Yes, You Can Reward Employees Without Giving Them Money

Like any good employer, you want to show your employees that you value their hard work. You want to show them your appreciation, but you cannot always afford for that to be in monetary terms. Contrary to popular belief, although employees want to be compensated for a job done well, they don’t always expect that compensation to come in terms of money. Today’s economic climate makes it all the more difficult to offer bonuses and raises. The least you can do to be a good employer is to follow the hourly wage set by the government—that and non-monetary compensations such as vacation leaves and office perks.

Employee Lounge

Most employers fail to realize that sometimes, employees want nothing more than a great and well-designed employee lounge. They are tired of trying to squeeze themselves in that small pantry. As your company grows, so does the number of your employees. This means that lunch breaks are always a challenge. They sometimes find themselves hanging out in fire exits and parking lots.

Why don’t you reward your employees by calling a basement renovation contractor and turning that storage space below the building into a lounge area? They can spend their lunch breaks there. You can fit that room with other amenities such as a mini kitchen, a billiards table, a game console area, and even a couple of treadmills. Sure, you’ll have to spend a couple of thousands of dollars upfront, but this is a long-term investment. It’s not like you have to renovate that area every month or year.

Employee Appreciation Day


Everyone, even the most introverted member of your team, wants to be recognized for a job well done. You can do it during the daily staff meeting, or you can email your staff and ask them to congratulate the specific employees for going beyond their duties. You can also host an employee appreciation day. You can ask everyone to take two hours off from work either in the morning or afternoon. Buy some boxes of pizzas to show everyone how elated you are for having them as employees.

Job Titles

Adding job titles doesn’t have to equate to money. Sometimes, employees simply want to add some buzzwords into their current positions. You can bestow upon them the job titles of “team leader” or “director.” You don’t have to promote them, but these honorary job titles will give them an extra boost and will make them want to work harder for the company.

Paid Vacation Leave


Look at the remaining paid vacation leaves of the employees you want to compensate. How many are left for them this year? If they truly impressed you, perhaps you should add a couple of more days or even a week to their remaining leaves. You don’t have to pay them extra. You are simply losing a couple of days of productivity. Take responsibility for the work that they have to leave or ask them to do some advance work so that they can enjoy their vacation more.

Work Flexibility

If providing them with extra leave time is not possible, you can also offer a flexible working schedule. Compensating your employees with the option to work in the office or their homes is one of the best motivations. This means that they can take a vacation and keep up with the team virtually. They can sit at their kitchen tables, manage the household, and answer emails from you. Giving them that freedom—whether for good or for the time being—is the best kind of non-monetary incentive you can provide.

Learning Opportunities

Offering learning opportunities to employees is one way of compensating them. That will open the doors for them. Whatever they will learn from shadowing you, for example, can take them places in the corporate world. If they want to be promoted someday, this will help make their case. But even if it’s not about the skills they need in their jobs, you can provide the time and platform for them to learn their desired skills. Why don’t you give them the morning off to attend a foreign language class, for example?

More and more of your employees will work harder and aim to reach their goals when they see you appreciating their contributions. They will strive to get the recognition they want from you, too. The company stands to benefit from these actions. The more you show appreciation to your employees—whether in monetary or non-monetary ways—the more productive they are bound to be.

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