What’s Trending: Non-monetary Incentives & Benefits

What’s Trending: Non-monetary Incentives & Benefits

What’s Trending: Non-monetary Incentives & Benefits
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Money is not everything, not even when it comes to a job’s compensation. Non-monetary incentives and benefits can be key to workers’ happiness and retention and even to attract new workers for a company. But these perks can be tricky, as not everything that might be offered is always useful–like, is foosball at the office really a perk?

Read this short article on what top publications have to say about the benefits of non-financial rewards, which ones they suggest, and how to apply them properly below.


Neelie Verlinden wrote a piece explaining non-monetary incentives and benefits and how they can impact workers’ lives. First, they define non-monetary compensation as something that can help employees through simple things like flexibility, awards, and time off.

Some of the clearest benefits from non-monetary incentives are things like immediate satisfaction, memorable impact, great value for the money, engaged employees, attraction and retention, and possibly most importantly, sparking intrinsic motivation. By focusing on these benefits, companies can generate better engagement, boost relationships, and even improve workers’ performance.

After Verlinden explored the pros of non-monetary rewards, she reviewed the generally approved ones. Some of the buzziest perks at work are simple things such as time to work on their own projects, flexibility, public recognition, and additional time off. These can improve the worker’s day-to-day, but there are additional incentives such as wellness programs, restaurant vouchers, and cinema tickets that can help their lives outside of the office.

“The key here is to look at flexible working in the broadest sense of the term. This means that, as much as possible, employees get to choose what they prefer.” 

As a wrap-up, the author states that though non-financial rewards can get people really engaged in their jobs, these don’t work by themselves. Non-monetary incentives and benefits only work if they’re in combination with a good compensation package.

Korn Ferry

According to Korn Ferry, technology has helped companies to gather and analyze data regarding non-monetary benefits. They describe these as the rewards that will make people love working where they work.

Their research shows that four different types of non-monetary benefits make companies stand out and help build a stronger company culture. These are:

1.    Recognition

2.    Development opportunities

3.    Meaningful work

4.    A good environment

They suggest that companies should have a few of these types of incentives for a good benefits plan to attract, retain, and engage employees. Brian Reidy, Global Practice Leader, Workforce Rewards, explains that forward-thinking companies invest in these rewards to build a good perception of the company. 

“Organizations and their people have different and evolving needs and will be motivated by different things throughout their tenure at the company.”

Fast Company

On the other hand, in an article for Fast Company, Pat Brothwell writes about how companies switching to “holistic” wellness benefits sometimes doesn’t work. After a bad experience where, a change in benefits got her interested in switching from “traditional” benefits plans to something more “wellness” focused.

She cites a study by Oxford fellow William J. Fleming, where he found out that “wellness” benefits (such as apps, mindfulness seminars, and coaching) have no impact on the people who engage with them compared to those who don’t. Part of the problem, she argues, is that wellness is an ambiguous term that encapsulates legitimate care and pseudoscience remedies.

“Individualized strategies like mindfulness and resilience training don’t get to the root causes of work stress or tackle poor working conditions.”

This means that the 90% of employers who report increasing their mental health programs might be throwing their money into something that may or may not help but is thoroughly needed, as 39% of employees report poor mental health.

Companies should be careful about what they do regarding their benefits and avoid mindlessly following trends, especially when they can literally impact employee’s health and healthcare.

The takeaway

Non-monetary incentives & benefits are an important part of building company culture and engagement, but these don’t work by the art of magic. The way toward workplace happiness cannot only rely on these incentives as the monetary compensation should be part of the combined incentives for the job. Not only that, companies should really weigh their options to bring the best non-financial rewards to their employees by listening to them and avoiding falling into trendy traps.

The Key to Find Top Talent
Workforce Trends: Closing the Skills Gap
3 Facts on How COVID-19 Changed Recruitment


Subscribe to our blog


By clicking Send you agree to the gpac privacy policy and Terms of Service and you authorize gpac to contact you regarding gpac’s services at any phone number or email you provide, including via text message using an automated dialing system and/or artificial or prerecorded message.