Compensation Blog #1

A family member of mine recently started a new job. Previously, they were in the same role for over fourteen years! This is a very long time to be doing the same thing. She was content in the role she had, but hit a point where there was no more room for growth. No room for growth meant no more responsibility, no more raises, etc. When an opportunity for a promotion in a different department was brought to her attention, she decided it wouldn’t hurt to apply.

For the promotion, the application/interview process took several months. When she finally got the job offer, there were a few things to consider. One of the biggest factors was compensation, but also simply a new beginning. This specific job would require her to relocate to Seattle from the Portland area (after COVID). When thinking about compensation, she had to take into account the pay raise, relocation package as well as some extra benefits that came with the position.

After weighing all of the pros and cons, it was a no brainer to take this job offer. I think that compensation motivated this behavior because it was a substantial pay increase with a good relocation package for three years to make it worth the relocation to Seattle. The compensation combined with new responsibilities led my family member to leave her old position where she was working comfortably for fourteen years. Although in this situation compensation was a big factor, it certainly wasn’t the only one.

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One reply on “Compensation Blog #1”

Hey Morgan!

I believe that your family member’s story is best framed by Cognitive Evaluation Theory. That is, your family member outgrew their job in terms of extrinsic motivators–promotion, pay(?), and responsibilities (working conditions)–and that in turn made them lose confidence in their intrinsic motivations, feeling dissatisfied with the achievements, responsibility, and competence required for their old job. This caused them to seek something with higher extrinsic motivators in the hope that their intrinsic needs would be taken care of. This new job had a better compensation package AND presented more of a challenge. According to Cognitive Evaluation Theory, there are two ways extrinsic factors affect intrinsic motivation: a factor which is seen as the primary reason for participating, and another factor which affirms the person’s perception of themselves. This new job had a better compensation package AND presented more of a challenge, allowing your family member to enjoy extrinsic rewards and satisfy their need to feel competent and challenged.

Thank you,


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