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Within the last 10 years, the need for firms to be innovative has been greatly increased due to the high amount of competition between firms in particular industries, by being innovative the chance of competing within the markets has increased. (Huse et al., 2005). In order to improve this innovation firms must be able to improve their flexibility and creativeness (Carrier, 1996). The main factor within a business that makes this happen are people, and success of business now depends on things such as employee creativity, rather than the more traditional methods (Amabile et al, 1996).
Reward management plays an influential part in the process of the innovation, as it helps attract, retain and motivate employees (Milkovich and Newman, 2004).
But "despite much theoretical argument, scholars have reached no consensus on whether reward management can improve innovation and creativity in the workplace." (Zhou et al, 2011, p82) This being the case the paper employs to discover if SMEs, with the many constraints they hold, can reward staff sufficiently enough to motivate and retain them.
Kerr (2008) stresses the importance of mixtures of different rewards, in particular financial, prestige and job content rewards, in order to strengthen employee contributions and responsibilities. It has also been revealed that the use of intrinsic motivations and extrinsic rewards helps develop the performance of top management within SMEs (Amabile, 1997). This being the case Zhou et al (2011) has found that these two forms of reward and motivation have positive effects on the innovative behaviour of employees with the SMEs
One of the main motivators surrounding the subject in question arose from a placement year undertaken in the 3rd year of my university course at Grove Motor Colours. Grove is an SME employing around 140 people nationwide, it is a car paint and accessories distributor and during my time there I experienced many different job roles. Some of them I found I really needed motivating to want to do them, the pay wasn't enough for me, however, other roles, especially towards the end of my time with Grove gave me the motivation I required to complete them with maximum efficiency and effort. Throughout my life I have had many different job responsibilities, I have worked as a removal man and also as a bar manager, and on both occasions I was motivated for the love of the job, the people, and the general atmosphere that was around me. I want to know if this is the same throughout all SMEs, or if people, are only motivated by money. For me money was a bonus to the jobs I was doing, yes money it's important in life, but personally I would rather achieve job satisfaction, and good relationships with my colleagues. A lot of literature is thrown at money being the main motivator for employees, but I want to know if this could change by providing rewards to individuals? In my placement there were a couple of incentives a year, but all I heard from employees was "we are not appreciated", and "we don't get enough recognition". I want to know what other SMEs do to keep their employees happy, and if employees would prefer to work for a smaller company, with constraints, meaning that sometimes the bigger perks are not achievable, or if everyone's goal is to work for a larger organisation. What makes people want to work for the SMEs? And what motivates them to keep coming back? In conclusion I a reason for this paper is to find out, what motivates people apart from money, and by the end of the study, I will know if it is possible to seek more motivation from the enterprise you work for, or as I believe, reward strategies provide a large chunk of the motivation required.
In summary this paper will have three main objectives;
To discuss and explore the impacts on motivation reward strategies have, using literature and primary research.
To discover the pressing constraints SMEs face in modern day business, and how these affect the ability to enhance reward strategies.
To explore whether there is a place for motivation, surrounding the environment of SMEs. Can motivation appear from a close knit community?
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Chapter Introduction
This literature review will highlight arguments for and against the investigation in question in the previous chapter, using academic papers and references to provide the basis of the argument and for subsequent research. This review will also critically asses the arguments and discusses the relevance of the argument in question.
As discussed in the introduction the basis of this investigation is motivation. It is argued that there is no one definition for motivation. There are different theories surrounding motivation and what it is, but there is no one explanation.
Armstrong (1998) believes that motivation can be defined by a simple model, figure 1.1, that revolves around Acts, Needs and Goals of an individual. He describes how motivation works as; "Motivation starts when someone consciously or unconsciously recognises an unsatisfied need. This need establishes a goal and action is taken which it is expected will achieve that goal. If the goal is achieved the need will be satisfied and the same action is likely to be repeated the next time a similar need emerges. If the goal is not achieved the action is less likely to be repeated."
Figure , Armstrong's Motivation Model
Once understood, the real complexities of human and employee motivation need to be realised. Gratton (2004) believes employees motivation is crucial at three different levels; firstly, ensuring management understand the reasons people are motivated, secondly, employees must be happy with work and their own expectations of the chosen job, and thirdly, ensuring the HR departments implementation and monitoring of reward strategies does not demotivate staff. This is well and good as long as the three stages are met by an organisation. It is important to mention that none of the three stages are financially driven, but looked at from a Human Resource point of view. As Whitmore et al (1977) state; "the idea of using money as an inducement to people to work harder is almost as old as money itself". Many other academics also agree, one of the most widely recognised being Maslow. Maslow created the hierarchy of needs, figure 1.2, and he suggested a trend in which employees are motivated by each of the needs in ascending order. He also suggested that climbing the pyramid was similar to climbing a ladder, one step at a time. Once the top was reached the employee has achieved the need of self actualisation. (Montana et al, 2008).
Motivation can also come from an individuals desire to achieve a useful assignment. Woodruff (2005) uses Napoleon as an example of this fact, stating; "Napoleon reputedly used to keep his army busy during slack times between battles by sending one half out into fields to dig holes, and the other half to fill them up. This might have been useful for logistics and morale purposes, as otherwise the soldiers would have remained idle and bored. However, it would hardly have been a successful ruse if the two halves of the army had ever got together to discuss their day's work. The point is that the feeling that one is doing a truly useful assignment is extremely powerful as a motivating factor"
Figure , Maslows hierarchy of needs, source; Pride et al (2010), p283
Herzberg et al (1992) believed there are three ways to find out the factors that affect employees attitudes. Firstly giving the employees a list of factors and asking to choose the most desirable to the least, for example, pay, rewards, strategies and policies. Secondly, spontaneously asking employees the factors they desire they most and thirdly questionnaires or other statistical methods should be administrated. Although all of these methods will find out what motivates people, the result may be biased or unjust.
2.3 Reward Strategies; What are they?
One of the most simply put definitions of a reward strategy was made by Hurwich (1896) he described the strategy as "the incorporation of business issues into decisions on compensation". This implies a vertical link between business strategy and reward strategy, however, Brown (2001) believed there are other factors that should be incorporated in the definitions;
"the need for 'horizontal fit' between all the pay and reward policies with each other and other HR policies; this ensures a HR strategy delivering a consistent message to employees about what is needed for the business to succeed."
"the need for forward looking change orientation, so that in rapidly changing environments and organisations reward policies deliver what is required for future success"
This brings in the need for both business strategy and HR strategy to help influence the need for reward strategies, and the link will be analysed later in the paper. Armstrong and Murlis (1997) agree with Brown; "reward strategy and policies should be business driven, responding to the needs of the business" and some academics go as far as to state; "non-strategic reward considerations should be ignored" (Rhodes, 1988). This being the case, reward strategies are still an important part of any success, whether it be individual success or business success. However, a great deal of the success will depend on what they involve.
"Reward Strategies must be viewed in a broad context in order to understand the constraints and success factors that will affect the chances of their success." (Adams et al, 2000:135)
There are a number of different reward strategies that can motivate individual employees, and they can be broadly separated into categories, financial and non-financial. Dewhurst (2010) has noticed that in a recent Mckinsey Quarterly Survey it was found that the current economic downturn provides an important opportunity for business leaders to reassess their incentive strategies. He also describes the six most important motivators; "The respondents view three noncash motivators - praise from immediate managers, leadership attention (for example, one-on-one conversations), and a chance to lead projects or task forces - as no less or even more effective motivators than the three highest-rated financial incentives: cash bonuses, increased base pay, and stock or stock options (exhibit)." (Dewhurst. 2010). Whilst having these rewards in place is important for employee motivation in the workplace, Whitaker (2010) recognises that it is essential to ensure all employees are treated equally, in order to keep the overall moral and self motivation within the organisation high. "all employees must be treated equally because showing favouritism may negate the motivational intention of rewards." (Whitaker, P. 2010).
"Fortunately, there are certain constructive courses of action you can pursue to make people want to stay with you. And moving literally to the other side of the coin, the very fact that money is not by any means necessarily the main factor in people's decision to take a job in the first place, or indeed to keep working at that job, means there is considerable scope for employers to make conscious efforts to offer their employees the non-financial motivations that employees crave so much" (Woodruffe, 2005). He then goes on to discuss the impact engagement has on a firm, and on end results for an individual; "all these elements of positive motivation are contributing factors to the overall level of engagement the employee brings to his or her job. This term, engagement, is being used increasingly at an organisational level to denote the idea of an employee being fully intellectually and emotionally committed to a particular job, so that he or she wants to give to that job what is known as discretionary effort. This is the effort which it is not necessary for an employee to give to a job, but which he or she wants to give to it. The term engagement is useful, emotionally honest and authentic due to its connotations with commitment, bonding and even affection. But it is important to distinguish clearly between the process of engaging employees by helping them to love their jobs and encouraging them to want to give their best, and the very different process of hiring employees in the first place during a recruitment drive. Engaging employees is important whatever the potential of the employee, but it is especially crucial for truly talented people who are likely to have leadership potential either now or in the future. Engaging talented people needs to be a top organisational priority, because they are by definition especially precious possessions. They berth if they don't feel that the current one meets their demanding needs for job satisfaction, purpose and sense of self-worth. are particularly likely to find another berth if they don't feel that the current one meets their demanding needs for job satisfaction, purpose and sense of self-worth" ( Woodruffe, 2005).
When people have become involved in the process of reward management, HR plays a key role.
2.4 The Role of HR
The overall importance of Human Resources is believed to be that people management can be key figure in a business' competitive advantage (Kakabadse et al, 1996) and due to this (Wright et al 1998) has found an increasing number of studies have attempted to assess the link between HR and strategy process. Analoui et al (2003) assumes that if managers perceive human resources as an important factor, then HR can contribute to both the decision making and the strategy implementation. Due to the awareness and want to implement HR into corporations, the capabilities have been increased, and consequently, it has been found that this increase will lead to increased firm performance. With this playing a part, Wang and Zang, (2005) found that many studies that demonstrate that entrepreneurial behaviour which creates the ability to rapidly acquire, new markets and technology, through innovation and human resources are closely linked to competitive advantage. So, it is clear to see that once HR has been adopted by a firm, people and skill management increase, improving the firms competitive advantage, ensuring business success.
Cassell et al (2002), produced a study into the HR procedures that are still used today, they found that out of all the procedures only three where still used by over 30 % of the sample. One of these procedures was appraisal and reward, with 42% of the firms in the sample still using the process. HRM is still essential as it refers to the policies, practices and systems that influence employees' behaviour, attitudes and performance (De Cieri et al, 2008).
HR is important to any firm, and it can be said, that it makes up for a large part of a successful of a firm. As Osman et al, (2011), found when doing a study in Malaysia; "An interesting finding was that almost 50 per cent of firm performance is affected by the extent of implementation of HR practices in the firm. These results show that HR practices that are in line with the organisation's strategic goals are important for future performance."
2.5 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
As previously discussed reward strategies are an integral part of management and employee motivation in both a financial and non-financial aspect. For the larger multinational companies they are easier to implement, however, for the small and medium sized enterprises, constraints come into play. An SME is essentially a business that employs fewer than 500 employees, but, in this bracket come micro enterprises (less than 10 employees), small enterprises (10-100 employees) and medium enterprises (100-500 employees). All of these are included under the umbrella term of SME whatever the organisation or service. (COE; 1994)
2.5.1 So why are SMEs so important?
Bannock (1981), argues that SMEs play a key role in generating employment, promoting innovation, creating competition and generating economic wealth. It is important to look at what the industries of SMEs bring to the UK economy, figure three, shows the varying percentages between the different sized organisations in the UK economy. From this the impact of SMEs is evident, contributing to 99.3 per cent of the economy as a whole, as well as employing 46.8% of the total employed in business.
Figure , Share of enterprises in 2005, of employment and turnover by size of business of UK private sector, source; annual small business survey 2005.
2.5.2 SME Constraints
Hodgetts and Kuratko (2001) speak about the disadvantages of SMEs including sales fluctuations, competition, increased responsibilities, financial losses, laws and legislation and the ultimate risk of failure. All of these disadvantages come about due to differing constraints put on small and medium enterprises. Constraints on small enterprises can be financial, legal, lack of market opportunity, technological problems and a lack of managerial skills. (Balunywa 2010), But essentially they can all boil down to major financial constraints.
Managerial skills, technological problems and even lack of market opportunity can relate to people, bring back the HR aspect in the enterprises and the need for training and development. Westhead and Storey (1997) discussed two main reasons for the lack of training in SMEs: ''market forces'' and ''ignorance''.
"The market forces explanation refers to the different factors that influence the supply and demand of training. This perspective rests on the view that small businesses offer a less than optimal level of training due to their expectations that the returns to training would not exceed the costs of its provision. Market forces highlight the problems of organizational constraints such as lack of time and limited financial resources available for training provision." (Panagiotakopoulos 2011)
2.6 Chapter Summery
This chapter has taken into account all the factors revolving around the question in hand; "An investigation into the effect of reward strategies in SMEs - do the differing constraints on SMEs affect employee motivation?" After reviewing the literature on motivation, reward strategies, Human resource and SMEs, it is clear that reward and motivation are key within SMEs, however they can be hampered due to the constraints that are available. Finance plays a huge part in any businesses life, but especially within that of an SME, with smaller budgets and customer bases, it is massively important. With this in mind, the literature has shown the importance of strategy within a business, and the importance of linking the strategy to human resource and reward. If done effectively a group and individual can be motivated to the right extent, and not always financially. Naylor sums up the employee relationship well;
"SME owners tend to have closer links to employees than larger companies and should take advantage of this enviable situation to understand how to address motivation issues. In addition, from a business perspective, attracting and retaining motivated people, as well as increasing employee loyalty," Naylor (2008). The aforementioned literature, has backed up and proven the third objective of the paper, "To explore whether there is a place for motivation, surrounding the environment of SMEs. Can motivation appear from a close knit community?" The research discussed has shown that motivational theories are surrounding the subject, with money motivation being deemed out dated (Whitmore, 1977) and with closer bounds between managers and employees, motivation is easier to find. This objective will continue to be part of the paper and although the literature suggests so, the author will carry on to see if a trend can be found in the research undertaken.
The following chapter will be an insight into the methodology that will be used in order to see if real experiences inside SMEs relate to the literature, and if so, how they relate.
3.1 Chapter Introduction
Now the literature has been appropriately reviewed, we must start to discuss how the original question, will be answered. In order to answer it effectively, primary, empirical research will be undertaken. In order to discover the correct approach that needs to be undertaken, a variety of different factors need to be discussed. This chapter will outline the particular methods that will be used in order to gain the required results, the advantages and drawbacks of the particular methods, as well as discussing how the methods will help answer the original objectives of the paper.
3.2 Research Approach
Easterby -Smith et al (2002) discusses three reasons to why the research approach is so important, firstly it allows the researcher to ensure relevant answers are provided for the relevant questions, secondly, it helps decide the most appropriate research strategies that should be adopted for the task, and thirdly, a wide understanding of the different research traditions gives the researcher the ability to change the research design to avoid constraints.
Research is paraphrased into two distinct categories, quantitative and qualitative, and Hyde (2002 p 83) describes the "paradigms" in which the two are associated; "The traditional view is that quantitative researchers subscribe to a ``positivist'' paradigm of science, while qualitative researchers subscribe to a ``relativist'' paradigm." This being the case, we can now establish whether the approach of the author will be deductive or inductive.
The research that will be undertaken will be that of a deductive nature, taking an already developed theory or theories of a specific subject, and testing it through research. There have, however, been many criticisms of the deductive approach; Deshpande (1983) believes that marketing scholars are no longer involved in the creating of new theories, and have designed marketing science into a way of confirming theories and not developing them. This being the case, the paper will attempt to prove or disprove the theories highlighted in the literature review, in order to answer the ever present question.
3.3 Methods of Data Collection
Research and data collection are a broad subject, there are some many different styles and approaches, each with individual advantages and disadvantages. For the purpose of the study the approaches have been shortlisted to, interviews and questionnaires.
"One of the most ubiquitous forms of human communication is asking questions" (Peterson, R. 1944), and scientific research is all about trying to find answers to questions in a systematic manner, so as Dornyei et al (2002) believe it comes to no surprise that one of the most common research methods applied to social science presently is the questionnaire. This makes the questionnaire a great tool to use when trying to find out answers to particular questions.
If executed correctly questionnaires can be a fantastic method for a researcher to gather the data required about individuals attitudes, values, experiences and past behaviour (Bell, 2000), and give the researcher the opportunity to gather a wide range of information at very little cost, through postal channels or even email (Gilbert, 2001). However, this can prove to receive a low response rate, some as low as 20% (Bell, 2000).
"For the main purpose of using an interview in research is that it is believes that in an interpersonal encounter people are more likely to disclose aspects of themselves, their thoughts, their feeling and values, then they would in a less human environment." (Cohen et al, 2007,p153) Bryman (1988) believes interviews give the interviews the change to describe the in depth details of their lives around the subject, which in turn; produces a "deeper picture" than a questionnaire or survey. (Silverman, 1993 p15).
Robson (2002) does, however, go on to discuss the constraints that interviews hold. They need careful preparation, allowances for time, and then the transcribing of notes or tapes. Visits must be thought of thoroughly and he stresses the importance of time planning and budgeting.
3.4 Data Collection and Sampling
For the purpose of the paper, the author will look to use an interview technique research method. This technique will allow the author to interact with the interviewees in order to make them feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible, with the aim to get as much information as possible.
The interviews will take an informal, semi-structured approach. An informal approach allows the interviewees space to relax and feel happy regarding their surroundings. It is important the researcher makes them feel that the interview is solely for research purposes and not an attempt to find out how they feel regarding their own personal jobs. Once achieved, a semi-structured interview will commence. A semi structured interview is when a researcher knows all of the questions they wish to ask, but the answers cannot be predicted in advance (Morse et al, 2002). This gives the questions a very open ended feel, promoting the thought for different responses. For example a question in the interview may be; What motivates you into coming to work? This is a very broad question that asks the interviewee to think about their response, however when the response has been made, the interviewer has the opportunity to expand on the answer given and ask more questions around the answer to ensure a well explained response is received, should the interviewer deem necessary. In relation to a structured or formal interview, the semi structured method provides an easier feel to the interview, encouraging conversation, and expansion to answers. However, this method is not to be confused with an unstructured interview technique, where no questions have been thought and it is the most informal of them all. Saunders et al (2007, p316) believes "there are three circumstances to which a semi-structured interview should take place;
Where there are a large number of questions to be answered.
Where the questions are either complex or open ended.
Where the order and logic of questioning may need to varied"
In order to have interviewees a sample should first be thought of. The researcher is looking to gain a wide variety of responses from different SME business, and from different positions within the business. There have been ten interviews completed, all from different members of different organisations, varying from sales assistants in privately run small enterprises to managers in larger medium enterprises.
Due to the traveling and time needed to complete each individual interview, ten seemed to be an amicable sample to undertake. The research acquired is not there to represent the nation as a whole, but purely to see if the theory supplied in chapter 2.0 (literature review), is backed up by the operations from the range of SMEs the author has chosen.
3.5 Ethical Considerations
When conducting research is it important to ensure ethical considerations are taken into practice, Swetnam (2000, p8) highlights main ethical practices in research as:
"no harm should come to participants in the research either physically, mentally or socially"
"particular care is taken not to exploit the vulnerability of children, the elderly the disabled or those disadvantaged in any way"
"no physical or environmental damage should be caused"
"wherever possible participants are informed of the nature of the work and give their consent"
"the research follows equal opportunities principles"
"anonymity and privacy, where requested, are guaranteed and honoured"
"Nothing is done that brings your institution into disrepute."
In order to ensure that the ethical policies are in abided to, great attension has been paid to the University of Gloucestershire's code of practice, and each interview will only be undertaken when the interviewee has signed a consent form stating that the information gathered can be used. Each individual and their company will also remain confidential for the purpose of the study. This is due to individuals worrying about 'what the boss might say', encouraging honest answers, and keeping the details of possible reward strategies in different sectors private, due to majority having a great deal of competitors in the public sector. This being the case, the position will be applied to each interview, but the interviewees will be referred to as interviewee a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, I, and j.
3.6 Pilot Interview
Before the finished interview was able to be addressed to members of organisations, the researcher conducted a pilot interview on friends and family. The purpose of this exercise was to ensure the questions were valid, and not repetitive. The conclusion of this exercise meant questions were removed and changed in order to ensure the researcher gained the information required to make the interview work. From this exercise the author developed much more efficient interviews.
Summary and Limitations
Although the number of interviews is limited, the author believes they will produce an accurate representation of the reward policies within SMEs, with regards to employees' motivation. The results gathered through semi-structured interviews should provide the paper with a sufficient amount of information to compare to the findings in chapter 2, the literature review. However, some of the questions may appear to be closed questions, which is where the idea of the semi structured interview is available. In order to increase the changes of gaining the required answers, in a 'conversation' based interview.
4.0 Analysis of Research
4.1 Chapter Introduction
The following chapter will discuss the answers gained from the research undertaken, it will analyse each question in turn, discuss the validity of the answers, and refer them back to the literature where necessary. If contractions occur between the literature and the answers received, they will be examined in more detail. The aims of this chapter are to discover if the theory is relevant in real life situations. There will also be reference to the objectives of the paper, in relation to findings. Full transcripts of all interviews can be found in the appendix.
Question one; "Do you enjoy working in a small/ medium enterprise, what differ's it from a larger organisation?" This question was designed to understand if individuals could differentiate the main characteristics of working within an SME, some candidates had experience within larger organisations, and these were discussed. One main issue that was highlighted from the findings were personality clashes between employees at larger institutions. For example interviewee A stated; "By working as part of a larger team there was instantly clashes of personality which at times would defiantly have a negative effect on the way I performed at my job" this was also reiterated by Interviewee H, from a different industry, who stated; "I always felt there wasn't a very strong team bond, and I was never praised for the work that I did." In retrospect, every individual interviewed, agreed that they enjoyed working within an SME and felt they received more recognition due to there being less members of staff. A feeling that was reiterated throughout; "I personally feel I get more recognitionÂ due to the fact there aren't as many staff. It feels like you are a part of the family." These findings are similar to Whitakers (2010) who believes that it is essential to ensure all employees are treated equally, in order to keep the overall moral and self-motivation within the organisation high.
Question two; What is the most important factor that motivates you? This question was designed to find out the key motivators for people within an SME, the responses to this question are very interesting. Only two interviewees, A and H stated financial reasons for motivation with interviewee A stating; "Bottom line - money. I work so that I get money." With the majority of the candidates agreeing that other factors, such as job satisfaction, customer satisfaction, or personal goals are the main source of motivation, the idea of using money as a motivator being as old as money itself (Whitmore, 1977) seems very true. Other methods now play a part in individuals working life, may it be the ever-lasting goal of Maslows self-actualisation, or Armstrongs theory that a need follows an action that leads to a goal, it seems that in the modern day, SME employees seem to be more motivated by their jobs, as interviewee G states; "The main motivator for me is job satisfaction, if I am unhappy in my workplace this leaves me feeling demotivated and less willing to do my job" This however, could be essential to helping the SMEs continue to grow and support the economy, as the financial restraints they have, may dissuade financially driven people from becoming part of their organisations. This would then increase the family feel in the organisation and continues to show that SME owners have a much closer link to their employees, (Naylor, 2008).
Question three; "What were the main factors involved in making you decide to apply for the job in the organisation?" This question has been designed to see if the interviewee applied for the certain positions in the chosen companies due to their status as an SME, if so, it could under line a trend that individuals want to work with SMEs instead of larger organisations, due to the family environment, the closer hierarchy, or did they apply purely for the job? The majority of interviewees applied for the positions they are currently in, in order to further their careers and have a chance to progress in the company, Interviewee J summarises the responses; "The main factors in myself originally applying for the managers role job was to move forward with my career and progress within the company, to move up the ladder so to speak." The literature in chapter 2 two suggests that there is occasionally a lapse of training and development towards employees, although being an integral part of motivation theory. When asked if the career change had worked Inteviewee J stated that he hadn't had the opportunity to further his career, and went onto say; "I had to teach myself a lot about the role, and didn't receive much training around the job". Again reconfirming what the literature has bought up. Another interesting trend already appearing is the difference between financial and non-financial motivators. It is already clear that their only seems be one an individual will go for, either financial or not. As again in this question, interviewees A and H are driven by the benefits of extra monetary gain. Intervewee H states; "The two main factors that made me apply for this job where, firstly the basic salary was better than my last job, and it was closer to my home, so financially it made sense for me to take the job." But he then goes onto confirm training is also a key motivator; "as-well as commission payments, training opportunities would also be included as a reward". This again goes onto confirm that non-financial incentives are viewed as being just as important as the financial gains an employee may receive.