Money is the most popular and easiest form of a reward used as a motivational tool. It is quantifiable and allows the receiver total control on how to enjoy the reward. Cash is still the prime recompense for employees. It is one of the primary deciding factors for job seekers, regardless if they are remote workers, traditional employees, or freelancers. Thus, cash benefits make up the largest portion of the employment compensation package.
While a good pay rate attracts talents and job-seekers, a great combination of motivational tools and incentives keep the right employees in the company.
Recent studies showed that non-cash rewards are just as effective as cash, if not more. A research conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation revealed that non-cash incentives motivate employees better than cash. Melissa Van Dyke, president of the non-profit research institute said that non-cash rewards are more efficient and effective. A great combination of various rewards relevant to the employees is more effective in increasing performance levels. Aside from helping the company control costs, non-cash benefits are also powerful tools in evoking employee loyalty and engagement.
So, what makes non-cash effective?
Cash rewards are often considered as extra income. Thus, employees lump them up with their pay. It becomes a part of their budget and money that is to be spent responsibly – for their family, to be invested, or saved for retirement. Once spent, the cash rewards are soon forgotten.
Non-cash incentives, on the other hand, are associated with experience, recognition, and acceptance to the team. It is something that creates memories, boosts camaraderie among the team, and promote self-esteem. Recognition and other non-cash rewards are permanent.
A research conducted by the American Productivity & Quality Center among corporations revealed that non-cash rewards increased productivity performance more than cash incentives. Non-cash rewards provide a trophy value that is not present in cash. Cash received are often kept undisclosed as it is too tacky to discuss earnings. But non-cash rewards are mementos that are displayed, openly talked about, and flaunted.
Here are the top 10 non-cash rewards you can use to motivate virtual employees, remote workers, and freelancers;
Recognition – Employee loyalty is developed when contributions to the company and work well done are duly appreciated and recognized. A simple email or a message announcing to the team of one’s contributions and achievements are enough to establish camaraderie with your employees.
Work Flexibility – Remote workers and freelancers appreciate work flexibility. They prefer freelancing and working from home for a reason. The freedom to work when and where they are most comfortable significantly increases their productivity.
Job Security – Remote workers and freelancers gave up one important employment benefit when they went freelancing – job security. If you can offer them that, they will be your most loyal and hardworking employees.
Autonomy – Freelancers are the most independent workers. They prefer and are most productive working with minimal supervision and with a significant control over their tasks. The ideal work process is to describe to them the goal or the end results you want to achieve, and then let them do their job. Give them the freedom on how they will tackle the tasks to achieve the given goals.
Team Interaction – Team interaction is an important aspect to creating a sense of belongingness and team bonding among employees, most especially for virtual teams. Team members should be free to interact and connect with each other. Unhindered connection increases the fluidity of work and task efficiency.
Paid Vacation Leaves – Giving employees paid vacation leaves affords them a guiltless indulgence and time spent with their families. Although they would enjoy some time off work, not many freelancers will take the time off because they would rather be working and earning. But, if they have the option to take time off and still get paid, they will readily grab the opportunity and be very appreciative of it.
Paid Vacations – Paying for their vacations is giving them unforgettable experiences they would otherwise miss because of the costs and time involved. More progressive companies offer vacation packages as part of performance incentive for their employees. For virtual teams of remote workers and freelancers, a team meetup sponsored by the company is a great idea of a non-cash reward for great performance.