I have heard acknowledgments referred to as "the double paycheck," which I think is very fitting. Even people who earn less than they feel they should, will dig in and engage fully if that other "paycheck" comes regularly.
After a presentation I made to the PMI Information Systems Specific Interest Group last year at its Professional Development Day, a woman came up to me and told me that she had just left a high-paying, senior-level job, with no other job lined up.
She left it, she said, because she hadn't realized that her former job at Booz Allen Hamilton was really a dream job. Although it probably wasn't the best job in the world, there was a culture of appreciation at that company that made it a pleasure to come to work each day.
"I am going back there," she said emphatically. "Even if the job pays less and the level is lower, I don't care. I didn't realize what a difference the atmosphere of a company makes. At the job [after Booz Allen Hamilton], I didn't know my worth or my value and I didn't feel appreciated for anything that I did. I'm going back to Booz Allen Hamilton, no matter what."
I later discussed this example with a Booz Allen Hamilton partner. "Oh," she laughed. "We call those the 'come-back kids' and we welcome them back once they realize what they were missing."
And yes, it is a part of the company's philosophy and its mission to have a culture of appreciation. They most certainly seem to be doing something right.
So what is that double paycheck worth? Everything!