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Non-Monetary Rewards in the Workplace
Non-Monetary Rewards in the Workplace

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Managers are steadily looking for ways to create a working environment where employees are allowed and able to work at their highest levels to accomplish company objectives. There are two very different types of workplace motivators: monetary and non-monetary incentives. Monetary incentives can vary from cash to trips, but normally have a similar effect on employees. Non-monetary incentives, ranging from flexible hours, management recognition, even opportunities for training, give employees “something else” to work for. ”. It is widely believed that employees like non-monetary rewards because most people value personal satisfaction over money. This paper will discuss how valuable non-monetary incentives are and can be.
Let us begin by noting what the purpose of a non-monetary incentive is. According to Ballentine, Kepner, McKenzie, and Wysocki (2007), “the purpose of non-monetary incentives is to reward associates for excellent job performance through opportunities.” The first non-monetary incentive that will be discussed is flexible hours.
A flexible schedule or the occasional afternoon off can help employees meet some of their personal obligations, such as family, children, friends, church, sports, and hobbies. By allowing some flexibility in an employees schedule you can increase their desire and motivation. Matt Williamson (2006) states that “This, to some, is considered the most important of the non-monetary rewards in the workplace”.
Another type of recognition employees greatly appreciate is to be recognized by people they work directly for. In fact, 78% of employees indicated that it was very or extremely important to be recognized by their managers when they do good work. According to Sherry Ryan (2007). “The number one choice for recognition is sincere praise given in a timely manner with specific examples.”
Along with management recognition, another non-monetary incentive is offering opportunities for training. Employees understand they need to grow, learn and develop

new skills in order to advance. The ability to be able to choose their assignments and rise to new challenges offered by new responsibilities is important. Employees also want to learn as much as they can so that they may become more valuable and more of an asset.
One might wonder just how effective these incentives are? Various anecdotal evidence reports non-monetary recognition as an important factor in retaining excellent employees and for improving performance. A quick search of a news service database points to articles extolling various perks such as an in-house chiropractor, spa gift certificates, days off, fancy parties and the use of personal trainers. The givers of such perks see these rewards as a way to keep high performing employees in a shrinking job market. Non-monetary rewards should still be considered as part of comprehensive performance improvement strategy.
Ballentine, A., Kepner, K., McKenzie, N., & Wysocki, A. (2007). The role of Monetary and Non-Monetary Incentives in the Workplace as Influenced by Career Stage 1. Available: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/HR/HR01600.pdf.
Williamson, Matt (2006). Non monetary rewards in the workplace. Available: http://www.catalogs.com/info/b2b/non-monetary-rewards-in-the-workplace.html.
Ryan, Sherry (2007). Rewards and Recognition. Available: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/ARossett/pie/Interventions/incentivesrewards_2.htm

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