrent training that is offered by some of the team members to the rest of the colleagues in the organization. In particular, there are two of these trainings that are organized by our Software and AI groups; others are more related to someone wanting to share some knowledge on a topic that might interest the rest of the team. 


4.- Balance and well-being

Society is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of talking about and caring for mental health. The work environment becomes the ideal place to take care of mental well-being, considering the time we spend at work. At Gradiant, together with Mentiness, we have implemented a program where a team of ICT-specialized psychologists provides useful tools to face different common situations emotionally and psychologically. They dealt with emotional management, time management or frustration in different sessions. 

Changing jobs often involves some social costs: you change city, maybe you move away from family, friends and the environment you were used to. Today’s mobility has led to an increasing number of younger people being affected by unwanted loneliness. This is very important for a person’s wellbeing. In our case, we decided to share our free time, being aware of this situation. All the members of the team come together in different groups and organize all kinds of activities outside of work hours or even on weekends: climbing, dinners, hiking or camping are just a few of them. The aim is to facilitate the social interaction between those members of the team who wish to do so.


5.- Flexible working hours

More and more companies are implementing the possibility of managing one’s own schedule as long as certain goals are met. At Gradiant, this has been our practice from the beginning and it is a very effective formula for improving the productivity of the team members. We also have a hybrid model in terms of teleworking, in addition to time management itself. Each person, always in agreement with his team of colleagues, can choose the percentage of telework and face-to-face work per week. 


6.- Social benefits

This is a set of benefits that give you the possibility of a flexible salary. In Gradiant, we offer some that can range from the gourmet card to health insurance or childcare check. The cost of these benefits is deducted from the employee’s salary, which is also a tax benefit. 

It is important to note that these forms of emotional pay must be set up in conjunction with a compensation practice that is appropriate to each profile and that there must be pay equity. The result of implementing this emotional salary is an improvement in productivity, a reduction in absenteeism and turnover, and an increase in quality standards, as long as these policies are maintained over time.