Cash is not the sole method to acknowledge and motivate employees. Non-monetary incentives are pivotal in maintaining enthusiasm, motivation, and engagement among your workforce. Let’s delve deeper into the advantages of non-monetary incentives and explore some of the top non-financial rewards that your organization can provide.
What is a ” Non-Monetary Incentive”?
Non-monetary incentives refer to non-cash benefits provided by employers to their employees. These incentives serve as a means of rewarding individuals beyond the conventional monetary compensation and benefits package. Non-monetary compensation includes benefits such as work flexibility, experiential rewards, additional time off, etc.
Why are Non-Monetary Rewards a Good Thing?
Let’s check out some perks before we look at examples.
- Non-monetary rewards can be given almost right away. Unlike getting extra money, where you have to wait until payday, these benefits can be provided on the spot. So, people get a pat on the back when they deserve it, almost like in real-time.
- Getting noticed at work with a reward, a lunch treat, or a short trip sticks in employees’ minds more than getting extra cash. It makes their time with your company a special memory.
- Non-monetary rewards can significantly impact without costing a ton. Take a peer recognition program, for example. You only need a little money to start it. Still, the benefits are enormous: better relationships among employees, a long-lasting boost in engagement, more trust, higher productivity, better performance, and much more. Also, if non-cash incentives need money, you can deduct them as a business expense.
- They make you want to do your best because they make you feel important and show that your work matters.
- They get people interested in their work. Things like time off for helping others, getting fabulous prizes, or going on team outings are great things to talk about. They help start conversations and make things more friendly.
- They also help in getting and keeping good workers. Of course, money is essential to pay the bills, but there are other reasons people stay in a job or pick a new one. The people we work with, our boss, the job itself, and the extra rewards we get are the big reasons we stay or leave.
- Giving non-money rewards can be part of showing off your company and being the unique thing that makes someone choose your company instead of another.
Best Non-Monetary Incentives for Employees
Personal Project Time
One excellent non-money bonus is having time to work on your projects. It’s simple – it’s fantastic when a company supports what you love. Google is famous for letting employees spend 20% of their time on personal projects. Some say they still do; some say they don’t. But guess what? Google Maps, Gmail, and AdSense started as these individual projects. That’s how cool ideas turn into successful stuff.
Flexible Work Options
A popular non-cash bonus is having choices in how you work. Even before COVID, people liked having flexible work options. Only some people want to work from home or change their hours. Some prefer the office because there are better workplaces than home or like being around colleagues. The key is giving employees choices. At Salesforce, if your job allows it, you can work remotely, be in the office for a few days, or work from the office full-time. Eventbrite lets job seekers choose if they want a fully remote role or one partly in the office.
Non-monetary bonuses don’t have to be fancy. An ordinary thank you can mean a lot. Creating a culture where everyone appreciates each other, from the big bosses to the newest team members, is a great way to make people feel valued. Adding a peer recognition program makes it even more remarkable. You can thank your colleagues in different ways – from saying it out loud to using emojis on Slack or giving virtual points or badges.
Bonus Time Off
Giving employees extra time off is a nice non-money reward. It could be an additional day off or a day off for their birthday. You can also let them take a more extended lunch break, leave early on Fridays, or start later on Mondays. These are all ways to show appreciation by giving them more free time.
More Learning and Growing Opportunities
You can set up a program where employees mentor or coach each other. It’s like helping each other get better at what you do. This allows them to learn and builds stronger connections between team members. It’s a win-win!
Experiential rewards are fantastic because they stick in people’s minds more than regular rewards. Plus, they help create a solid emotional connection between your team and the company.
Some companies go all out, offering their employees once-in-a-lifetime trips when they hit big goals. The great thing about experiential rewards is that you can design them to fit your brand, employees, and budget.
Other fun experiences could be taking your team to a local sports event, arranging a pottery class, or having a celebration night out with one of the company’s founders.
Time for Giving Back
Giving employees time off to volunteer is an experiential reward. Working for a charity is a different experience for most of us, and many employees appreciate the chance to give back to the community or the world.
Extra Perks (Fringe Benefits)
Fringe benefits are extra goodies that make work more fun. Many options include wellness programs, free meals or restaurant vouchers, commuter perks, cinema tickets, and traveler’s cheques.
Spending one-on-one time with their manager can be valuable for employees. Especially for managers with smaller teams, setting up regular weekly or bi-weekly meetings with each team member is a great idea.
One-on-ones make people feel included and give them a dedicated time to talk about anything on their minds with their manager. These meetings create an ongoing conversation and help build trust between employees and managers. It’s also a perfect time to get feedback, discuss performance, and discuss projects.
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