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Non-monetary rewards: discovering creative alternatives to recognize employee efforts

Companies are increasingly aware that they not only compete among themselves in the market to capture customers' attention and achieve more sales, they also do so when it comes to attract and retain talent.

The way of working is constantly changing due to the rise of phenomena such as digitalization and automation, and the emergence of such novel technologies as Artificial Intelligence. This has caused adjustments in the skills and competencies required of employees. Along with the technical skills that are always necessary to occupy a certain job position, in recent years soft skills have been gaining prominence.

For the companies, It is difficult to find people who have the hard and soft skills that are necessary to perform the tasks of a job optimally. Therefore, talent is valued more than ever.

It is in this scenario that the Recognition of employees takes on special value. Far from being treated as mere “resources”, workers are beginning to be considered as valuable gears that make the machinery that is the organization function perfectly.

Those companies that recognize the effort and dedication of those who work for them, achieve retain your employees. Because they feel valued and do not want to go to work somewhere else. In addition, rewarding those who work hard helps improve the image that the entity conveys as an employer. Making the talent that is in the labor market value it as an interesting possibility when looking for a new job.

Until not long ago, money was the most common way to compensate people's efforts in the workplace. Through classic bonuses or benefit payments. However, today we know that there are other rewards that can be equally or even more effective than money, as we are going to see on this occasion.

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The importance of recognizing employee efforts

That the company shows gratitude to those members of its staff who have done especially well, directly benefits those who receive that recognition. But it also has a very positive impact on other employees and on the future of the organization.

The most direct effect of recognition is increase motivation of those who receive it. If someone does something well and is shown gratitude for it, even if they are rewarded, that person will feel more proud of themselves and will be more willing to continue giving her best at work.

In a more indirect way, the recognition given to an employee or a specific group of them has a positive impact on the rest. These prove that they have the possibility of being well valued, which serves as a engine to try harder. Hoping to be the next to be congratulated.

This generates a positive work environment that values and celebrates individual and collective effort, thereby promoting collaboration and loyalty. As a result, staff feel more satisfied with their work and are more willing to face and overcome new challenges. This directly benefits the company, which will see its productivity rates rise.

Creative Alternatives to Reward Top Employees

When someone makes an extra effort, it is logical to recognize it and reward them for it. Although economic bonuses are always good, not all companies are able to pay bonuses of this type. But this should in no case be an obstacle to valuing the work done, because there are alternatives that are also well received.

Days of flexible hours and teleworking

Flexible hours and teleworking are essential tools to improve employees' job satisfaction and the balance of their personal and professional lives. Hence, more and more companies apply them.

When these measures are already implemented, improvements in this regard can be offered as an incentive for those who reach certain levels of productivity or certain objectives. For example, granting one or two more days of teleworking per month for a quarter, or extending the margin of time flexibility for a time.

Both measures are intended to give the employee a Greater control over your time and the ability to enjoy a better work-life balance. Therefore, they are very well received when used as a reward.

Exclusive experiences

Another interesting reward is offering outstanding employees the chance to enjoy an exclusive experience. It could be a weekend trip with your partner, tickets to the theater or a sporting event, a cooking class... The choice of the prize should be in line with company values and culture, even with his activity.

The goal is that those people who have made a little more effort than others can enjoy something unique and not linked to their work.

Although paying for this type of experience involves a financial outlay, it is always less than when you have to pay a bonus. So this is a measure available to all types of companies.

Professional development programs

If a staff member shows above-average performance, rewards such as those we have indicated may not be enough to achieve loyalty. In these cases, it is advisable to go a little further and show gratitude through professional development programs. Because these show the employee that you trust him now, but also that is taken into account for the future.

Within programs of this type there are many alternatives. It can be a mentorship, payment for a master's degree, a specific course, and even the possibility of working in another department or assuming new responsibilities.

Public recognition

Something as simple as public recognition of the effort made can go a long way in improving a person's motivation.

In many American companies, the “employee of the month” figure has existed for years, which is still a public recognition program. 

There are many ways to do this. For example, congratulating through an internal newsletter the team that has completed an important project, or highlighting on internal networks the commercial that has sold the most in the last month.

It's also interesting Recognize the achievements that employees achieve outside the workplace. If one of them has completed their first marathon, or if they have graduated from university or have collaborated in a charitable cause. Because this helps strengthen ties and creates a feeling of community.

“Creative leave” time

In big technology companies like Google, Employees can dedicate part of their workday to working on their own projects. From there have come many of the innovations that have later reached us users.

In companies where creativity and innovation are especially important, a good reward can be giving employees creative time. Hours in which they can take advantage of the company's resources to work on their own projects.

Peer recognition

A reward does not always have to be material. As we have been seeing, something as simple as a public congratulation is enough to raise motivation levels throughout the workforce.

To go a step further, you can establish a peer-to-peer recognition system. In which It is the staff members themselves who recognize the achievements of their colleagues. It is even possible to have a small party or informal meeting to spend time together and share, thus strengthening ties.

This allows managers detect skills in your employees that may have gone unnoticed by them, but not by those who work in direct contact with each other day after day. In addition, it fosters a culture of mutual support that significantly improves the work environment and makes the company a much better place to work.

Custom workspaces

Workspaces can be quite bland, and it is difficult to work in an environment where you do not feel completely comfortable. Therefore, a good way to reward employees for their efforts is to allow them to personalize their workplaces within reasonable limits.

If the space in which a person works for eight hours a day reflects their personality and personal tastes, You will feel much more comfortable and do your tasks in a better mood than if you have to work on a piece of writing devoid of any personality.

There are small and large ways of recognize the effort that workers carry out day after day. Taking into account the culture and values shared between the organization and its staff members, it is not so difficult to find rewards that, although they do not have an economic value as such, can be said to be priceless.

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