10 Ways to Reward Staff Without Giving Them Cash

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This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Riya Sander.

The ability to reward staff is a great skill an entrepreneur can possess. It creates a passionate and hardworking team which is committed to improving and growing your business.

If you are looking to motivate your staff, look beyond monetary incentives. Motivate staff by using intrinsic motivators for advancement, flexible working hours, hard work, and growth. Here we have gathered together some reward ideas to assist you to show your sincere appreciation for your staff without resorting to cash. Read on!

1. Flexible Schedules

If possible, offering a flexible schedule is an incredible way to motivate employees and promote work-life balance. Advancing technology has made working from home a viable option for countless businesses, and it allows staff to unwind while still contributing and being productive to the business.

If working from home is not an option, you should consider letting your staff come in late on a Monday and leave early on the occasional day.

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2. Opportunity and Responsibility

Providing staff more freedom, opportunity, and responsibility can empower them to do excellent work. If this situation doesn’t apply to your business, you can build an avenue for professional development and appreciation.

3. Offer Sincere and Specific Praise

A simple ‘thank you’ shout-out or note costs nothing but goes a long way with staff to hear how well they are meeting your expectations or getting the task done. Practice boosting their morale when things are done right – they will feel valued. Staff will work harder and longer for entrepreneurs who consistently offer feedback and praise and are engaged in their processes.

Remember not to give too much praise or recognition to your employees. Ensure that you are acknowledging tangible attainment or accomplishment. Put simply, you need to look at specific metrics like sales volume, bids won, increased profit, or the number of clients retained to quantify accomplishments.

ways to reward staff

4. Give Unusual Rewards

Prize draw raffles could be a great incentive for the team to get motivated — for example, a fun drawing where someone has the chance to win a car or a house. You might obtain the raffle tickets from organizations that support the community which is also an alternative way to give back.

You can put the names of exceptional staff into a raffle every year, quarter, or month with the chance for them to win rewards. Keep in mind that the expense of the rewards should be based on your business budget.

5. Develop a Community

Doing things as a team can go along way – it allows employees to relate both to the business and to each other. Most managers tend to use online forums, but one thing for sure is that you cannot replace in-person conversations, which are often referred to as old-fashioned.

Encourage the team to play games and have lunch together, or simply throw parties, organize events, hold a happy hour, or host a picnic throughout the year as a reminder to your employees that you are all in it together.

6. Stay Connected

Keeping in touch with your staff allows you to provide tips and training which can boost their work. With the proliferation of apps, social media, texting, and email, communication is much easier. Also, staying connected lets you share timely and relevant information.

7. Effort and Hard Work Pay Off

There is no reward or motivation as great as knowing that you made a difference that helped in your workplace. For this reason, it’s good to highlight staff accomplishments to show them how their effort and hard work add benefit to the business or to individuals in the real world.

8. Get to Know Your Staff as People

Building personal relationships with your employees can help you understand their motivations. Find out their interests and hobbies, how many kids they have, and the like. After all, your business is like your second family.

Pay attention to them – providing friendly relations can encourage them to do their best not to let you down.

ways to reward staff

9. Engage Your Staff in the Incentive Process

Are you unsure about how to motivate employees without money? Well, do not be afraid to ask them. You can ask them through a suggestion box, brainstorming sessions, surveys, or even questions during staff reviews.

Gather the feedback and create clear objectives for them to strive for. Doing this will communicate the value for workforce contributions and most importantly, increase your business returns. Also, it will motivate them to participate in the staff rewards program.

10. Volunteer Together

Most people care deeply about social justice and environmental causes. Therefore, offering a day of volunteer time off is a great way for a business to get in on the action. Volunteering is good PR: it enhances productivity, retains and attracts staff, and improves cooperation. Please select volunteer gaps that your staff are passionate about.

Rewarding staff without money is not impossible; in fact, such rewards can stay in the mind of staff forever. The rewards will enhance their motivation and give them a sense of value.


Riya Sander Coworking Space Austin

Author Bio:

Riya is an inspired writer writing in several areas of expertise. With spending her years working marketing communication, Riya is delighted to work with aspiring small business owners. Apart from her marketing expertise, Riya always enjoys reading pocketbook, cooking, and traveling. Connect with Riya on twitter, @sanderriya


  1. Sandra Parker on August 13, 2019 at 9:13 am

    The article appears to be quite essential. Each passage proves the importance of the raised issue.

    • Kady Sandel on August 13, 2019 at 9:17 am

      Thank you Sandra. We appreciate your comments.

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