Non-financial motivation

Change Management, HR Management | 0 comments

Effective non-financial motivation appeals more to the emotions of employees than pay, bonuses and status symbols. It helps people feel appreciated and valued. It increases loyalty and engagement. They send a message to staff and work positively in terms of retention, the attraction of top talent and the promotion of teamwork. And research shows conclusively that the higher the engagement the better the (financial) performance of companies.

When change takes place, research has also shown that employees are more motivated by non-financial rewards, especially in their acceptance and embracement of the change process. So in our current major transformation process, we are looking at ways to stimulate non-financial motivation, especially in the current financial crisis.

The aim of the work was to provide a range of ideas and approaches which companies might consider when implementing non-financial motivators, after understanding the interests and priorities of employees,

The first part of this blog includes a list of possible non-material benefits and rewards, used in many international companies, grouped in three sections: approaches which benefit the individual in their career (a sort of ‘win-win relationship’ with the employer and employee); approaches which are part and parcel of an organizational culture; and last a list of other separate actions which different employers may or may not use.

For those who prefer a more structured model when considering the implementation of a system of non-financial motivation, scroll down to the second part of the blog.

Individual benefits

  • Development opportunities
  • The opportunity to learn, develop and advance
  • Training programmes
  • Job satisfaction, challenging & interesting job
  • Mentoring programme for career advancement
  • Career development
  • Well trained managers to work for
  • Managers who help individuals reach their full potential and increase the likelihood of promotion
  • Promotion opportunity, opportunities for advancement
  • Work opportunities in multiple locations
  • Cross-training in other areas of the business
  • Opportunity to lead projects and/or work in task forces
  • Flexible work schedule and/or working times

Organisational culture, linked to leadership styles

  • Work closely with managers, be involved in key decisions
  • Employees are listened to by managers
  • Managers understand interest & priorities of employees
  • Recognition
  • Managers generous with praise
  • Appreciation of employees
  • Managers never criticize or correct
  • Mutual trust, respect & recognition
  • Company-wide recognition programme & small rewards
  • Open communication
  • Acknowledgement and constructive feedback
  • Ability to work independently, empowered
  • Delegation, everyone a leader
  • Managers do not check and control everything
  • Managers do not question every move and decision
  • Opportunity to contribute, employee involvement & participation
  • Work-life balance
  • Company values used as the guidance for actions
  • Company culture viewed as positive
  • Senior managers take employees out to lunch
  • Managers suggest ideas that are then taken on board by employees as if they were their own idea (as opposed to being told what to do
  • Rewards and the pain are shared with employees
  • Acknowledgement for a well-performed job
  • Stability and security
  • Leadership style that offers employee guidance

Additional actions

  • Casual Fridays
  • Company parties & teambuilding events
  • Free or discounted education or training (e.g. language training)
  • Free coffee
  • Free or subsidized food
  • Free parking
  • Upgraded office or workspace
  • In-house massage, yoga, spa
  • Discounted membership of fitness, gyms, sports
  • On-site childcare

A model that can aid the choice of non-financial motivation approaches is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is a well-known approach to a human’s basic and developed needs, and was introduced over 60 years ago, but remains valid and in use today in a number of different areas.

When considering financial and non-financial material awards, it is clear that the lowest level, physiological needs, would include basic salary, perhaps travel facilities, a good working environment and maybe a subsidized restaurant. Moving higher in the pyramid (safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualisation), the benefits start to include a safe environment, communication and socialization, leadership culture, quality of life and full participation.

This is summarized in the following table (although the precise placement in the pyramid might be a subject of discussion for a small number of the benefits mentioned):

Physiological needs
  • Increase basic salary – financial benefit
  • Bonus – financial benefit
  • Attractive working environment, office or workspace
  • Quality of sanitary facilities
  • Free coffee
  • Free or subsidized food
  • Free or subsidized parking

Safety needs
  • Provide safety equipment and protective clothing
  • Proper job design
  • Job rotation
  • Flexible work schedule and/or working times
  • Stability and security
  • Casual Fridays
  • In-house massage, yoga, spa
  • Discounted membership of fitness, gyms, sports
  • On-site childcare

Social (love, belonging) needs
  • Proactive and regular communication
  • Socialise with colleagues at organized events
  • Company parties & teambuilding events
  • Well-trained managers to work for
  • Work closely with managers, be involved in key decisions
  • Opportunity to contribute, employee involvement & participation
  • Senior managers take employees out to lunch
  • Leadership style that offers employee guidance

 

 

Esteem needs

  • Recognition
  • Managers generous with praise
  • Appreciation of employees
  • Managers never criticize or correct
  • Company-wide recognition programme & small rewards
  • Acknowledgement and constructive feedback
  • Ability to work independently, empowered
  • Delegation, everyone a leader
  • Managers do not check and control everything
  • Managers do not question every move and decision
  • Managers suggest ideas that are then taken on board by employees as if they were their own idea (as opposed to being told what to do
  • Rewards (and the pain) are shared with employees
  • Acknowledgement for a well-performed job
  • Open door culture in which managers are approachable
  • Rewards based on job performance
  • Job satisfaction, challenging & interesting job
  • Mentoring programme for career advancement
  • Managers who help individuals reach their full potential and increase the likelihood of promotion
  • Work opportunities in multiple locations
  • Cross-training in other areas of the business
  • Opportunity to lead projects and/or work in task forces
  • Employees are listened to by managers
  • The interest & priorities of employees are understood

Self-actualisation
  • Training and development
  • Training programmes
  • Work-life balance innovations
  • Involvement in participative decision making
  • Development opportunities
  • Career development
  • The opportunity to learn, develop and advance
  • Promotion opportunity, opportunities for advancement
  • Mutual trust, respect & recognition
  • Open communication
  • Work-life balance
  • Company values used as the guidance for actions
  • Free or discounted education or training (e.g. language training)

 

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