Rewards & Recognition Review

Non-Monetary Rewards and Employee Motivation

Rewarding Team Members without Breaking the Bank

#1 Non-monetary Rewards Book

Non-monetary rewards are explored in detail in this practical, fun book.

Your wallet is empty? And you still need to boost your team's performance?

Building employee morale is difficult in these tough economic times. Kevin Aguanno helps you solve your morale problem with ideas for non-monetary rewards that won't break the bank.

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HR Web Review is your one-stop shop for reviews of articles, web sites, and books on human resources issues.  The current issue is full of rewards and recognition reviews.

Non-monetary rewards should form one important part of a complete employee recognition program along with monetary rewards.  Each motivates employees differently.  Non-monetary rewards can be used for either individual or team rewards.

Research shows that employees some employees are primarily motivated by financial rewards, and will dramatically improve their performance to achieve such rewards.  On the other hand, some other employees may see motivating others with money as vulgar, and are disincented by such offers.  This second group of employees is more likely to be motivated to improve their performance through the use of nonmonetary rewards such as being thanked publicly at a departmental function, having lunch with the head of the organization, or receiving an extra day off.  The desired outcome of rewards and recognition programs is to improve performance. Non-monetary recognition can be very motivating, helping to build feelings of confidence and satisfaction. An American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) report on employee retention research identified consistent employee recognition as a key factor in retaining top-performing workers.

This site is devoted to providing you with links to articles and other resources on the topic of non-monetary rewards and recognition to improve employee motivation and performance.   Below is a list of free rewards articles, grouped by category.  Many of the articles have been reviewed by our editors and assigned a 1 to 5-star rating along with a brief sentence describing the focus of the article or other resource.

If you would like to contribute additional articles to this non-monetary rewards article directory, then please fill out our Article Submission form.

In addition to this directory page, you can also read our reviews of articles and books on employee recognition programs and team rewards.

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Non-Monetary Rewards Articles

(ranked in no particular order)

1. 3 stars
Benefits of Using Non-Monetary Rewards - This article discusses the following benefits of non-monetary rewards:  memory value, trophy value, flexibility, and cash awards cost more.
2. 2 stars
The Power of Positive Feedback - Summary notes from a speech given by Bob Nelson.
3. 4 Stars
(Very Good)
Rewards and Recognition - Well-researched article on how non-monetary rewards fit into an overall strategy to improve employee performance and retention.
4. 3 stars
Rules of Thumb for Nonmonetary Rewards - Extracted from course notes in Human Resources Management at Brunel University in the U.K.
5. 4 Stars
(Very Good)
Strategic Rewards Survey -  Summary of a study that shows that high performers are motivated more by advancement opportunities, flexible schedules, and the opportunity to learn new skills than by financial incentives.  Interesting statistics.
6. 3 stars
Recognition and Rewards: Ask the HR Guy - Brief discussion that warns of the dangers of inappropriate use of non-monetary rewards.  "Used incorrectly [they] can depress, not lift, employee morale. If an employee feels that he or she has done a lot of work on a project and deserves monetary compensation, a token gift or verbal recognition may appear to be a slap in the face. Moreover, too informal of a reward structure makes it difficult for employees to gauge their own performance and reduces the incentive for them to excel at their work."
7. 3 stars
They'll Feed Your Cat - Quirky non-monetary rewards offered to busy employees in some companies.
8. 3 stars
Winning Perks in Silicon Alley - More interesting rewards from IT firms in New York,
9. 3 stars
Cheap Perks that Work - Low-cost incentives and cheap recognition ideas that improve employee retention.
10. 3 stars
Is a Flexible Work Schedule Going to Work?  -  Discusses the challenge of implementing a flexible work schedule in the face of government employment standards legislation.
11. 3 stars
You Want Flexible Hours?  Great Idea!  - Discusses how flex hours programs can reduce employee turnover and are inexpensive (or free) to implement.
12. 4 Stars
(Very Good)
Fighting Flu Season with a Flexible Leave Policy - A low-cost way to improve employee job satisfaction, reduce the spread of illness and widespread flu-related absenteeism.
13. 4 Stars
(Very Good)
Beyond Compensation - Discusses the strategic use of inexpensive awards to continue to motivate your already high performers.
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