<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-TD8JGKT" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

10 non-monetary motivators to encourage employee engagement

Ensuring your organisation maintains strong employee engagement amid a pending recession can in hindsight seem like a huge challenge. And while many businesses might be tempted to take a step back from employee retention efforts, ONS suggests there’s still more than 1.1 million job vacancies in the UK, meaning employees can still be enticed into new roles.

Events like ‘The Great Resignation’, and more recently the trend of ‘quiet quitting’, highlight that the employee experience and employee engagement must be a top priority if organisations wish to continue turning profits. And in a world that’s constantly changing, it’s important to implement regular employee listening to gauge when people might be thinking of leaving – as well as to help understand which initiatives will have the most positive impact on staff.

Read on for 10 non-monetary motivators to encourage employee engagement at your organisation.

1. Flexible working arrangements

Giving employees flexibility at work holds many benefits. For example, it helps employees attain a better work-life balance, allowing them to work according to their personal schedules. Flexible work can also greatly help boost wellbeing, with more free time, headspace and energy – all reducing stress levels.

2. Increased annual leave

Achieving balance across different life aspects is becoming increasingly important to people, especially when it comes to work. Fast-tracked by the pandemic, people now want – and expect – to have this reflected in their holiday entitlement.

Annual leave is fundamental to promote good mental health and general wellbeing, as it allows employees to take a well-needed break away from their busy workload to rest and reenergize. Time away from the workspace can provide staff with a unique perspective on things, and a change of scenery can even inspire more creative thinking. Increased or satisfactory holiday entitlement also helps reduce absenteeism and is likely to improve productivity.

3. Voluntary work

Voluntary work can give employees a sense of accomplishment while also boosting morale. Pay employees the same as you would for a normal working day and give them the opportunity to undertake volunteer work of their choice. The rewarding feeling from their volunteer work will feel more personal if it’s for a cause they’ve chosen themselves.

4. Career development opportunities

Encouraging learning and development shows staff you value them and care about their personal development. The opportunity for employees to develop their abilities and learn new skills will naturally give them a boost in motivation, leading to higher engagement in their role. As a result, employees will want to work harder to support not just themselves and their career, but your organisation, too.

Learning and development opportunities could include external webinars, online and physical events specific to their industry, in-house training, or professional qualifications.

5. Recognition

Recognition makes employees feel valued for their time, effort, and work. And communicating praise often will encourage staff to perform better. Examples of how your organisation can show recognition include shoutouts in team meetings, acknowledging milestone achievements, and complimenting strong work ethic.

6. Paid time off for birthdays

Consider giving your employees paid time off for their birthday. And, if this falls on a public holiday or weekend, give them the option to take the following working day off. Providing employees the time to celebrate their birthday in a manner they wish will boost morale and improve how they feel towards your company.

7. External one-on-one celebrations

Sometimes, recognition and reward work best when they go beyond public accolades or a message over Slack. Instead, consider encouraging quality time spent outside of the workplace. It’s a great and more personable opportunity to appreciate staff for their hard work and achievements that will be well received and valued.

8. Autonomy at work

Employees really appreciate being given independence. Why micromanage if they’re more than capable of getting the job done on their own? Autonomy in the workplace helps staff understand that they’re trusted, and that you believe they’ll do a good job without supervision. This can be a particularly effective solution to a decrease in engagement at work, as a workforce that knows they’re trusted by leadership are more likely to be engaged.

9. Recreational activities

Recreational activities can be a valuable tool for encouraging employee engagement and fostering a positive work culture. They provide a break from work, help to nurture a sense of community, promote a good work-life balance, and can improve mental and physical health. Examples of recreational activities for employees are limitless, but these are a few of our non-monetary favourites:

  • Board game tournament
  • Team sports day
  • Volunteering at a local charity
  • Team hike
  • Office craft challenge

10. Wellness programmes

It’s been estimated that the average person spends around one third of their life working – so it’s vital the wellbeing of staff is supported and maintained during their time in the workplace. One way this can be done is through introducing wellness programmes such as stress-reduction programmes, exercise activities, or nutritional education. For more ideas on how to best support the wellness of staff, read our article ‘Easy initiatives you can implement to support wellbeing’.


The above motivators are all either free or come at very low expense – and they’re simple to implement as a way to encourage and improve employee engagement. Of course, the best thing to do before you introduce any new initiative is to listen to your employees’ needs – and that’s where WorkBuzz come in.

Our platform is designed to gather real-time feedback from your teams by providing them with a voice to express their concerns, so your organisation can act on areas for improvement and create a better company culture. Get in contact with a member of our team today to find out how we can help you – just complete the form below.

Book a Demo