7 Non-Monetary Rewards To Drive Employee Engagement

by Kylee Stone Sep 2,2021

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Employee engagement has become one of the most common buzzwords in the contemporary business world. Given the paramount correlation between employee engagement and business profitability, organizations are constantly working on evolving new engagement strategies. They have employee engagement goals to meet to tap every possible merit of it. Have you acknowledged the interrelation between engagement and business success yet? 

As concluded by Gallup, high employee engagement can augment business profitability by 21 percent. Having said that, there is every pragmatic reason why you ought to lay emphasis on nurturing the engagement levels in your employees. Exemplary engagement is the key to the fulfillment of your business ambitions after all! 

Also Read: Want To Measure Your Employee Engagement? Here’s How

When it comes to the best strategies for cultivating high employee engagement, perspectives and mindsets tend to vary. You may have a different spectrum of ideas for engaging employees, while other business leaders may have a distinct framework for it. However, across all industries and generations of employees, one of the most salient drivers of motivation and engagement is recognition. 

Why is employee recognition quintessential? 

From baby boomers to millennials and Gen Y folks, everyone needs the right proportion of recognition and rewards to engage actively. Even you need your share of recognition to bring out the best in you! You find yourself brimming with the motivation to scale new heights when people around you applaud you, don’t you? In fact, Deloitte reveals that recognition amplifies efficiency and engagement by 14 percent. To add, Gallup concludes that lack of recognition is the primary reason why employees disengage or quit. 

The above insights are enough to establish the imperativeness of employee recognition. They clearly signify that investing to win employee loyalty is as crucial as building customer loyalty. Employee motivation and happiness are the pivotal pillars of employee engagement. Further, rewards and recognition are the piers of motivation and exuberance among employees. If you ask employees what rewards they desire the most, monetary incentives would be a common answer. 

Also Read: The Performance Management Software For Millennials 

However, for smaller and medium enterprises, monetary rewards may not always be feasible. In such scenarios, you can always come up with some excellent ideas for non-monetary rewards. To help you with that, in this article, we discuss some brilliant ideas for employee recognition. These ideas cost nothing or little and yet create a massive impetus of engagement. So, without further ado, let us get started!

  • Appreciation for effort 

Appreciation is one of the most valuable yet inexpensive rewards that you can confer upon your employees. Here we are talking about a comprehensive and genuine framework of appreciation that also takes into account the effort put in by employees. Why limit appreciation and recognition to achievements and accomplishments? You also ought to appreciate the effort, loyalty, and commitment displayed by your employees. 

In fact, as per HubSpot, 69 percent of employees opine that they will work with greater diligence if they are appreciated better. This substantiates the simple fact that appreciation holds the key to fostering high employee engagement. Given that, you ought to create a vibrant culture where appreciation and celebration of effort, achievements, and sincerity is a natural virtue. The more inclusive employee recognition gets, the greater will be the returns in terms of high engagement. 

Recognizing employees in front of their colleagues can work wonders to upscale their engagement. Besides, it will assist others in setting their performance goals as well. If your organization is remote, you can extend appreciation during virtual meets or via digital internal newsletters. To add, you can also extend appreciation through social media posts highlighting the contributions of employees.

  • Shareholding benefits 

Last year, Woolworths, the Australian retail giant, gave shares of the company to over 100,000 workers as a token of recognition. The workers were rewarded shares of net worth up to $750 for their commendable work amid the pandemic. Having said that, if your company is listed on the stock market, you can take a leave out of Woolworths’ book. 

You can offer little stakes to your exclusive and unparalleled performers as an ultimate perk. With this, you can make the idea of employees’ sense of belonging quite literal! This is a reward of the highest order that will give your employees one of the biggest reasons for sticking to you and staying engaged around the clock.

Also Read: Workplace Culture:How To Create And Sustain It
  • Better designations and job titles

It may not be possible all the time to offer promotions to employees regularly along with salary hikes. However, even for employees, it is not always about the salary. Employees have the basic anticipation of getting proportionate career advancement opportunities in the workplace. Getting their fair share of professional growth is in itself a reward for them irrespective of monetary increments.

Having said that, offering better designations and titles to your employees in lieu of their exemplary performance is a credible idea. For instance, a top performer exhibiting great diligence persistently can be made an additional project manager. 

On similar lines, an excellent graphic designer who brings great value to your organization’s marketing can be named the creative head. Even without increments in salaries, the escalation of designations will be priceless to employees inspiring greater engagement in them.  

  •   Exclusive mentoring programs 

Learning and development prospects are critical to the engagement and exuberance of employees. They want to learn consistently and keep adding more value to their professional development. This is the reason why employees are keener to work for organizations with cultures facilitating learning. To validate, almost 90 percent of millennials assert that learning in the workplace is essential for them. This insight is in line with the inferences of Middlesex University for Work-Based Learning. 

Also Read: 6 Guidelines To Developing A Professional Mentoring Program

Therefore, having some exclusive mentorship programs for achievers and top performers will be an incredible idea. With performances superseding a certain performance benchmark, let your employees unlock new horizons of mentoring. These in-person mentoring programs should cater to the most important verticals of professional development. Employees will see these as adding immense value to their pursuit of career building.

Let the highest form of learning or remote training be an affluent reward in the workplace. With this strategy, you can engage the winners as well as others who would then realign their goals to qualify for the same. 

The bottom line is, exclusive or not, mentoring programs are critical to boosting the efficiency and engagement of employees. You do not have to be a boss always. At times, you need to step into the shoes of a mentor and construct mentor-mentee relationships with your workers.

  • Wellness benefits

Wellness has become a great concern for employees, given the ever-increasing work stress they find themselves reeling under. To make things worse, the horrifying COVID-19 pandemic has made employees worry even more about their health. In such a scenario, wellness benefits will work as invaluable rewards for your employees. You can offer the following health rewards to your top-notch talents while setting a benchmark for others as well. 

  • Health insurance covers 
  • Free membership/subscription to gyms, mindfulness programs, fitness apps, stress management programs etcetera. 
  • Exclusive mental wellness webinars featuring eminent psychologists and counselors to discuss employees’ mental health issues 
  • Free of cost annual health checkup
Also Read: Understanding Employee Wellbeing In 2021
  • Flexibility 

One of the most attractive awards for employees in this revamped corporate world known for work from home jobs, remote cultures, and virtual meetings is flexibility. If you ask your employees, all of them would say that they desire discretionary flexibility. The flexibility we are emphasizing is the flexibility in terms of working style, working hours, and working tools.  

Employees want to work remotely most of the time as they believe it enables greater work-life balance and optimized productivity. Given the fact, the idea of flexibility is essential for employees, why not craft a reward out of it? The better the employees perform, the more can be the number of work from home days they can win in a month. Besides, flexibility as a part of employee experience can also enhance their efficiency. You can put a ceiling on the maximum number of days in a month that employees can avail remote work.

  • Bonus paid leaves 

Additional paid leaves can be a great idea for a reward! Employees do not get more than one or two paid leaves in a month. Hence, they have to be careful and cautious with their utilization of paid leaves. This is where they also begin to feel that their work-life balance is getting crippled. However, persistent performers can be entitled to a few more paid leaves than others in lieu of their valuable contributions. Seems like a great idea, doesn’t it?

By fixing a maximum number of additional paid leaves to be won, you can extend bonus leaves to your employees proportional to their achievements and consistency. All employees will feel quite fascinated about the opportunity to win some additional paid leaves. For that, they will naturally feel the urge to set the bar high and engage better to win bonus leaves. Who would not want to win such perks and rewards after all?



Jessica Robinson Engagedly Guest Author

Jessica Robinson is a charismatic corporate leader, a selfless educator, and a versatile content creator. Despite a management degree, her vision behind blogging is not only to follow her passion, but to create more informed societies. Her selflessness reflects in every piece of her work on The Speaking Polymath.

Want to know how Engagedly can help you improve employee engagement? Request for a live demo.

Request A Demo

Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

Privacy Preference Center