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15 Unique Non-Monetary Rewards to Boost Employee Motivation

The days when salary raises alone could boost employee engagement are gone: today’s employees crave meaningful, non-monetary rewards and recognition. Research demonstrates the power of this low-cost & high-impact tool – not only does it contribute to a strong company culture, but it also has direct effects on employee motivation.

There is a fun aspect to non-monetary rewards – how creative and unique they can be and a tricky part: in order to be truly effective they require personalization, which adds a lot of complexity and moving pieces.

The good news is that Wishlist can take care of the not-so-fun part of it: we have built a solution that will help you deliver meaningful rewards and moments – individualizing the gifting process while relieving you of the administrative burden. This way, you can focus on the exciting aspect of non-monetary rewards:

15 Creative Ideas for Non-Monetary Rewards for Your Team:

Experiential Rewards

Experiential rewards are an excellent way to boost employee engagement – science backs it up. Studies suggest that new experiences boost employee happiness and brain activity.

1. Getaways & Adventures: Let your employees choose from a selection of exciting travel experiences, such as weekend getaways, spa retreats, or adventure vacations. A weekend experience that increases job satisfaction, creativity, and productivity? Sign us up!

Experiential non-monetary rewards
Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash

Learning Opportunities

Learning new skills (whether directly related to the job or not) helps provide employees with meaning. This makes them feel more connected with what they do and therefore more engaged. Here are some reward ideas that help drive learning:

2. Online Learning Courses: Provide access to a variety of online courses and workshops, allowing employees to develop new skills and pursue personal interests.

3. Language Lessons: Offer language courses to support employees in expanding their linguistic skills.

4. Virtual Masterclasses: Organize virtual masterclasses with renowned thought leaders in various fields.

5. Art and Creative Workshops: Offer opportunities for employees to explore their artistic side through painting, photography, or craft workshops.

6. Home Improvement Classes: Organize DIY workshops or home improvement courses for those interested in learning new handy skills.

Wellness Rewards:

Today’s employees have a certain level of baseline expectations when it comes to wellness benefits. Providing meaningful rewards in this space will add to the holistic feeling of your existing offers – adding an element of delight:

7. Fitness Subscriptions: Offer premium fitness subscriptions, such as yoga classes, gym memberships, or virtual workout programs.

8. Wellness Retreats: Reward employees with wellness retreats focused on mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation.

Wellness retreat is a great example of a non-monetary reward
Photo by Kaylee Garrett on Unsplash

9. Financial Wellness Workshops: Host workshops on financial planning, budgeting, and investment strategies.

Entertainment Rewards:

Entertainment feels good, it makes us feel alive. Generate that sensation for your team with the following ideas:

10. Team-Building Activities: Organize team-building experiences, such as escape rooms, outdoor challenges, or cooking competitions.

11. Concert or Event Tickets: Give employees the opportunity to attend concerts, sports events, theater performances, or other entertainment experiences of their choice.

12. Digital Entertainment Subscriptions: Offer subscriptions to popular streaming services for employees’ entertainment needs.


13. Subscription Services of Choice: Allow employees to select from a range of subscription services that align with their interests, such as book clubs, wellness apps, or productivity tools.

14. Commuter Benefits: Provide employees with passes for public transportation or bike-sharing programs.

15. Personalized Gifts: Provide gift cards or credits to let employees choose their own desired experiences or gifts.

Non-monetary rewards enable you to be creative and add an element of surprising delight into your team’s life. They can drive productivity, boost motivation, strengthen company culture, and increase job satisfaction – amongst other numerous benefits to the company’s bottom line.

However, data shows that in order to be truly effective, the recognition needs to be authentic, honest, and personalized to the individual. We know that it’s easier said than done – that’s why Wishlist is on a mission to deliver meaningful recognition, individualizing that process and applying principles of effective gifts in your personal life to the corporate environment.

We aim to provide employers with personalized recognition and reward options for every employee, helping build stronger bonds between managers and their teams. Our goal is to help you drive business outcomes by creating a sustainable shift in employee engagement – while relieving the administrative burden of such programs.

Ready to take your employee engagement programs to the next level? Fill out the form below and we will show you what Wishlist can do for your organization: