In our current tight economic situation, it can be tough for hiring managers and small business owners to offer extra cash when their own budgets are already struggling to stay afloat. Thankfully, non-monetary incentives can be just as impactful as cash for employees, especially since individuals place more importance on their well-being and contentment in today's world.
Additionally, non-monetary rewards often yield immediate results, making them a superior incentive to monetary compensation at times, since pay increases require a longer timeframe to have an effect.
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here are ten excellent non-monetary incentives you can use to motivate and retain top talent:
- Offer flexible working arrangements such as giving telecommuters a chance to work from home once a week or for employees to choose their core working hours instead of the typical 9 to 5. More and more people nowadays want jobs that offer flexible working arrangements in terms of when and where they work. This kind of arrangement is a powerful non-monetary incentive for employees in the post-pandemic world.
- Provide extensive training plans - both in-house and offsite - for employees to complete accredited courses and upskill.
- Public recognition can demonstrate to your employees that their work is noticed and appreciated. It’s a non-monetary incentive for employees that a company can easily offer but is often overlooked.
- Offer tangible recognition for employees who consistently excel - either by sending an email cc’ing in business leaders with congratulations on a job well done, giving the team a handwritten note, or mentioning their successes during monthly meetings. Provide a rostered day off (outside of annual leave) to reward successful task completion. This non-monetary incentive can encourage employees to put greater effort toward their objectives, and earn some leave they deserve.
- Create a monthly office theme day to boost morale - for example, international food day, where each staff member brings a plate of food from their country of origin. Not only is it a great non-monetary incentive, but also a great way to boost employee engagement in the workplace.
- Offer rewards based on specific personal interests – like membership to their local gym or tickets to the latest theatre show.
- Offer time out of regular work commitments to work on projects which your employees may be passionate about but are not necessarily related to your core business. This is something that was pioneered by Google and from which many of Google’s stand-out products originate (including Google maps!).
- Create a monthly or quarterly awards event showcases the efforts of employees who continually excel in their field. Include peer-nominated awards to show off the employees who consistently show leadership and help their colleagues.
- Provide the opportunity for employees to engage in volunteer work - this can offer a nice break from the office and the added benefit of increased morale through altruistic pursuits.
- For businesses that benefit from multiple office locations, offer employees the chance of a change of scenery by swapping roles for a week or month, for example, from Auckland to the Christchurch office.
Remember, rewards are designed to show your employee appreciation for their hard work, and whilst extra money is often cited as a motivator for employees, it’s often the intangible employee benefits that have the most impact on staff morale.
Regardless of the incentives you offer to employees, seek to make your workplace an atmosphere where hard work is recognised and rewarded regularly.