Do you open your birthday cards and simultaneously do the “money grab”/catch, knowing-wanting something to fall out of your card? Or do you play it cool and let it fall to the ground, acting like you didn’t expect it!? That’s what I trained my kids to do – and act really surprised at the same time.
Seriously!? Don’t lie. You do it. How do I know you do it? Because everyone does it!
There’s something emotional about opening a birthday card and finding money or a gift card in the card. When there isn’t something in there, you almost feel the need to explain to the person – “oh sorry, we didn’t have time, here’s $20!”
One of the great traditional HRish things we use to get to do was to hand out paychecks on payday! Don’t worry kids, ask someone over 30 to explain it to you. It was a piece of paper you carried into a bank and would sign the back of this piece of paper and the bank would give you money! Yeah! Anyway, direct deposit, paycards, etc. have almost completely killed paychecks and the need to go around on payday and hand deliver them to your employees. That’s right kids – you had to meet face to face every other week with real employees! Sounds crazy, uh?
Paycheck delivery did a number of very motivating things, that in our rush to be ‘more efficient’ we have lost:
1. Payday euphoria! Every payday when checks were being handed out you could almost feel the energy building in the organization. Your boss or someone in HR/Payroll would walk around and hand out check, make small talk, give words of praise – “Have a great weekend!”, “Don’t spend it all in one place!”, or my personal favorite – “Can I have a loan?”
2. Leadership connections. It really forced a ton of leaders to go out and deliver the ‘pay’ for the week. Which really put them in a situation to have to say something nice to each employee! Crazy how motivating that is for employees after a long week!
3. A trophy for everyone. When you got that paycheck in your hand, you felt like you accomplished something. Here’s what I did all that work for. I can look at it, I can see it, I can smell the ink! (don’t judge, I was born in the 70’s)
There is a definite emotional and some would say, physical, response to being handed a week or two’s worth of pay. For most people, it feels good. It feels like accomplishment.
Direct deposit takes that all a way. On Friday afternoon, you don’t get a visit from your boss or HR. You don’t get to know your local banking people and get fresh new bills and those little money envelops from the teller and DumDum sucker for the kids. Direct Deposit, while great in its efficiencies, has effectively killed one of life’s great joys. Cashing your paycheck.
So, what do you think HR Pros – would you ever go back to handing out physical paychecks each week?