5 Creative Non-Financial Ways to Motivate Your Employees

Because of the economy, many companies have had to cut back on their financial-incentive programs, and many are finding other ways of inspiring talent. Numerous studies have concluded that for people with satisfactory salaries, other motivators are more effective than extra cash in building long-term employee engagement in most sectors, job functions, and business contexts.

Many financial rewards mainly generate short-term boosts of energy. Indeed, the economic crisis, with its imperative to reduce costs and to balance short- and long-term performance effectively, gives business leaders a great opportunity to reassess their incentives and decide what will serve their company best through and beyond the downturn.

In Fortune’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” 2014 rankings, the most popular words workers used when citing their company as a truly great place to work were people, family and time. Pay fell at number 81. With such convincing evidence, why aren’t all companies implementing non-financial incentive programs in their organization?

Here are five creative, non-financial ways to motivate your employees:


You can’t put a price tag on time. In addition to offering the standard three paid weeks off, many companies are offering their employees the chance to work remotely part time or even full time. Summer hours, flex time and allowing pets at work, none of which are new, are still at the top of potential employees’ workplace benefit wish lists. The cost is little to nothing, but can help a good workplace become great in the eyes of your employees.

The belly rules the mind

The concept of on campus/in office meal programs were conceived to create happy, satiated employees that don’t have to leave the office for an hour to hit up Taco Bell. While installing a state of the art Google cafeteria isn’t an option for most workplaces, providing meals on the company – or even offering free snacks and beverages – shows appreciation, encourages a healthy environment, and makes the workplace that much more enjoyable.

Encourage good health

While it’s not realistic for most workplaces to install a gym, employers can still encourage and reward employees who wish to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle to keep their work/life balance firmly in check. Having organic fruits delivered to the office for your employees, offering free fruit juices and granola bars help them stay alert and stay healthy throughout the day. Discounts on gym memberships are one highly valued benefit in the workplace. Additionally, physical team building events and intramural leagues like dodgeball, soccer, softball and even bowling, add an element of physical as well as social activity for an alternative to the usual happy hour on any given night.

Create a positive and fun work environment

Creative and imaginative employees need to work in an environment that reflects their skills and personalities. Studies show that we’re dramatically shifting from offices and cubicle farms, to open, interactive spaces with light, color, positive energy and comfortable areas within the office to relax and take a break.

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