5 Non-Monetary Ways to Reward Employees


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Monday, December 12, 2016

Non-monetary rewards are a great way to build a motivated, skilled workforce that is passionate about their work, and the business.

Article 4 Minutes
5 Non-Monetary Ways to Reward Employees

As with all types of rewards, you need to make sure they work as an added bonus in a workplace that already values and cares for its employees. Rewards are a tried and tested way of retaining employees, which encourages motivation and dedication.

Non-monetary awards can often be cheaper for the company and give employees a chance to become more intricately involved in the business – it’s a win-win. The 5 non-monetary rewards this article will discuss are:

  • A more flexible schedule
  • Autonomy
  • Praise and appreciation
  • Training
  • Making work a fun, engaging place to be

More flexible schedule

The 9 to 5 work schedule can sometimes have the most motivated employee feeling uninspired and overworked.

In a 2012 survey, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development found that employee retention was one of the top benefits of flexible working hours – ‘some 76% of 2,500 managers gave it as a reason for adopting flexible working.’ Obviously, you need to have the full commitment of your employees in their jobs, and it is unlikely you can offer them complete freedom, but it is worth considering whether there are some hours a week people could work from home, and communicate via email and telephone. ‘An estimated 14.1 million people in Britain want flexibility in their working hours or location, equivalent to almost half the working population’, according to the Guardian, and since not enough jobs offer the flexibility people want, yours could become an exciting opportunity for skilled, motivated workers.


People don’t enjoy being micromanaged; it feels patronizing and stifling, and is actually damaging to productivity. Ideally, not micromanaging employees should be part of the everyday structure of your business.

Employees should feel they are valued and esteemed enough to get on with their jobs to the best of their abilities. Offering staff even more autonomy through an employee rewards scheme is a great way of keeping them engaged in their work. In a study conducted at Cornell University, businesses that gave employees autonomy ‘Grew four (4) times faster than the businesses using command and control management.’

Handing more control to employees can be a daunting when you are unsure of their commitments and capabilities, but you can maintain control over this process by delegating well.

Make sure people are well suited to their jobs, and explain the significance and goals of their specific tasks so that they can see themselves as an important part of the business, and be more motivated to contribute.

Praise and Appreciation

When people work hard day in and day out, being shown that they are valued by bosses and co-workers really helps.

This might seem completely obvious, but a lot of people forget the importance of day-to-day verbal rewards that communicate appreciation.

Make sure this is a regular occurrence, and not just part of a rewards scheme. In a 10-year study on motivation, 200,000 employees and managers were interviewed, and the analysis of the results found that when managers are good at recognizing employees they ‘…have lower turnover rates than other managers’, ‘achieve better organizational results’ and ‘are seen to be much stronger in goal-setting, communication, trust and accountability’ 


Like most of these rewards, this is a two-way street; in a project commissioned by Middlesex University for Work Based Learning, out of 4300 workers ‘74% felt that they weren’t achieving their full potential due to lack of development opportunities’.

It makes no sense for you to have workers who are unmotivated or unskilled, so offer learning programs to employees. Integrating this into a rewards scheme means you give people the opportunity to develop and improve as contributors to the business, as well as making them feel important and involved.

It is vital that you talk to employees and work out what training it is they really need, since it is estimated that a total of £19.3 billion a year is lost due to time wastage from ineffective training.

Making work a fun, engaging place to be

If you want people to stay in the company, you need to ensure your work environment feels like a good place to be. Socializing with employees is important, as well as offering team-building exercises and activities for people to take part in. People will stay where they enjoy themselves, so keeping morale high really is in the interest of your business.

Get to know your employees, and get creative with how to reward them, and they’ll reward you by staying at your business, and working hard to make it better.

By taking these tips into consideration, you should be able to reward your employees in ways that go beyond money. Rewarding employees often, and in different ways, is sometimes overlooked, and it shouldn’t be, since it is one of the best ways to motivate and keep your workforce happy.

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