No matter what industry you’re in, motivating your employees is an essential part of management. But that is sometimes easier said than done.

A lot of organizations use raises, bonuses, promotions, and other monetary incentives to light a fire under their teams. But that strategy does not always allow for the company to hand out rewards all that often, as doing so could be expensive.

So if you’re looking for a more sustainable way to motivate your employees, non-monetary incentives may be the answer. There are a lot of options out there, but here are seven methods for you to consider.

1. Food

This first non-monetary incentive is simple. It can come in many forms, but the basic premise is always a crowd-pleaser. A catered lunch, a team dinner, or even providing a top employee’s favorite snack in the break room for a limited amount of time could boost your team’s morale. It could also offer opportunities for team bonding and an increased sense of community, so this incentive has the potential to pay dividends for some time.


Flexible working hours are a benefit in high-demand, especially for the younger generation. So, offering an option to set one’s own hours, take a half-day on a number of Fridays, work from home, or something in that vein, could motivate your entire organization to work toward a goal with vigor.

Similarly, offering vacation days to top performers could work as a phenomenal non-monetary incentive.

3. Meetings with Leadership

Most employees are choc-full of brilliant ideas that could help the organization, but perhaps are afraid to bring them up. Maybe their idea doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction, or they don’t feel they have a platform to be heard. So, offer up that platform. In addition to motivating your team with the opportunity to make a visible impact and advance their career, you could open the door to business development from unexpected places.

4. Office Use

Open floor plans are becoming more prominent in North American offices. Many employees enjoy this setup, but there are obvious advantages to a private office. And with leadership in many organizations traveling between locations or to meetings, some personal offices are left vacant for a considerable portion of the time. So offer up that space for a day at a time. It gives employees a taste of luxury without costing the business a dime.

5. Development Days

Another great non-monetary incentive is time off to take a class or attend a conference. This could re-invigorate your workforce with a new passion for what they do, and give them a boost of knowledge. It’s yet another option to boost your business, along with the individuals within it.

But you may want to keep this option open to non-work-related classes, as well. If your employee wants to take a cooking class, that could possibly offer them a greater level of personal motivation. So keeping it open to the desires of the individual employee could be an even better strategy for you.

6. “Playtime”

Some modern offices have incorporated fun amenities like basketball hoops, slides, and more. You could offer a throwback to your employees’ school days with the non-monetary incentive of recess. This could be a welcome break for your employees, and get their creative juices flowing. Allowing people to relax in the workplace could lead to a more open forum and allow for a flow of ideas you may otherwise miss out on.

7. Recognition

This last non-monetary incentive may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember to acknowledge and thank your employees for their efforts. Recognition can be especially effective in conjunction with some of the other motivation techniques listed above, but it is also a powerful tool in its own right.

Letting your teams know that you see their work, and that you value it, leads to increased employee satisfaction. In turn, they will be more motivated. It just goes to show that even the simplest of things can cause a ripple effect in your business.

If you’re looking for motivated employees, reach out to our team of expert consultants who can assist you in your search.