Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Using nonmonetary motivators, part of Motivating and Engaging Employees.
- Money in its various forms can be a useful motivator, but it's usually not the best. Research suggests that people like and appreciate money, but they like other rewards even better. Non-monetary motivation is an effective but sometimes overlooked approach to energizing your team. It's true, just giving people money is fast and easy. But spending just a little more time and being a little more thoughtful can make all the difference. Whether you're giving a simple thank you or some new perk, non-monetary incentives have impact, because they show your employees that you see them as real individuals worthy of unique awards.
Compared to money, they also offer one additional benefit. They more directly support intrinsic motivation. They're less likely to be viewed as carrots you are using to trick people into working and more likely to be seen as a genuine thank-yous. Before discussing a few common examples of non-monetary incentives, it's vital that I mention one of the most important rules concerning any reward, whether it's money based or not. Always remember to Connect the use of recognition and rewards with the production of excellence.
Over the last 20 years or so, we seem to have fallen in love with giving people things at work just because. The common thinking is that to be kind to others means to occasionally give them something to say thanks, almost irrespective of performance. When you look around many offices, you see a huge number of certificates, plaques and other rewards. We elect superstar elmployees, employee of the month and many other such titles. The more we embraced this trend, the more managers felt compelled to share the love and give out more and more rewards instead of making them a little more rare.
Some even say that at some point everyone should receive some award, right? Wrong, remember that you get what you reward and reinforce. If you reward modest performance, don't expect excellent performance. Always connect the use of recognition and rewards with excellence. I'm not saying, you can't give things to people at work. I am saying, You have to make them earn it. Okay, back to non-monetary motivators. There are many. Some are free, others will require you to spend a little money.
Consider these four types of great, non-monetary incentives. First is Recognition and Rewards. This is the most traditional and overused category. It encompasses many informal and formal tokens of appreciation. These include Thank-yous delivered privately to individuals or quick huddles that you call to say thanks to the whole team. More rarely you might think of Ceremonies where people receive a more formal item, like plaques or certificates. A more neglected but maybe even more powerful category is the Opportunity to Learn and Grow.
Many employees, especially younger professionals, desire a chance to continue moving forward, whether that's in terms of responsibility or skills. Examples in this category include Training, Mentoring, Job rotations and Special projects. Job descriptions are useful but your best employees never view themselves so narrowly. So look for opportunities to help them expand and grow. Next we have Tangible Things you might get people at work, things other than recognition and rewards. Sometimes this might be as simple as food.
Maybe you pay for the water cooler or the coffee in the breakroom, or you occasionally bring donuts to a meeting, or maybe you cater a lunch when they really deserve it. Also any service or perk you offer falls under this category as well. Think about onsite dry cleaning or a daycare, maybe a gym. Anything you can do to add value to their day while saving them time will be greatly appreciated. Last but not least, think about thoughtful things you might offer them for use outside of work. These can sometimes be costly, but when used sparingly, they motivate very effectively.
For example, consider tickets to a concert, or a sporting event, or maybe a weekend trip to a great destination. For many employees these are not common activities, which is why they motivate. In the end, you wanna mix it up. Not only should you avoid overreliance on money, but you wanna strive for variety in terms of non-monetary incentives as well. Avoid getting in ruts by always handing out the same things. When you mix it up and make sure they earn it, the team will respond with continually rejuvenated motivation.
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- Assessing employee engagement
- Providing autonomy
- Building a transparent culture
- Modeling desired behavior
- Using monetary and nonmonetary motivators
- Fostering accountability
- Developing career paths for employees<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.