Paycheck and “Personal paycheck”: What employees want and what they get

October 19, 2009

I was given this advice when I first become a hiring manager:

  • Each of your employees gets two paychecks — a regular dollar paycheck, and a “personal paycheck”.
  • The dollar paycheck is simple. We all understand that one.
  • But each employee’s “personal paycheck” will be different.  One person may want to work with the latest technologies.  Another may prefer to work alone.  Some will want to work only their defined hours.  Others may want to throw themselves into their work — working almost around the clock on a development project.  Some want very well defined tasks; others prefer to set their own challenges.
  • You won’t be able to give each employee the “personal paycheck” that they want.
  • But, you’d better know — for each — what their “personal paycheck” is, and whether they are getting it.

I can remember all too well the manager who had no idea about my “personal paycheck”, and gave me a prestigious promotion that included more money, more visibility, and more opportunity —  but that would have denied me every aspect of the “personal paycheck” that I was then receiving.  I ended up leaving that job, working for myself, and never looking  back.

One Response to “Paycheck and “Personal paycheck”: What employees want and what they get”

  1. Krystal H said

    What a great point! I’m currently shopping around for internships in Pittsburgh for next semester and I have already ruled out all the paid positions. Since I’m graduating in May, the most important thing to me right now is my “personal paycheck.” The skills I learn and pieces I write will benefit me far more in the long-run than an extra $100/week. I think I value the “personal paycheck” in every position far more than the actual one because I’m always thinking ahead and trying to better myself. That’s a trend you’ll see a lot in college graduates. We’re willing to eat Ramen for a month if it brings us a step closer to a career.

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