5 Top Non-Financial Bonuses

There’s more than one way to effectively reward employees and top performers.  Along with cash rewards, there are also non-financial bonuses which can be given.  After all, once your employees have achieved a certain salary level, the value of additional dollars is negligible, and at any salary level, there are things that employees value more than cash.  Here are a five of the top non-financial bonuses from the Center for Competitive Management to consider as a way to reward your talent in a way they’ll truly treasure:

1.  Sincere Thanks 

When was the last time you extended a word of sincere thanks to your staff for the work that they do at your firm?  A lack of recognition for achievements is a top complaint among the world’s most dissatisfied workforces according to The Singapore Human Resource Institute, while in a 2011 career exploration survey MBA students in South America cited “knowledge that I am appreciated” as one of the things they wanted most in their careers.  It doesn’t cost money to say thank you, but those simple words can have a far reaching impact on your team.

2.  Public Recognition

Along with thanks, workers also hunger for recognition.  Public recognition for achievements in the form of certificates presented at team meetings, company announcements, or “Employee of the Week” programs do not need to be tied to financial rewards.  Earning the honour is often more than enough to satisfy employee needs for recognition, one of the highest levels on Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs and a key point in employee retention levels.

3.  Choice of Assignment

Allowing workers to choose their next projects is a rarity in the modern business culture … but it is also very empowering and motivating for staff, according to studies performed by the University of Minnesota in 2006.  It costs leaders nothing to have workers choose their next projects from a list of organizational needs, but giving workers the control over how they spend their time in the future can fill them with confidence and the drive to go above and beyond on the work.

4.  Face Time With Senior Leaders

A coffee shared with a senior leader or being the member of an exclusive meeting with the senior team is a precious commodity to workers.  Time has value, but it’s not about a financial reward here.  Instead, the sense of connection and the feeling that the company’s leaderships knows and cares about workers can be priceless.  Insights into management decisions and the upper level corporate structure can also help employees buy into the company vision or stoke their ambitions to advance at the firm.

5.  A New Title

New titles are considered to the ultimate “dry” reward according to the American Society for Human Resource Managers.  Though there is no money attached to the new title, the feeling of having new status is often very motivational, especially in organizational cultures that are highly hierarchical.  New titles are less effective in flat organizational cultures, but can still have an impact, especially when they are combined with other forms of recognition and compensation, notes the Center for Competitive Management.

Looking over the list, which of these rewards are currently available at your firm?  Which do you appreciate most yourself?  What could you add to your existing rewards structure?

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