The Benefits of Non-Monetary Incentives

October 4, 2019

Compensation comes in all shapes and sizes. Two of the most common forms are base salary and annual bonus. These two, of course, come in the form of monetary or cash compensation.

There are other forms of compensation, which one could argue are more important than these.

I’m referring to non-monetary compensation. This type of payment has taken on a new level of importance, not only from an employee’s perspective, but progressive companies are using this form of pay to attract and retain key employees. Those who do not are at a competitive disadvantage. Let me explain.
Possible Forms of Non-Monetary Compensation


As previously stated, non-monetary compensation can take on many forms. By definition, it is any compensation given to an employee in a non-cash form. Some of the more common (and uncommon or creative) types of this pay include the following:


These can come in many forms and don’t need to cost much, such as a pair of tickets to see a movie or concert, gift certificates to a popular restaurant, or even gym membership discounts.

Employee Recognition

Some companies have monthly or quarterly recognition celebrations. Other ideas like reserved parking spots, or a picture on the company’s “Hall of Fame,”also go a long way.

Advancement Opportunity

The ability to work on more meaningful and challenging projects shows that your company believes in their employees’ abilities to reach new heights.


Flexible working hours or occasional work from home options often accommodate the modern employee’s hectic schedule, mainly when both parents work or have other obligations outside of work.

Work/Life Benefits

Try offering a day off “on the company,” which doesn’t go against the employee’s vacation bank — especially after completing a significantly labor-intensive project.Some companies offer free haircuts or massages at the office as well.

Personal Development

Online or local offsite training classes paid by the company and monthly mentoring luncheons with senior management send the message that a company cares about its employees’ professional development.

Non-monetary incentives are increasingly more important than ever before and are a way for companies to show that they care about what’s important to their employees. A recent survey conducted by a well-known national HR consulting group found that when given a choice between a monetary or a non-monetary award, only twenty percent responded that they would choose the monetary award compared to the roughly sixty percent that chose other means of motivation and recognition.

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