Top 3 Non-Monetary Incentives for Employees

When it comes to recognizing the efforts of your organization’s top performers, money shouldn’t always be the only option. While a raise will always be appreciated, it’s not the only way to show your gratitude for their hard work. And that’s besides the fact that you can’t always hand out money for every task well done. Hence, here are three ideas for non-monetary incentives that employees are sure to appreciate:

Non-Monetary Incentives for Employees

Non-Monetary Incentives for Employees

1. Practical Tokens of Appreciation

Let’s admit it—after a few years, certificates and trophies do get old. Instead of giving away these sheets of paper or awards that would gather dust on a shelf somewhere, why not offer something practical instead?

For example, top performers for a certain quarter can get gift certificates to use at a nearby coffee shop or a voucher for a spa treatment. Or they can get special tokens such as a watch or a jacket to wear in the office. Better yet, how about a free vacation to somewhere nice? Not only will they get to use the award to relax and recharge, but they’d also associate great performance with a truly rewarding experience.

To help you customize and orchestrate your employee recognition and incentives programs, consider investing in an enterprise employee engagement platform.

2. Free Access to Training

Top employees always want to broaden their horizons. That’s why companies should provide them with avenues to explore and hone their skills and talents, even if those are outside their current job description. For example, employees can enroll in a class to certify their expertise in operating a specific platform. Meanwhile, those who have the potential to be promoted can be offered courses in the Six Sigma methodology for process improvement.

By allowing employees to expand their skill sets, employers not only improve their top performers’ engagement. They also prepare those employees to take on larger roles in an organization. This also allows employees to go on lateral promotions, such as working in a different department, instead of losing those employees to a competitor that may offer these perks.

3. More Flexibility at Work

Countless articles in top business publications have said it time and again—there are many things that employees want more than a raise. Some of them, such as flexible work arrangements, may even cost nothing. These include work-from-home or telecommuting schemes, which allow the employee to work outside the physical office; or flexi-time options, which grant them the option to change their work schedule. Some startups even offer more revolutionary options, such as offering unlimited leave credits for their employees.

By instituting these options for top performers, they not only get to minimize or avoid the stress of commuting to a physical office. They also get a sense of fulfillment that comes from knowing that upper management trusts them to do their job and do it well.


As these three incentive ideas show, a raise isn’t the only thing you can offer your best employees. Nor should you just stick to the usual certificate-and-trophy combo. There are other non-monetary incentive options that will be just as appreciated as a salary hike and are more useful than a plaque of appreciation. Some maybe even cheaper ways to retain employees in the long run.

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