15 Non-Cash Employee Incentive Ideas - A bunch of people working at a table

15 Non-Cash Employee Incentive Ideas

Amelia Wilcox
June 29, 2016
October 9, 2022

Keeping employees engaged and motivated at work is important to most HR leaders and business owners. And incentive programs can make that work easier. If you're looking for ways to boost employee morale without dolling out cold hard cash, we've got some ideas for you.

Research shows that 85% of employees who receive non-cash incentives feel more valued at work. So it's worth it for companies to look into these ideas to improve employee morale.

In this article, we'll give you 15 non-cash incentive ideas to improve employee morale.    

Starting a Non-Cash Employee Incentive Program

Overview of Employee Incentive Programs

Incentive programs encourage employees to aim their work goals in a certain direction. Some reasons workers may earn incentives include:

  • Meeting productivity goals
  • Reaching a target number of sales
  • Completing a large project

There are often incentives tied to a company's wellness program as well. These kinds of incentives encourage employee participation in health-related goals and activities such as:

  • Beating a personal best in a fitness activity
  • Completing a 5k walk or run
  • Getting a regular wellness checkup
  • Meeting a personal health goal, such as fat loss or muscle gain

The most effective incentive programs will be aligned with a company's mission statement and values.

Related: Wellness Incentive Ideas: The What and The Why

incentive ideas to boost employee morale

15 Non-Cash Incentive Ideas to Boost Employee Morale

A non-cash incentive doesn't necessarily mean "free." Many items on this list will require the company to buy something, whether it's a service or a product. But there are reasons that non-cash incentives are a good idea.

In many cases, you can stretch your dollar when buying in bulk. So rather than offering cash to your employees, you could get a better deal by putting that cash to work for you. And your employees will still get a great incentive that may have more impact on morale than money would.

  1. Tickets to local sports or music events
  3. Movie tickets
  5. Restaurant gift card
  7. Personal enrichment class at local community center (art, gardening, travel info, etc.)
  9. Stack of books in their favorite genre
  11. Electronic gadgets (tablets, Bluetooth speakers, etc.)
  13. Family photo shoot session with a professional photographer
  15. Entry to a local industry conference
  17. Fitness gear (clothes, shoes, kettlebells, etc.)
  19. Gift certificate to a local spa
  21. Home delivery of a basket of fruit, wine, cheese, and chocolate
  23. Car detailing service
  25. Framed certificate or plaque naming the goal the employee reached
  27. Local hotel reservation for the whole family for a staycation
  29. Massage for employee incentives (i.e., in-office massage therapy service)
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Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement. Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.