Top 5 Science-backed Non-monetary Employee Incentives for 2023

When it comes to choosing non-monetary employee incentives, there’re many things to consider. From praise to paid leaves, narrowing down the right rewards for your employees can be daunting.

If there’s one thing that’s universal, it’s that employees love being rewarded and, even more, love getting non-cash incentives for their hard work. According to Incentive Research Federation’s study, 65% of employees prefer non-monetary incentives over monetary rewards. So this year, skip the extra cash and commissions and head out to non-monetary incentive ideas.

These non-monetary incentives offer opportunities to increase positive workplace behaviors and attitudes. This leads to improved employee morale, job satisfaction, and overall business outcomes.  Here are 5 non-cash incentives to opt for your folks.

1. Work autonomy

Employees love their independence. An Effectory study shows that 79% of autonomous employees are more engaged, and thus are more accountable and perform better than those without autonomy.

2. Experiential rewards

Research shows that experiential rewards have the highest effectiveness as they allow people to create memories that influence behavior rather than the actual experience itself.   Be it a trip to a hill station, a day at the spa, or a pass to a match - Whatever you choose, make sure it's a fantastic memory for your employees.

3. Time off

An SHRM study shows that employees whose company encourages vacation (68%) are much happier with their jobs than those who work where vacation is discouraged or managers are ambivalent about taking time off (42%).  Try offering your staff an extra day or a birthday off, a longer lunch break, an early finish on Friday, or a later start on Monday.

4. Social recognition

Allowing your workforce to receive recognition and celebrate with colleagues can go a long way. Calling out successful employees publicly for their achievements, or surprising them with praises from the entire team can make them cherish such moments for a long time.

5. Private recognition

A classic, simple yet super-effective non-monetary reward. We are all “praise junkies.” While praising an excellent worker publicly is a nice move, doing so privately in a one-on-one meeting, or writing a note to their family about how awesome they are can work wonders in motivating your staff.

Give these 5 non-monetary rewards a go and see how your employees respond.  They’re simple, low-cost, and easy to implement!

Alternatively, employee Reward and Recognition programs can help make handing out non-monetary rewards easier and more effective. Take a look at our shortlisted vendor list to get ideas.