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Four ideas for non-financial employee rewards

Despite many employers offering big salaries to lure in top talent, money isn’t the only thing employees are looking for

Obviously salary is important, and should reflect the commitments and responsibilities of the role, but if you want your employees to commit to you and to not only stick around for the long-haul, but also do their best, non-financial rewards are a very valuable tool.

Sometimes, monetary rewards like bonuses can cause conflict within a workplace, whereas non-monetary rewards are generally seen as more achievable, more positive and as encouraging healthier relationships between colleagues. They can also enhance your employees’ lives outside of the workspace to help them with a happier work-life balance.

Here are four top options of how to reward your staff

1. Praise and recognition
That’s right – sometimes a simple acknowledgement of a job well done and a thank you is all it takes. Employees like to feel valued and as though they matter, and will respond to your praise and recognition by working harder and being more productive and positive in the workplace. It also helps to build relationships between a manager or supervisor and their team. This option doesn’t cost a penny to the business, or take up huge amounts of time, but can have huge benefits.

2. Physical rewards
An employer can use a small and inexpensive reward to give a visible and permanent reminder that the employee did a great job. Something as small as a pen or a mug to have on their desk works well, or even a voucher for a restaurant or a shopping gift card.

3. Personal rewards
Rewards only work if they appeal to those they are being offered to. Being able to personalise your rewards package can be a huge advantage for motivating your staff and making them feel appreciated. Personal rewards could be anything from gym memberships and team building days out to a day volunteering in the community. You could also include rewards to help career progression, such as a training course or a conference.

4. Time off
Incentives like an extra day of annual leave, early finishes on a Friday or a bonus day off are other popular options for employee rewards. Offering some extra downtime not only helps staff members recharge and unwind, but it also helps their productivity immediately and in the longer term, making it a win-win for all. Benefits like this can be a big draw when recruiting new members of staff as well, as the work-life balance is important to everyone.

Whether your reward system is non-financial or not, it is important that there is a consistent and fair rewards and benefits program in place, so all employees understand what it expected of them. A good recognition program would involve regular praise, have clear goals and targets which can be achieved by all staff members, and have rewards that are relevant to the employees earning them.

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