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.
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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.
Of course, many businesses are offering this as part of a hybrid working approach and more and more employers are becoming more flexible with their working approach.
However, this level of flexibility can be adjusted for employees as a great non-monetary reward option.
2. 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.
A popular example of this is at Google, where employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time on personal projects. Often employees spend the time developing solutions to support their work or the business.
3. 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 of course depend on your business needs too.
An earlier finish on a Friday, later start on a Monday or simply some more time to take off to use whenever the employee decides would certainly be a well received reward.
4. 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!
Many companies do this and giving employees the option to choose who they volunteer for is a great way to make this reward even more personal.
5. 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.
Of course, meetings like this are common for many and used as part of performance reviews, for example. However, lunch with a senior figure in the business for example could be a good reward and could be beneficial for everyone involved.
6. Give employees chance to show appreciation for each other
This can be done through ECards on your employee benefits platform. Find out more here.
7. 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 looking for more responsibility or looking for ways to apply new skills or experienced gained.
8. Let everyone know who you’re rewarding and what you’re rewarding them with
The shift towards hybrid and more remote working have made it more important than ever for companies to utilise their digital internal communication channels.
This is important not just to keep everyone connected and in the loop, but also for reward and recognition too.
A centralised reward and recognition platform can help with this, giving your business a place for all your company rewards, so your team can see who’s been rewarded and what for.
9. Give your employees the opportunity to attend educational or wellbeing 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.
Themed days away from the workplace like this are becoming more common. One of the most popular recent examples was Channel 4’s ‘Wellbeing Day’, where staff were given a day away from work to focus on their wellbeing.
These initiatives can be really rewarding and beneficial, particularly for teams who’ve been busy working on big projects.
10. 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.
Recognising employees for personal achievements is great too. Write a blog on their journey to achieve their goals or you could even interview them about it.
It could be work-related, charity or fitness-related or anything that’s had a really positive impact on your staff in recent times.
11. 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 co-workers, 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!
12. 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!
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.
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.