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As a programmer bonus and perks are definitely incentives, but a nice steady "I love your work" kind of vibe is a great way to keep me in my job.

> "I love your work"

Nothing says "I love your work" more truthfully than a bonus or a raise.

Where have you been working for the past few years? A bonus you get it twice a year, a boss respecting your work and saying thank you, you have it every single day. If you are paid correctly, you should not even need a bonus but you cannot go long without respect from your boss and peers.

By the way, it is proved by countless experience that once salary is good enough, it is disconnected from happiness at work.

Good pay and respect will bring you way further than good pay, bonus and "you are my slave".

> By the way, it is proved by countless experience that once salary is good enough, it is disconnected from happiness at work

That's not any different then what they OP is saying. The issue people have at finding good programmers is that they aren't paying enough.

Yes, other things matter, but if you start off by offering minimum wage, a "Good job!" doesn't really matter.

Personally, having my boss say thank you doesn't mean much to me. That's not because I don't want appreciation for my work, but because praise carries a more significant meaning when it comes from someone who you hold in high-enough regard.

For me, high-enough regard can mean someone whose work I know of and can appreciate on its merit, or it can mean someone who used my software by choice.

For example, if my boss' actions don't show that he's interested in my happiness at work and he thanks me for making his pet project happen, it means nothing to me. But, if a customer, or someone whose work I admire, tells me they like the software I created, they've just made my day.

I agree. Especially if the employee is actively asking for a bonus or a raise, and being denied.

If an employee says to the boss "Hey, I think I'm worth X more than you're paying me", and after extensive "due process" the answer comes back from management as "No, and you can't have more time off either", that's a clear sign that the decision makers have, at best, limited respect for that employee's work. Verbal claims of respect, at this point, are almost offensive.

That said, on the other hand, piles of cash but nary a kind word is also not very respectful.

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