October 3, 2019 0 Comment

10 Best Non-Monetary Awards for Employee Recognition

Organizations are now increasingly waking up to the fact that non-monetary awards can often prove to be more effective than any cash rewards to motivate and engage employees. In fact, an increasing number of employees are preferring to be recognized and appreciated in ways that go beyond regular financial benefits. This article explores the best non-monetary awards for employee recognition.

Advantages of Non-monetary Recognition

There is little doubt about the fact that receiving some extra cash as an incentive for their efforts and achievements is an idea welcomed by most individuals. At the same time, any such financial benefits are often considered to be nothing more than temporary, rather than a meaningful recognition of their hard work and contribution towards organizational growth.

Employees often prefer non-financial recognition, which can be a more interesting, memorable and effective way for organizations to acknowledge and appreciate high-performing employees.

In addition to ensuring greater employee satisfaction, such recognition can prove advantageous n the following ways.

Advantages of Non-monetary Recognition
Advantages of Non-monetary Recognition

1. Acts as a great motivational tool for enhancing the sense of loyalty and engagement of employees.

2. Offers a more creative and effective way to appreciate employees for their good work and inspires them to continue doing so.

3. Most cost-effective of all the different types of employee recognition methods and hence can be implemented by organizations of all sizes.

4. Makes the whole experience of being recognized and appreciated truly amazing for the employees and inspires their co-workers to put in their best efforts.

A study performed by the Incentive Research Federation for the Incentive Marketing Association has revealed that 65% of employees prefer non-monetary incentives over monetary rewards.

A lunch with the manager, a trip to the hill station, or an extra day off is likely to prove more impactful than any extra amount of money that the employees might not even remember what they spent on.

What are the Best Ideas for Non-monetary Awards?

To get the benefits of non-monetary recognition, it is important for organizations to do some research on the various options available. While there are numerous ideas that can be categorized as non-monetary awards, not all of them might suit the unique recognition needs of the organization and its employees.

Here are the 10 best non-monetary award ideas for non that can be implemented by almost every organization irrespective of its size and operating model:
10 Best Non-Monetary Awards for Employee Recognition
1. Flexible Work Timing/ Time-off

Most employees today strive to attain a work-life balance, hence providing them with the freedom to work flexible hours helps them to fulfil this objective. This can be one of the most satisfactory employee recognition ideas.

2. Extra Paid Leave

Providing employees with a couple of additional paid off days can enhance their happiness significantly. Being able to spend a bit more quality time with family and friends can enable them to relax and keep themselves motivated.

3. Handwritten Letter of Appreciation

Rather than sending the usual employee recognition email, delivering a handwritten letter of appreciation from a supervisor or leader can prove more effective. It helps the employees to feel valued and gives them a sense of belonging, due to the personal touch.

4. Use a Brag Board

Set up a board in the workspace where other employees leave short notes of appreciation for the employee for a specific duration. Being recognized by peers can prove to be a great motivator.

5. Premium/ Reserved Parking

Providing a premium or reserved parking place at office for a limited period can be a good way to reward a high-performing employees. Such a privilege reminds the employee everyday that the organizations truly acknowledges and appreciates their contribution.

6. Choice of Projects/ Assignments

Another effective way to recognize the achievements of employees is to allow them to choose their next project. In addition to making the employees feel truly appreciated, it strengthens their sense of commitment towards the organization.

7. Special/ Cross-functional Initiatives

Giving high-performing employees opportunities to participate in special or cross-functional initiatives outside of their current roles is another effective way of recognition. This not only motivates the employees but also helps them acquire additional skills and exposure to the organization.

8. Training and Up-skilling

In order to grow in their careers, employees need to constantly upgrade their skills. Providing opportunities for skill development in form of training programs or coaching to deserving employees can actually prove to be an effective method of recognition.

9. Invite Family to Office

One great way to recognize employees and to build a stronger emotional connect with them, is to invite their families to office to get a first-hand account about their achievements and contribution to the organizations from their supervisors and co-workers. This can be followed up with a lunch with supervisor and team at the office cafeteria.

10. Coffee/ Lunch with CEO

Most employees draw inspiration from the CEO and other senior executives in the organization, whom they consider to be their role models. Arranging a one-on-one meeting with this executive can prove extremely gratifying and rewarding for the employee.


Our suggestions on the best non-monetary awards can provide a cost-effective way for organizations of assuring employees that they are truly valued and appreciated for their hard work and contribution. This, in turn, can enhance their sense of belonging and loyalty.

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HiFives (https://www.hifives.in) is an employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. The platform enables supervisors and co-workers to nominate, recognize and reward employees using a points-based system. Budget management, jury-based evaluation and multi-level approval workflows are built into the platform. HiFives has social features such as a wall of fame and gamification features such as leaderboards, e-certificates and digital badges. It also has a global redemption system with country-specific e-gift card options. HiFives integrates with all leading HRMS systems, Office 365, Google Workspace, MS Teams, Slack and other popular tools used at the workplace. HiFives is used by many large enterprises, small businesses and startups across 25+ countries in the world, in many industries including manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media.