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10 Non-Financial Ways to Reward Your Employees

For any team to succeed, there need to be capable, talented, and hard-working individuals working together towards a common goal. This is also true for workplace teams. So, when you have a team of great employees, you need to make sure you do all you can to reward their efforts.

Many new businesses, however, may not have the capability to financially reward their employees. Also, not every employee feels appreciated by financial rewards. Some employees are motivated by other forms of validation.

Employee rewards and recognition can help create great job satisfaction for your good employees. Having the right types of recognition programs can also help motivate your underperforming employees. So, how do you show your employees you appreciate them, and reward them for their good work by non-financial means? In this article, we will look at 10 non-financial ways to reward your employees.


Verbal Recognition

Verbal recognition is an easy and cost-effective way to thank your employees. Showing your employee recognition means identifying and rewarding employees for their specific contributions and work ethic. Verbal recognition will create trust and mutual respect with your employees. It can also give them a deeper connection to the business. People often want validation and appreciation as it proves their inherent value. 

If your employees know you value them, their quality of work will reflect that value. The employee will naturally obtain loyalty through the regard the employer shows them. You can find more on how to increase employee loyalty here. Verbal recognition takes little effort and will go a long way.


Plaques and Certificates

Certificates and plaques symbolize an accomplishment that the employee should be proud of. The physical representation of their hard work will provide an irreplaceable sense of inspiration. Not only do plaques and certificates commemorate past accomplishments, but they encourage motivation to achieve future goals. 

Tangible plaques and certificates are more official and are memorable keepsakes for the employees to cherish. Employees who have spent many years on a project or someone who worked hard studying to take a test will benefit from receiving a certificate. It will showcase the employee’s experience and skills professionally.


Offer an Extra Day Off

It may be simpler than we all think. Many times, employees are exhausted and drained from day-to-day life. Now more than ever, people are searching for a satisfying work-life balance to avoid being overworked. Recently, some companies have created and implemented a ‘well-being day.’ It allows staff to be given a day off to focus on their overall well-being (whatever that may entail). Employees who have spent most of their working life sacrificing personal endeavors will find great satisfaction in knowing their needs are essential to their employers. 

Other ways to implement extra days off would be to give employees their birthday off, half-day Fridays, or grant some schedule flexibility (in varying degrees upon situations, of course). There are some things money cannot buy, and one is time. Proving to your employees that you value their time is priceless.


Food and Treats

Another tangible reward, food, is a great way to show your employees’ appreciation. Although buying food for an entire office might prove costly, if it is done the right way, it can show your employees that you recognize their value by treating them. Just like anything else in a business environment, employees should be invested to see a return. 

Giving personalized snacks to each employee is a unique opportunity to engage in if you want to avoid the famous work pizza party. Bringing in donuts for the morning meetings or subs catered for lunch occasionally works well too. Food may appear to be a small gesture, but it is widely considered a perk and will quickly boost morale.


Create an Employee of the Month

When employers have an ’employee of the month,’ it creates a goal for employees to achieve. An employee of the month goal will also stir up friendly competition and thus, in return, encourages employees to maintain a favorable work ethic. 

The employee of the month is a great way to showcase public individual hard work, which many people in the workplace strive for. Employees chosen will feel proud and inspired by their employers, only furthering them to chase success in the business. Combining extra perks with winning employee of the month is an added touch to create desirability and satisfaction for the winner.


Give to a Cause on Their Behalf

Many employees have a particular cause that they are passionate about. For those employees, offering to give to that cause on their behalf can mean more than offering a raise. There are several ways to offer this type of reward.

One option is to implement a workplace giving program. This is where employees can choose to donate a portion of their paychecks to a designated cause or charity. Another option is to organize a charitable event or fundraiser within the workplace.

Organizing a walk-a-thon, silent auction, or bake sale can help bring some camaraderie among your team. All proceeds go to the chosen cause of the employee or employees that want to participate. You could also match employee donations. You can do this with either a dollar-for-dollar or with a set amount.


Offer Volunteer Hours

Another way to show that you value them and the causes they care about is to offer volunteer hours. Volunteer hours are paid hours that employees can spend volunteering at a charity or non-profit. Employees typically love this perk. This is because your employees will have the opportunity to give back to the community without missing work or using paid time off.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management’sEmployee Benefits Survey, only 26% of employers allow employees to take paid time off to volunteer. Offering this reward can not only help build loyalty with your current employees, but it can also help attract other good employees.


Give Recognition to Social Media

There is something to be said about the true power of social media. Its usefulness in the business space has become irreplaceable. Recognition for employees on social media is a great way to instantly give deserving employees their public shout-out. Employees feel empowered and accomplished knowing their work is recognized. Being acknowledged by hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people would undoubtedly give true gratification to the recipient. 

This is not only easy for an employer to do but also completely free. Besides social media exposure, employers can also give public shout-outs to employees in team e-mails. As stated earlier, many people strive to be publicly recognized. It confirms that they are validated and understood by their employers.


Create Peer-to-Peer Rewards and Recognition

A peer-to-peer reward is when the employees reward each other for their performance or teamwork. Doing this allows employees a chance to express their appreciation for each other. These types of rewards can sometimes be more meaningful than awards and recognition chgiven by management. Oftentimes, employees feel that recognition by management can feel forced. However, recognition by a coworker is often seen as more sincere.

The key to making these types of rewards a success is participation. Encourage all employees to participate by regularly promoting the program and its benefits. You should also offer employees various opportunities to recognize their peers. You can do this by allowing them to do it in a variety of ways such as through an online platform, a suggestion box, or during team meetings.


Offer Additional Training or Education

One of the most frustrating things to deal with in a job is feeling like you’re going nowhere. As a leader, it is important that you show that you are willing to invest in your employees. This will help them feel valued in their position. One way to do this is to offer, optional, additional training and education

You can offer online courses, workshops, or even in-person classes. By offering additional education, you demonstrate a commitment to your employees’ professional growth.



There are many ways to reward your employees beyond financial compensation. The workplace environment and its workers are constantly evolving. What employees wanted ten years ago has changed compared to today’s standards. 

The amount of time people spend at work has increased; therefore, workplace quality is a priority. Beyond health benefits and salary compensation, utilizing these non-financial rewards for your employees is sure to give you positive long-term success in employee retention. 

Elicia Ronto on Linkedin
Elicia Ronto
Team Writer: Elicia Ronto, is a 30 year-old self-employed safety coordinator and part-time freelance writer. In October 2022, she graduated with her bachelors degree in business administration. Elicia is also a mother to a rambunctious 3 year-old girl and spends any extra time she has cleaning, reading, hitting the gym, or going on small weekend trips. Her goal is to someday pursue freelancing full time.

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Team Writer: Elicia Ronto, is a 30 year-old self-employed safety coordinator and part-time freelance writer. In October 2022, she graduated with her bachelors degree in business administration. Elicia is also a mother to a rambunctious 3 year-old girl and spends any extra time she has cleaning, reading, hitting the gym, or going on small weekend trips. Her goal is to someday pursue freelancing full time.

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