Human Resources News & Insights

A list your employees will love: 10 clever non-cash rewards

They are a Benefits pros’ best friend: non-cash rewards – and we’ve got some doozies for you.

Last week Mike Michalowicz a successful entrepreneur, author and president of the marketing firm Obsidian Launch, published an extensive list of ways to reward employees without money at American Express’ Open Forum business website.

Here are our 10 favorites:

  1. Let a top performer dump one project the person likes least on to you — his/her manager.
  2. Invite an employee and his/her spouse out to lunch — on the company, of course.
  3. Provide a new chair, desk or other piece of furniture.
  4. Have each employee write something positive about one person on a piece of paper, have it framed and present it as a gift to that person.
  5. Institute “playtime,” when employees can play games or shoot some hoops.
  6. Pay for an employee to take a fun class, such as cooking or skydiving. Just remember to let the employee pick when to take the class.
  7. Find something each employee likes to collect, like stamps or coins, and add to their collections.
  8. Pay to have an employee’s family portrait taken. You could even hang the photo somewhere in the office.
  9. Reserve the best parking spot for a week/month for an accomplished employee. For added effect, hire someone to wash the person’s car.
  10. Create a short video montage that celebrates an employee’s accomplishments, and show it over lunch. It’s OK if it’s low-budget and a little cheesy — as long as it’s fun.

Got any crazy, funny or creative ideas on how to reward employees? Share your thoughts in the Comments Box below.

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  1. Really? REALLY? This is very hard to take seriously!

    What many of us come to work for is M-O-N-E-Y !! While these “suggestions” are nice gestures, they do not help pay for my children’s food, clothes, the electric bill, etc.

    Articles like this suggest that those of us that are educated and work hard for a living are looked upon as ignorant children who will by HR people. “Clever” is NOT the word I would use for this piece!

  2. People here always want the $ also. Even if it’s $5. Most, however would trade getting off a couple hours early (& being paid, but not having to use PTO) in order to get errands done/picking up kids/just getting time off.

  3. HR Annie says:

    This just had to be a joke. It just had to be. The only one that I have seen considered was the parking spot, and that would be it. The rest of it like getting them a car wash was F U N N Y !!!.

    Thanks for the laugh.

    There are other ways to break to drudgery of being at work.

  4. This is why employees criticize HR. (See previous comments) Companies try to find cleaver ways to reward employees when they fail to have compentent managers who are skilled in giving knowledgable, heart-felt thanks for a job well done. Intrinsic recognition for meaningful work performance and compensation that is fair in relation to their contribution to the bottom line is what people want. When they see people given salaries and benefits that don’t match their performanace or value, they become sarcastic and lose trust in their leadership. Try giving fund managers non-financial rewards when they out perform there contemporaries. HR has lost its influence with executives in the company that make decisions. It has failed to hold management to a higher standard.

  5. HR Annie says:

    @ Miles….. you know what, you are totally correct. Which is why I said that these things were FUNNY.

    However, in this economic environment money talks. You would be amazed at how many people only do their job for the money.

    People criticize HR because they REALLY have no idea as to what it is that HR does. Not because HR does not hold management up to a higher standard.

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