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Non Monetary Rewards In The Workplace

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Category: Business

Autor: anton 31 October 2010

Words: 1274 | Pages: 6


The following paper was written to discuss Non-Monetary rewards in the workplace. Several websites were researched in order to gather as much info on the subject as possible so that I can present all sides of the subject to you in the most effective manner.

For many years employers have been looking for ways to help their employees be more effective and happy with their work, one of the most effective ways to promote a better working environment and to have employees who will work harder to get the job done with speed and quality is to offer non-monetary rewards for their efforts.

Introduction: What are Non-Monetary rewards?

Non-monetary rewards are small and mostly non-costly rewards given to employees in recognition of a job well done. Like a child gets taken out to ice cream after cleaning the house or given a cookie for cleaning their room, an employee also needs to be shown that their work is being noticed by his employer. As an example I will show a list of the top five Non-monetary rewards that employees look for these days.

“Top Five Non Monetary [misspelling (needs hyphen) -- "Non-Monetary"] Items Employees Want in the Workplace :

1. Opportunity to Learn, Develop and Advance as an Employee.

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.

2. Flexible Hours.

Family, children, friends, church, sports, hobbies and other activities all have demands on today's employees. A flexible schedule or the occasional afternoon off can help employees meet some of these obligations. By allowing some flexibility in an employees schedule you can increase their desire and motivation.

3. Recognition.

In today's high paced work environment it [To what does "it" refer? If a pronoun is used without first identifying for what it stands, the reader might be confused.] is reported that employees consider recognition of their work and efforts rare and infrequent. Think about it [What is "it"? Avoid use of undefined pronouns. ] - What better way to have an employee continue their [pronoun agreement: since the antecedent (employee) is singular, the pronoun (their) must be singular {his or her}] good work and success then to offer them praise-verbal, written or ideally a public announcement.

4. The Opportunity to Contribute.

- The opportunity to be part of the team.

- To work closely with managers and management.

- To be involved in key decisions.

- To be listened to and heard.

5. Independence and Autonomy.

Employees want to be able to work independently. They do not want someone constantly watching over them and questioning their [pronoun agreement: since the antecedent (someone) is singular, the pronoun (their) must be singular {his or her}] every move. They like to receive their assignments -preferable with the time frame required for completion and then [this is redundant, since "and" and "then" in this application have essentially the same meaning. Use one or the other] have the independence to complete the work given the guidelines and framework you have set on their own merits.” (Recognition Rewards Enterprises, 2003)

Non-monetary rewards in the workplace are a powerful tool in motivating employees towards performance improvement. Giving an employee a gift to show you care about the work he does for you, gives them something to be proud of and to show off as an accomplishment. Often employees will try harder and enjoy doing their work more if they know that their employer respects them and the job they do everyday. Employees will sometimes hold contests to see who can stay accident free the longest or who can receive their reward first. This competition helps to motivate all your employees to work harder and with more quality and to enjoy coming in to work each day so he can continue this friendly contest with his fellow workers. All in all non-monetary rewards create a friendlier and more productive workplace for all to come to.

There are some down sides to non-monetary rewards in the workplace, for instance an employer may set the bar for the rewards to high and employees will find it to be a joke. An example of this was mentioned by Scott Testa in his article on this subject.

“The reward plan that couldn’t lose did just the opposite of motivating his employees. It actually ended up demoralizing them. Testa realized he had set the bar for winning the trip too high.”

“The program was dismantled within the first quarter of its introduction and eventually became an ongoing joke among the sales staff.”

Non-monetary rewards can also become expensive if the employer sets the bar to low and every employee is able to reach it, the employer will find themselves spending more money on gifts then she needs to. Another possible negative aspect to non-monetary rewards is individual employees’ attitudes toward the concept. A few people are solely monetarily driven, special gifts or contests are seen as raise avoidance, and these feelings can affect the morale of the entire group. Non-monetary programs can also adversely affect employees if the program is not supported by all levels of employees in the work setting. For example if the managers trivialize the programs designed by the human resource director, and does not actively motivate employees, the non-monetary reward can be look at as an unnecessary task, and create distance between employees and employer.

The purpose of monetary incentives is to reward associates for job performance through money. “Monetary incentives include profit sharing, project bonuses, stock options and warrants, scheduled bonuses and additional paid vacation time.” (Kepner, 2001). Monetary rewards such as the annual paycheck is often spent entirely on paying the bills and buying the stuff the employee needs and they are often not able to get stuff he wants and enjoys. Although monetary rewards are always appreciated, the employee does not necessarily enjoy working more because of the reward. People who feel appreciated are more productive. As shown earlier, the most desired non-monetary reward is the opportunity to learn and grow at their job. An employee who is learning and growing is being rewarded and appreciated for his hard work.

In summary non-monetary rewards can give employees the incentive to be more productive and the opportunity to enjoy there work. “The purpose of non-monetary incentives is to reward associates for excellent job performance through opportunities.” (Kepner, 2001) Non-monetary rewards give the employee something to work for, enjoy and to be able to show off to his fellow coworkers. Employees enjoy being recognized for their hard work, and appreciate their employer understanding the desire to be commented. Employees who enjoy coming to work contribute more to the company.

References Copyright 2003 © Recognition Rewards Enterprises. All Rights Reserved

Recognition Rewards Enterprises, 1061 Henry Street, Wellesley Ontario N0B 2T0

Telephone: (519) 656-1066 Fax: (519) 656-1083 Email:


THE following case is adapted from a Harvard Business Review

Article by Daniel C. Boyle (March-April 1987).

Lynch, L., (December 2003). Keeping the best: the difference between retaining and losing top staff talent is leadership. Association Management, 55 (13). Retrieved January 16, 2004 from

Zigon, J., (1998). Rewards and performance incentives. Retrieved February 15, 2004 from

Rewards and Recognition by Sherry Ryan Training Specialist, Weyerhaeuser Company

The Role of Monetary and Non-Monetary Incentives in the Workplace as Influenced by Career Stage. Andrew Ballentine, Nora McKenzie, Allen Wysocki, and Karl Kepner

Kepner, Karl W. 2001. Class lecture notes from AEB 4424: Human Resource Management in Agribusiness. Taught at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

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