Employees are the beating heart of your company. Together, they own customer relationships, bring know-how to tricky tasks, and breathe fresh life into your brand every day.
Keeping your employees excited and engaged is vital to the long-term success of your business. And to keep your team motivated, you have to keep them incentivized.
Finding the right incentives can be a challenge. Monetary incentives are straightforward, but these days, employees are looking for much more than a little extra cash. They want to feel part of something bigger. Money comes and goes, but experiences last forever.
Let’s define non-monetary incentives before reviewing some examples you can use to motivate your employees.
What Are Non-Monetary Incentives?
Non-monetary incentives are benefits you provide to employees that exist separately from an employee’s typical compensation. As we’ll explain in more detail, these can take many forms: additional vacation days, physical gifts, new career opportunities, and so on.
These incentives play a crucial role in driving higher levels of employee engagement, which in turn drives better results for your business. Monetary incentives (their paycheck) might be what make your employees turn up for work every day. But it's non-monetary incentives that encourage employees to go the extra mile.
Best Non-Monetary Incentives to Offer Your Employees
Non-monetary incentives are the perfect way to make your employees feel truly appreciated. But it can be difficult to come up with ideas that feel meaningful. Good news: we’ve got your back.
Here are 11 non-monetary rewards you can put in place to take employee appreciation to the next level.
1. Additional Vacation Days
People work to live, not the other way around. That means one of the most important things your business can do to incentivize its employees is to give them extra time to enjoy the things that make them happy.
Maybe you offer the option for half-day Fridays in the summer, or perhaps you award your employees a couple of extra days of PTO when a long, difficult project is successfully completed. However you do it, you can be sure your employees will be grateful for the extra time they get to spend relaxing with their family and friends.
The 9 - 5 schedule is under threat. Employees have grown accustomed to a certain level of flexibility. There’s no sense fighting it: instead, lean in and offer your employees the ability to work according to their own schedule.
Give your team members the freedom to work from home a couple of days a week or to leave early to catch their kids’ little league game. It’s a show of trust that your employees will reciprocate.
3. Physical Rewards and Swag
Think back to all the gifts you’ve received in your life. We bet the ones that stand out are thoughtful, generous gifts that you went on to use every day: not some money hastily stuffed in an envelope.
High-quality company swag is one of the best non-monetary incentives for your employees. Whether it’s branded apparel they can wear with pride or a useful piece of technology they reach for every day, there’s no better way to delight employees than with great swag.
4. Public Praise
It sounds simple, but highlighting your employees’ achievements to the rest of your team (or business) makes them feel like a hero. Openly praise team members in meetings, have formal awards that are handed out every month or quarter, and encourage your employees to lift one another up. However, bear in mind that not everyone loves public praise; some people prefer to be recognized in private.
5. Private Recognition
If your team has employees who you know aren’t comfortable in the spotlight, recognize their achievements in private. Instead of highlighting their accomplishments in the company-wide town hall, take them out for lunch one-on-one and thank them for their hard work. They’ll appreciate the extra step you took to celebrate them on their terms.
6. Professional Development Opportunities
Many employees are naturally ambitious. They’re not happy with the status quo – they want to grow and progress into leadership positions. It’s your job to give your employees the tools to succeed.
Support your employees to reach their goals by offering clear career paths, training programs, and support attending conferences and events. It’s an investment that pays off big time – not only will your employees be more engaged and motivated, they’ll be more skilled too.
7. Experiential Rewards
Experiential rewards offer your employees an opportunity to make memories. Whether it’s a weekend away or tickets to a sporting event, an experiential reward is a treat that’s sure to excite your team.
Be careful to choose rewards that match employees’ personal interests. If you know someone loves baseball, go ahead and grab those tickets behind home plate. If they prefer fine dining to ballpark hot dogs, opt for a gift card for an upscale restaurant instead.
8. Office Parties
Bring your whole team together to celebrate major accomplishments with an office party that everyone can enjoy. It’s a valuable chance for your employees to get to know each other outside of work and spend time together.
There are endless options here, from taking your team out for happy hour to hosting a formal event complete with dinner, drinks, and dancing.
9. Volunteer Time
Everyone has causes they’re passionate about. But for most people, juggling family, work, and a whole host of other commitments leaves limited time to support those causes.
By designating specific volunteering days for your employees to spend on these activities, you empower your team to give back to their local community. Not only is this great for morale, but it also boosts your business’ reputation and enables employees to grow their networks.
10. Mentorship Opportunities
Remember, many employees are ambitious go-getters. They want to learn new skills, grow as a leader, and climb the corporate ladder.
Few things are a greater career accelerant than a great mentor. By pairing high-performing employees with established leaders, you’re helping fuel that development, unlocking even higher levels of motivation among your future leaders.
11. Wellness Benefits
Work can be a stressful place. Performance expectations are high and it’s easy for employees to work too hard and run the risk of burning out.
Providing wellness benefits, both physical and mental, gives employees the tools to ensure they maintain a healthy lifestyle. You might choose to offer a complimentary gym membership, stock your office kitchen with healthy snacks, or provide weekly yoga classes – whatever helps your team be the best versions of themselves.
Get the Perfect Non-Monetary Incentives
An investment in employee appreciation will pay dividends time and time again. Happy, motivated employees do better work, and over time, businesses that do better work always win out.
Non-monetary incentives are an important part of any positive company culture, ensuring that employees feel proud of what they do and excited to come to work every day. Some of these strategies require some thought, but others, like employee recognition gifts, are easy to act on today.
To make sure you choose the perfect employee recognition swag items for your team, reach out to a GoDelta Brand Consultant. We’ll work closely with you to find the perfect items for your team, helping you motivate your team while bringing your brand to life.