non-monetary rewards for employees


The 12 best non-monetary rewards that will motivate your employees

non-monetary rewards for employees
By Gareth Lillis

Non-monetary rewards have a number of benefits over other forms of reward.

They’re more cost efficient because the recognition itself is the focus, and the value from the employee’s point of view is derived from the act of recognition.

Non-monetary rewards also make an immediate impact. Rewarding employees with things like bonuses or pay rises can take time, meaning it loses some of its impact. The best way to reward an employee is to do it straight away.

They’re also better for retention. An employee that stays with you because you’ve given them a pay-rise can easily be lured away by another company. However, non-monetary rewards help you build a relationship with employees, which they won’t get at other companies.

According to research in The Management Agenda by McCartney and Holbeche, non-financial recognition was cited by 65% of managers as a popular motivator. Job enjoyment, challenge and personal drive were also mentioned. The research also showed that lack of recognition was the biggest demotivator at work.

If you’re looking to enhance your rewards even further, our low-cost, market leading R&R platform makes non-financial recognition quick, easy and effective and is the perfect home for your non-monetary rewards. See how it works here.


Top 12 non-monetary rewards for employees


  1. Flexible working

This has shown to be one of the most popular work perks out there. As a reward, offer your employees the opportunity to work from home or switch their hours around if they don’t already have the option.


  1. Give employees time to work on their own projects

Some companies offer this as a standard part of employment, however it’s also a great non-monetary reward. People are motivated by the things they’re passionate about, and employees appreciate the welcome opportunity to work on their own projects.


  1. Extra leave

Why not reward employees by giving them an extra day’s annual leave or a longer lunch break? You could reward employees by letting them leave an hour early or giving them half a day off. However, you choose to do this should depend on your business needs.


  1. Allow time to do volunteer work

There are a number of benefits that come from this. Employees are rewarded with a welcome break out of the office and a charitable cause reaps the benefits of extra volunteers. It’s also great for the company’s image and CSR!


non-monetary rewards for employees

  1. One-on-one meetings

Reward employees by speaking to them one-to-one and asking them what you can do to help them improve and grow. It’s a great opportunity to get some constructive feedback on the way the business operates while helping an employee improve and showing that you appreciate their hard work.


  1. Give employees chance to show appreciation for each other

This can be done through ECards on your employee benefits platform. Find out more here.


  1. Reward employees with more responsibility

Initially, this doesn’t sound like much of a reward. However, employees are motivated by the right amount of challenge and responsibility. This will be a better reward for some employees than others. Some employees may be happy with the current level of challenge and responsibility they have; however, some may be itching for more responsibility.


  1. Let everyone know who you’re rewarding and what you’re rewarding them with

Again, your employee benefits platform is a great place to house all your employee awards. You can find out more here.


  1. Give your employees the opportunity to attend educational events/workshops

Many companies do this already, but letting your employees take a day off to attend an event or workshop that could benefit them is a great non-monetary reward.


  1. Recognise your employees on social media

This is a great way to not only show your employees you care, but your followers on social media too. Try recognising employees for personal achievements. Write a short blog on their journey to achieve their goals. You could even interview them about it!


  1. Collaborative message from all employees

A handwritten “thank you” letter is one of the best non-monetary rewards, but why not go one step further and get everyone involved? Maybe one of your employees has gone so far out of their way that it’s recognised by all their coworkers, like helping someone through a difficult time or offering their skills and expertise without being asked. If so, get everyone to write something positive about that person either in a card, on a piece of paper or electronically. Gather everyone’s comments together and present it to the person! It could be a card or it could be a framed picture. You could even go mad with the design of it or create a little video to go out on social media to show everyone’s appreciation!


  1. Ask your employees what they’d like?

It’s one thing deciding how to reward your employees, but why not ask them what rewards they’d like? Would your employees prefer a company organised games night as a reward or extra time off? Would they prefer the opportunity to work from home over a social media post? What are their hobbies and interests? One of the most effective forms of reward is a reward that is personal, one that means something to that individual. Individualising your rewards can make a huge difference and shows employees just how much you care. If your employees could choose their top 3 rewards within a certain budget, what would they be?

Give these 12 non-monetary rewards a go and see how your employees respond. They’re simple, low-cost and easy to implement!



reward and recognition platform

Hand out non-monetary rewards with a Reward and Recognition platform

Reward and recognition technology can help make handing out non-monetary rewards easier and more effective.

According to research by WorkHuman, employees at companies with no recognition programme are 3 times more likely to have a negative experience.

With a dedicated platform, handing out any kind of reward or recognition can be done in the click of a button.

It can also facilitate peer-to-peer recognition which, according to research by SHRM, is shown to be 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.

Our Reward and Recognition platform is designed to make rewarding employees quick, easy and effective in today’s digital age.

To find out more, head over to our Reward and Recognition overview page. Or to try it for yourself, get in touch for a free demo.