The top 5 non-monetary remunerations

Money, money, money ….. we need it to live, we need it to provide shelter and food and the nice luxuries we enjoy, and it allows us to build a lifestyle and some balance to long hours we work. However, it is not always the driver or motivation for someone to take on a new role (or stay in an existing role). Employees often put non-monetary remuneration up near the top of their list to keep them motivated and happy in the workplace. As non-financial rewards can be designed to be more personalised to suit each staff member, they can have a substantial impact on overall employee satisfaction.

Of course, you need to provide a competitive salary however if you need to get a new staff member over the line, being creative and finding out what personally drives or motivates them, can make a huge difference. After all, do you want the key motivator to be on immediate incentive rather than long-term satisfaction?

A recent survey by Seek noted these as the top 5 non-monetary incentives for staff in Australia:

  1. Flexible working hours – the days of 9 to 5 working are over. If you want to attract top talent you need to provide more flexibility. This benefits you just as much as the employee. If the staff member is a morning person who is much more productive early morning, letting them work 7am-4pm means they get more done and they are also happier. This is a win-win outcome for the company.
  2. Additional annual leave – Aussies love their holidays and having an extra day or two of annual leave is a nice way to reward hard working staff. It says to them “you have earned a well-deserved break”.
  3. Monthly rostered day off – regular additional time off helps keep the balance in our lives and allows your staff to use the time to run errands, recharge their batteries, do volunteer work, spend additional time with family…. whatever works for each individual.
  4. Paid training and personal development – providing opportunities for your staff to update skills make a lot of business sense. Giving them the tools and skills they need, not only benefits them personally but you as a business that gets the immediate benefit from it. Investing in your staff is really an investment in your own business.
  5. Flexibility to work from home – working from home can be more productive than working in an office environment. Fewer interruptions, no office banter or wasted time around the water cooler and a stress-free commute equals a happier employee.

When deciding on non-monetary rewards, also take into consideration the age of the employee. Gen Y’s and millennials are likely to want different rewards to a baby boomer. One size does not fit all when it comes to rewarding your staff. Being able to tailor rewards to suit specific personal interests also shows you care and have taken the time to listen and get to know that staff member.

All staff want to feel appreciated for the work they do, so adding non-monetary bonuses and upgrades is a great well to tell your team members that you do value their work and want them on your team. And don’t forget the non-tangible rewards like a simple thank you note or a pat on the back as a little bit of thought goes a long way.

It is not always about ‘Showing me the money’

Money makes the world go around. Fact! But as human beings we need more than money to sustain us, particularly when it comes to our job and our working environment. So, if you don’t have large budgets to buy the best staff you need to look for other incentives to get them on board. Examples of non-monetary compensation include flex-time, time off, free or discounted parking, gym membership discounts, professional development, tuition for further education and childcare.

How can you win top talent without ‘showing them the money?’

Find out what drives them

What non-monetary incentives would appeal to them? We all need money to put a shelter over our heads and food in our plate, however there are often other benefits that can make up for a lower salary. If you can find out what drives a potential new team member you’d be surprised how creative you can get when it comes to ways to get them across the line. The better you know them the easier this process will be.

Be flexible

Don’t just stick with “this is the way we have always done it”. As the war on talent heats up you need to be flexible. This will be different for everyone but could include ability to work from home some days, time in lieu, roster days off, professional development, working a 4 day week etc. Don’t lose a great new asset because you cannot be flexible.

Offer personal development

Provide in house training, the ability to do additional study to get more accreditation and allocate personal development budgets each year that they can allocate to further learning outside the company are incentives that not only have a positive impact for you while the person is employed with you, but also for their career as they acquire new skills.

Personalised incentives

Everyone is different and what appeals to one person will not appeal to another. Personalise non-monetary rewards accordingly. The gym junkie would likely love a gym membership but the coach potato would hate it and prefer a membership to a theatre company. Do what works for each individual.

Passion project time

Offer time out of normal work commitments to work on projects which your staff may be passionate about but are not necessarily related to your core business. This is was pioneered by Google and also something that Facebook do and has launched some successful & very profitable new products. Allocating a few hours a week for them to work on a passion project helps keep them more fulfilled and likely to stay with you longer.

Volunteer program

How are you giving back to society? Offering staff 1 day every 3-6 months to volunteer at the charity of their choice, puts your brand directly into the community in a positive way, engages the individual with something they are passionate about, increases morale and builds a positive company culture.

Opportunities to work interstate or overseas office

If you have interstate or overseas offices the opportunity to work in another location, can be very appealing and a positive program you can put in place that is a big point of difference over competitors.

Having small hiring budgets forces you to get creative but is also means you win top talent for exactly that reason. Plus, non-monetary or intangible benefits can often be the most powerful.