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.
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.
- Tickets to local sports or music events
- Movie tickets
- Restaurant gift card
- Personal enrichment class at local community center (art, gardening, travel info, etc.)
- Stack of books in their favorite genre
- Electronic gadgets (tablets, Bluetooth speakers, etc.)
- Family photo shoot session with a professional photographer
- Entry to a local industry conference
- Fitness gear (clothes, shoes, kettlebells, etc.)
- Gift certificate to a local spa
- Home delivery of a basket of fruit, wine, cheese, and chocolate
- Car detailing service
- Framed certificate or plaque naming the goal the employee reached
- Local hotel reservation for the whole family for a staycation
- Massage for employee incentives (i.e., in-office massage therapy service)
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