Non-monetary Rewards: 12 Ideas to Motivate & Recognize Employees

by Fernie Black 

  1. Write a personalized thank you note – recognize ‘a job well done’ immediately
  2. Hand out a coffee/gift card or offer to take employee for coffee or lunch just because...
  3. Set up a program where colleagues also recognize each other – catch a co-worker doing something special and acknowledge that action and behaviour
  4. When on-boarding new hires be sure to treat them with care – put out the welcome mat in everything you do and take them for lunch within their first few days and again at the end of their probation
  5. Build in time for fun & relaxation – entrench it as a regular weekly not to be missed event (staff will make sure they’re in the office on Friday afternoon to participate!)
  6. Provide a space for employees to momentarily decompress and unwind; encourage on-going workplace camaraderie and laughter – a great stress reliever and good for the soul
  7. Establish a creative all staff rewards and recognition program that is linked to company values and/or core competencies – employees earn points towards services/products, earn entries for a draw, etc.
  8. Hold regular touch-base events - Town Hall Meetings with senior staff present to provide information and field questions (in good times and in bad)
  9. Encourage and model life balance – if it’s doable for the workplace, offer a flexible work schedule
  10. Offer opportunities for personal, professional and career development – mentoring program, stretch activities and multi-department project work that is challenging and/or of special interest, training opportunities, education reimbursement, internal hiring policy
  11. Recognize ‘winners’ publicly – in company newsletter, on intranet, via email and/or host an annual staff appreciation event
  12. Provide a formal letter of commendation from a senior manager – the President or Department VP

...and, whatever you do, do not offer only company logo products as rewards (in today’s culture that is generally not well received).


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