How To Motivate Employees Without Money

A 2017 study by the Incentive Research Foundation found that 80-90 percent of high-performing organizations used non-cash rewa...

March 19, 2021
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How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
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If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
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Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
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What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
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Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
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What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
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Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

A 2017 study by the Incentive Research Foundation found that 80-90 percent of high-performing organizations used non-cash reward incentives, while average-performing organizations were less likely to do so. Employees are especially motivated by meaning, which requires more than just cold hard cash. 

Here are some great ways you can motivate employees without cash rewards.

Recognize Employees with Meaningful Messages

By integrating Assembly into Slack or Microsoft Teams, you can easily send a recognition message that is tied to a company value. Why is this important? To maintain a strong company culture and an engaged team, employees need to know expectations and feel confident in their decisions. When you recognize their successes by tying them back to a company value, both the employee and their colleagues are able to see how specific efforts and behaviors impact overall company success.

Motivate Employees with Rewards That Fit Your Culture

If you want to motivate your employees without money, have a solid understanding of who they are and the culture you are trying to create.Assembly enables you to set up rewards that you think will excite your team members and includes a library of more than 50 personalized ideas. You may have one employee who would love a gift card to their favorite store or a donation to their favorite charity. On the other hand, someone else may be motivated by lunch with the CEO or a team party. Ask what people want and consider how each reward fits in with your culture and engagement strategy.

Keep Your Teams Motivated with Special Team Events

Team projects often occur over a longer period of time. It’s easy for employees to get burned out or lose sight of the end goal if there’s no opportunity for a pause and appropriate praise. You need to recognize your teams throughout the course of longer projects, but there are better ways to do so than cash. Instead, let your team take a breather and celebrate progress or results together. Consider a team outing like an escape room, bowling, or a catered picnic with games.

Motivate Employees with Development Opportunities

Employees need to know that their leaders understand their strengths and career goals. Oftentimes these things are only discussed during onboarding or performance reviews. Instead, use opportunities throughout the year to motivate your employees. If you notice they’re having great success in one area, ask them if they’d like the opportunity to lead a project, serve on a committee, or attend leadership meetings to share their knowledge. If you know they’d like to move into a leadership role, take time to offer them coaching or allow them to mentor a new employee.

Rethink Cash Rewards

You don’t have to completely throw cash awards out the door.Instead, think about them differently. Rather than performance-based awards, think about more timely awards. Smaller cash-based rewards spread out over the course of a year give you multiple recognition opportunities. If you are giving cash, just be sure it comes with a meaningful message. Why is the employee receiving this cash award? What was the impact of their contribution?

There are countless ways to recognize employees without cash, so don’t be afraid to get creative and integrate helpful tools and resources.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

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Employee recognition guide