Employee Experience

End of Year Rewards: 10 Best Non-Monetary Rewards for Employees

6 Mins read

Recognizing and rewarding employees has become a core requirement to ensure overall employee satisfaction and better organizational performance. It became so well-liked because it adds so much value to the employee’s accomplishments. Additionally,  HR leaders are working hard to further come up with innovative ideas to express their reward and recognition. 

With the end-of-year holidays coming, HR leaders are considering all kinds of rewards they can provide for their employees – as a token of appreciation, and not only. Find listed the 10 best non-monetary rewards that could increase your employee’s satisfaction and make their end-of-the-year a little better: 

1. Extra time off

Why not give employees a longer lunch break or an extra day of annual vacation as a reward? 

For example, you could offer a half-day off or some extra hours early departure. Of course, we’re not suggesting that you neglect your company’s needs. A well-received reward would be an earlier finish on a Friday, a later start on a Monday, or just more time off to use whenever the employee chooses.

2. Individual consultations

Employees should be rewarded by having one-on-one conversations with them and asking what you can do to support their development. It’s an excellent chance to gain some insightful comments on how the company runs while also assisting a worker in growing and demonstrating your appreciation for their efforts. Of course, such gatherings are typical for many and, for instance, are a component of performance evaluations. However, a rewarding experience for all those involved could be lunch with a senior executive in the company, for example.

3. Reward personnel with greater responsibilities

This doesn’t seem like much of a prize at first. However, the correct amount of challenge and responsibility motivates workers. Some employees will prefer this award more than others. While some workers could be content with the degree of responsibility and challenges they now have, others might be eager for additional responsibility or opportunities to use newly acquired knowledge or experience.

4. Help your staff to find more time for their own personal projects/tasks

Although some businesses provide this as a basic benefit of employment, it’s also a fantastic non-cash incentive. Employees value the chance to work on their own projects since people are motivated by the things they are enthusiastic about.

One well-known instance of this is Google, where staff members are encouraged to devote 20% of their time to side projects. Employees frequently invest time in coming up with solutions to help their work or the company.

5. What do employees want?

It’s one thing to decide how to reward your people, but why not inquire about their preferences? Would your team members prefer extra time off or a company-sponsored gaming night as a reward? Would they choose a social media post over the chance to work from home? What are their interests and pastimes? A personal incentive that has meaning to the recipient is among the most potent types of motivation. Individualizing your awards can have a significant impact and demonstrate to employees how much you value them. What would your staff choose as their top 3 rewards if they had a limited budget?

Non-Monetary Rewards for Employees

6. Create a mentoring program

A mentorship program can not only be a fantastic non-financial incentive when an employee has performed so well that they have been chosen to be awarded, but it can also be a fantastic way to utilize and develop the employee’s talents. It may be a manager or C-suite executive who serves as a mentor within the company. As an alternative, you may establish a mentoring program with a mentor from outside the company. The individual gains a special and priceless insight that can further their career, and your company benefits even more from their talent.

7. Day off for the birthday

This is a fantastic, unique non-cash prize! It is quick and simple to implement, and it may be distributed. It might also include the employee’s loved ones’ birthdays. It’s a tremendously thoughtful gesture to give an employee a day off on their child’s birthday, for instance.

8. A member of the month or quarter award

Employee recognition on a monthly or quarterly basis, a traditional non-monetary reward, can have a significant impact. Not only is it crucial for the individual receiving the incentive, but it also serves as a team-wide expression of gratitude that the rest of your group will value. It’s another incredibly straightforward yet potent reward to give out.

9. Workplace flexibility

Flexibility at work refers to the capacity to choose the hours and locations at which one works. It may be a fantastic non-financial reward. Provide your staff with telecommuting choices, such as letting them choose their own schedules for work and allowing them to work from home once a week. Providing flexibility can aid workers in striking a healthy work-life balance. A worker would adore being able to work around their schedules. It will also lead to:

  • employee commitment and involvement;
  • increased dedication to the organization;
  • greater satisfaction at work.

10. Provide wellness options to staff

Jessica Pryce-Jones estimates that the typical person will spend 90,000 hours at work over the course of their lifetime in her new book, Happiness At Work. That is a substantial period of time. To be truly effective, people must maintain good health and be free from stress while at work.

Employers are becoming more aware of the advantages and necessity of promoting work-life balance. Implementing workplace wellness programs that support physical and mental health and well-being is one method to achieve this.

Promoting employee well-being improves job satisfaction, minimizes stress, and lowers absenteeism, and other workplace metrics. Additionally, it helps to reduce the additional costs associated with preventing staff disease.

We are fully aware of the various non-cash rewards you can give your employees at this point. So be sure to try these out.

What are the benefits of non-monetary rewards for employees?

Employees are more enthusiastic and appreciative of non-monetary rewards, according to research. A manager lunch, a vacation to a hill station, or an extra day off are all considerably more valuable than additional funds.

Cash prizes have the propensity to be overlooked. It could be used for regular expenses or bills without a lasting connection to the actions that earned the reward from the employees.

Employees are more emotionally affected by non-monetary rewards and feel more appreciated and engaged as a result. In addition, psychological theories contend that people appreciate non-financial rewards higher than the award’s actual cash worth.

Let’s take a closer look at a few advantages of non-cash rewards:

Non-Monetary Rewards

Non-monetary rewards for employees are easier to acknowledge and discuss

Your staff members want to discuss the incentives or prizes they get for their efforts and achievements. Conversations are sparked by experiences. The majority of your staff might be more enthusiastic and at ease discussing a lunch they had with their manager, a trip, or a class they attended than any monetary award. Now that you are fully aware of the advantages of non-cash rewards, you must determine which rewards are most effective for both your staff and your business. Here is a list of some of the best non-monetary incentives to simplify your job. These can aid in advancing your long-term objectives for employee engagement and retaining top talent at your business.

Attracting Generation Z and millennial workers

As they enter entry-level positions, Gen-Z and millennials are most likely to prioritize financial factors over non-financial ones. However, young workers do not solely consider payment while choosing a job. These days, queries about employee engagement, morale, flexibility, and work culture come second to questions about salary. The company’s perks are especially appealing to recent graduates. Gen-Z and millennial employees can be kept in your company by offering them an extra day off, employee incentives, and wellness programs. In fact, a Gallup survey revealed that one of the top expectations workers have of their employers is that they prioritize their well-being.

Non-monetary rewards for employees are more emotional

Receiving a sincere “well done,” a handwritten note of gratitude or a particular shout-out on social media can be more memorable than receiving additional compensation. In actuality, a motivated employee will always value non-cash compensation more emotionally. The emotional value of the incentive is increased when workers receive something they can keep, display, or use.


The incentives you can offer your staff have no boundaries. You can design and create an excellent incentive program that best suits the objectives of your business and the needs of your workforce. Instead of concentrating solely on the benefits, attempt to foster an environment where achievement and hard effort are consistently acknowledged and celebrated at work. With the year 2022 ending, you have all the time to show your gratitude with the non-monetary rewards that show great benefits!

Further Readings

Managing Overqualified Employees: The Why and How
Digital Employee Experience: The Complete Guide
Models of Change: 7 Main Models

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About author
Fatjona Gërguri is the content writer for Employee Experience Magazine, covering the relevant topics about employee experience, organizational culture and general HR topics.
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