When hearing the term “paying homage”, our minds often go straight to big religious figures or pilgrimages – which isn’t necessarily wrong but rather unnecessarily narrow-minded if we believe these are the only things we can pay homage to.
The term “homage” is defined as “special honour or respect shown publicly” which bursts our preconceived definition of the term wide open. Homage by this definition, is something that would benefit the modern workplace tenfold – with a wide variety of studies arguing that financial incentive only provide employees with a low level of motivation. Paying homage to employees is widely regarded as one of the most effective means of motivating them.
At my workplace, we have a personal gift card that has funds added to it when we have done something particularly well. This is a nice idea but when compared to the idea of receiving praise for a job well done, the praise to me personally hands-down takes the lead. Whether this is because I have a greater need for recognition whereas other employees may have that same level of need for money, or because it’s simply nice to have the ego fluffed a little whilst knowing you’re getting a wage regardless, I’m uncertain.
To summarise, if we were to use the term “homage” properly and to its full potential, we may be able to show people that they are greatly appreciated as something that is much more than a resource or a commodity. Allowing people to be paid homage to without a judgement regarding what is worthy of it may just be what gives somebody that extra energy to go through their day attempting to do the same.