A beginner’s guide to financial and non-financial rewards

non-financial rewards

To make employees engaged and productive, it’s essential to recognise their contributions and successes at work. Providing financial and non-financial rewards to staff and ingraining this into the work culture is a great place to start.

Reward and recognition are now a must-have for retaining or attracting top talent. However, there is a huge range of employee rewards out there – choosing which ones are going to best work for your company can be tricky.

In this article, we will:

  • Explain the differences between financial and non-financial rewards
  • Give examples of these rewards and show how to implement them into your organisation
  • Explain why it is important to include a mixture of both rewards to motivate and retain your employees


Personalised employee benefits are key to a top employee experience, so understanding your work culture and what it stands for is the first step to knowing what your employees need.


Need professional help and support setting up the ideal employee rewards schemes for your organisation? Contact the experts at Engage Health Group Ltd on +44 (0)1273 97449. We’re here to answer your questions and give FREE expert advice.


Starting off with financial rewards

Financial rewards aim to motivate and inspire staff to perform at the best of their ability, whilst supporting their wellbeing. They have a particular focus on reducing money-related stress and help employees feel confident in their finances.

Below is a range of financial rewards that employers can offer their staff, from the big investments to smaller everyday perks.

  • Performance bonuses:
    • Set times during the year
    • Helps to reach performance targets
    • Encourages employees to work towards a common goal
  • Profit sharing
  • Commuting benefits
  • Health & Life insurance
  • Stock options
  • Employee pension scheme: opportunity to add more
  • Points-based reward scheme:
    • Offers a chance for employees to buy something/an experience that is personal and meaningful to them
  • Gifts:
    • Personal value, instead of simple cash reward


What are non-financial rewards?

Non-financial rewards focus on prioritising staff’s personal and lifestyle needs. For example, flexible working arrangements can improve work-life balance for members of your team, particularly those juggling family duties.

But there’s also a broader goal of non-financial rewards: to create happy, healthy, and productive workers. Appreciation and recognition are the main elements, each reward aiming to motivate the employee. The options are almost limitless as the below examples prove:

  • Peer-to-peer recognition scheme:
    • Celebrates employee success/contributions
    • Promotes gratitude amongst colleagues, regardless of seniority
    • Builds strong relationships amongst staff
  • 1-2-1 managerial feedback & praise:
    • Gives employees the chance to progress – improving the sense of fulfillment
  • Employee of the Year:
    • Public recognition
    • Promotes healthy competition
    • Encouraging employees to create good habits in their work
  • Company parties
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Flexible working:
    • Cost-effective appreciation
    • Improves work-life balance
    • Prevents burnout & dissatisfaction
  • Employee pension scheme:
    • Although partly financial, it also provides peace of mind and reduces associated anxieties
  • Creche facilities & childcare support
  • Counselling services
  • Career progression schemes:
    • Promotion
    • Skills development
  • Early Friday finishes
  • Team lunches


Get FREE expert and no-obligation advice from our friendly team of AMII accredited employee benefits brokers. We help businesses understand and navigate the world of employee benefits and health insurance. Click on the bottom right chatbox or call Engage Health Group Ltd on +44 (0)11273 974419.

Reap the benefits of implementing financial and non-financial rewards

Ultimately, providing rewards for your staff needs to be about your staff. Maintaining a motivated and engaged workforce who are loyal to your company is what implementing employee rewards should be about.

There are almost infinite ways of combining different employee benefits, but the best approach depends on what is likely to produce the best results both for the company and your employees.

Here we break down the benefits of non-financial and financial rewards:

Pros of non-financial rewards:

  • Boosts morale, giving teams a real sense of value and appreciation for their efforts
  • Improves staff retention
  • Helps to engage staff through recognition
  • Expresses the business values at the core of your company
  • Cost-effective
  • Fosters a culture of generosity and gratitude
  • Boosts confidence within employees
  • Builds a sense of belonging
  • Provides an opportunity for employees to progress and improve based on constructive feedback
  • Increases appreciation of each team member’s qualities

Pros of financial rewards:

  • Performance-related pay and bonuses boost job satisfaction, commitment to the company, and trust in management
  • Supports employee financial wellbeing:
    • Employees can become solvent
    • Employees can feel more financially secure
  • Employees produce higher levels of work with the promise of financial rewards for themselves and their families
  • Helps to take ‘thank you’ further

Blend both rewards to fully support staff

The two leading factors influencing employee motivation, productivity, and success are financial rewards/bonuses (31%) and recognition (20.7%)!

The best way to express gratitude and create a work environment that appreciates each member of the team is to use both reward systems together, getting creative with how you incentivise staff.

Everyone is driven by different needs and motivations, so a one-size-fits-all approach just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to rewarding your employees. Ensure your staff are praised through a combination of both financial and non-financial rewards, boosting morale and helping with monetary needs.

At Engage, we carefully consider each pillar of employee wellbeing when working with businesses and HR teams. Our friendly team of experts are here to help with any of your specific employee benefits needs.

Related reading: The 3 Pillars of Corporate Wellbeing: What do employers need to offer?


Are financial and non-financial rewards something you want to incorporate into your employee benefits scheme? Contact us at Engage Health Group Ltd for FREE no-obligation advice and support.

Picture of Eleanor Chilvers

Eleanor Chilvers

Eleanor started at Engage in 2021, and is now a Digital Content Writer after studying BA English Literature at University of Sussex for the last 3 years.

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