M.A. in Counseling, Licensed Professional Counselor
M.S. Organizational and Industrial Psychology
B.A. Educational Studies
10 years of social services working in Vocational Rehab, Career Education, Career Counseling, Developmental Disabilities, and Business Team Consulting.
Additional experience teaching college level psychology and student success classes and workshops.
If I understand your current question correctly you're asking about desire towards vs impact of financial reward related to work.
If you look at Herzberg's 2 factor theory you could conclude that financial gain is a work hygiene issue. Pay is not a strong motivating factor until it does not reach market or personally assessed value. On the other hand, promotion provides an intrensic variable of success that motivates individuals. Also, if you look at Maslow' s Hierarchy the money based issues are on the base while self-actualization and social status are much higher on the pyramid.
Keeping this in mind most will find a higher degree of self-effacacy in a higher position vs a pay raise.
The best way to change things especially in a new acquired business is to listen and watch. Understanding your team, who they are, and what makes them tick is one of the most influential thing you can do.
Getting their opinion is important, I would construct a model of change and present it as a conversation and get their input. The only way to truly implement your model is to develop a followership before implementing your change strategy.