Meaning of Salary
A salary is a form of payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis. From the point of view of running a business, salary can also be viewed as the cost of acquiring and retaining human resources for running operations, and is then termed personnel expense or salary expense. In accounting, salaries are recorded in payroll accounts - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salary
A monthly salary is to a great extent a determinant of how valued or appreciated is an employee by an employer.
To most of the employees, salary differences may be a measure of the degree of importance of an employee in the workplace. These differences sometimes create a feeling of inferiority and superiority complex among employees in the workplace, putting the lowly paid employees on the disadvantage side.
Types of Gratitude Expression in the workplace
With me I think, there are three types of gratitude expression in the workplace.
- Expression of gratitude by employers to employees
- Expression of gratitude by employees to employers, and
- Expression of gratitude among employees
The first two types of gratitude expression can be briefly explained as follows;
Expression of Gratitude by Employers to Employees - This include the provision of both in-kind (i.e. saying thanks, gratefulness cards,etc.) and monetary (i.e. bonus, salary increase, double salary, etc). It can be expressed (quantified) in terms of the percentage of annual profit, and in-kind level.
Expression of Gratitude by Employees to Employers - This can be expressed in terms of productivity, accomplishment of job assignments and willingness to continue serving in the workplace.
The third type of gratitude expression and the most important to be clarified in this very idea is an expression of gratitude among employees themselves.
Expression of Gratitude among Employees - This can be expressed in terms of Salary Exchange for Gratitude. If employees can't express gratitude among themselves, how can the employers express their gratitude to them? The willingness and ability to express gratitude among employees can be translated into their cooperation in the workplace and hence productivity, as well as to the strength and solidarity of their respective Trade Unions.
What is Salary Exchange for Gratitude (SE4G)?
Salary Exchange for Gratitude is a voluntary initiative of randomly exchanging salaries among employees in the workplace, once in a year - December.
How does it work?
Before preparing the December Payroll (by Mid December), the Human Resource Manager or other staff responsible for payroll in the workplace calls a staff meeting or communicate with all permanent staffs about their willingness to exchange their salaries for expressing gratitude. He/she should let them informed that this is a voluntary initiative in the workplace, and nothing will happen to staffs who are not willing to participate in the process.
All consented staffs are then recorded, and their normal salalries recorded in papers records all salaries on small but equal sized papers, He/she then folds and mix up all salary papers and toss for each employee to pick one, and show the HR for recording his/her December Salary. The randomization can also be conducted eletronically in case some employees can not physically attend.
For example, suppose a company with 10 employees with the following monthly salaries, and consent responses to salary exchange for gratitude;
Who is involved?
Only employees in the workplace who are ready to express their gratitude to their fellow workmates are involved in the salary exchange process.
What is the rationale behind it?
The salary exchange initiative can be used as a measure of employee's (including top bosses) readiness to express their gratitude and appreciation of everyone's role towards achieving the company/organization goal.
What is Salary Exchange For Gratitude Scale (SE4GS)?
This is the measure of employees' readiness to exchange their salaries for expressing gratitude among employees in the workplace. The scale ranges from 0 to 1, and can also be expressed in terms of percentages (0% to 100%).
Example of SE4GS Calculations:
SE4GS Formula, and Range
It can be simply refered to as Salary Gratitude Scale (SGS)
Uses of SGS
- Gratitude comparison across workplaces
- Gratitude comparison across countries, in the related workplaces
- Monitoring Gratitude trends in the workplace over years
- Ranking - by Trade Unions and International Labor Organization (ILO)
- Helping new employees to select best employers
SGS Monitoring & Evaluation
The SGS can be monitored and evaluated over years for the sake of comparison within the workplace and across organizations and countries. There might be at least four SGS patterns - Increasing, Fluctuating, Declining and Constant SGS.
A. Increasing SGS
B. Fluctuating SGS
C. Declining SGS
D. Constant SGS
Company/ Organization Goal
Every Company/organization has a common goal. And this common goal to be achieved, division of labor among employees comes in. Unfortunately, this division of labor sometimes turns into 'more important' and 'less important' employees in the workplace.
But if an employee thinks that his position is more important than other positions or roles in the organization, he/she should also imagine the situation where all employees would prefer holding his position.
Statement for the Challenge
If you think you are ready to express gratitude to your fellow employees, agree to randomly exchange your salary at least once in a year. But if you feel like there are some employees who are getting salaries which you don't deserve, it means you are not ready to express your gratitude at your.
I have myself worked with two companies, one giving a double salary at the end of the year (December) while the other giving a bonus proportional to individual salaries at the end of the year for the sake of expressing gratitude.
Disadvantages of Bonus and Double Salary Initiatives:
- They keep the income gap between highly paid and lowly paid constant
- They create inferiority and superiority complex among employees
- They increase the Monthly Remuneration Budget
Advantages of Salary Exchange Initiative:
- It doesn't increase the Monthly Remuneration Budget
- It helps highly paid (seniors) to practically understand the demands of lowly paid employees (juniors)
- It reduces income inequality and the sense of superiority/inferiority complex at the workplace
- It gives hope to lowly paid employees
Ideally, "thanks" works better in a family but not in businesses. And that's why we pay each other. Salaries have a lot to tell about gratitude at workplace.
Diversity in the Workplace
Job titles and diverse roles among employees in the workplace are just there to make the company/organization's goal a success.
It should be understood that, we can't all be bosses in the workplace, but being a boss should not mean that you are the most important in the organization.
Contravening the Determinants of Salary Scales
As an economist, I understand that there are several factors considered during the determination of employees' salaries within the workplace including;
- Educational level
- Working experience
- Labor Market Demand and Supply
- Degree of substitutability
- Level of accountability
- Risks involved in the post
- Government Legislation (minimum wage)
- Strength of Trade Unions
- Cost of living - responsibilities
But as far as the differences in salaries create superiority/inferiority among employees in the workplace, we need to clear that once in a year by randomly exchanging salaries to show that all employees are equally important in the workplace.