Non-monetary motivation system in modern organizations

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

Author: Dergacheva Eugenia, East Kazakhstan State University in honor of S. Amanzholov, Kazakhstan

It is necessary to be precise, exact and understandable in defining the main goals to make the system of personnel motivation work effectively. Formalizing goals and objectives intensifies their impact and makes the personnel more responsible. Employees should clearly understand what activities will be rewarded.

When a motivation system is being developed and tested, money (financial incentives) is often considered to be the most important motive. However, if, despite the proper organization and the favorable image of an organization/enterprise, its efficient structure, ideal planning and strategies, the personnel do not want to work effectively, constant increase of salary is not the way out. Thus, at present the issue of developing non-monetary motivation systems is most relevant.

"Immaterial stimulation", "non-monetary motivation" is a set of factors stimulating the desirable labor behavior of the personnel in an organization/ enterprise. For many employees such motivation may be the strongest one [1].

According to I.A. Batkayeva, V.G. Konovalova, T. Yu. Bazarov, A. Ya. Kibanov, a person has a number of needs, financial needs being only one of them, i.e. indemnity payment of time and effort expenditures is only a part of satisfied desires of the personnel. Non-monetary motivation reveals other needs of a person, which are often more essential. The aim of such stimulation is to reveal basic needs of an employee and, taking into consideration the mission, goals and objectives of the an organization/enterprise, to satisfy them in exchange for efficient work.

For the supervisor, the most difficult aspect of non-monetary motivation is to detect a kind of such motivation, most appropriate for the employee whom he is intended to stimulate [2].

This problem does not make development of non-monetary motivation system in an organization impossible, so let us consider basic rules of developing a non-monetary motivation system.

Non-monetary motivation system should be more excessive and diverse than material motivation. It is important not only to use various ways of motivation but do it, considering the motivational profile of the person to be motivated. As all of us have different needs, motivation “tools” will depend upon the state of the object of motivation [3]. The proposed system of non-monetary motivation has been developed to increase work productivity, attraction and keeping competent workers, avoidance of internal conflicts and social tension. Moreover, it implies establishing effective interaction between departments of an organization.

The system is based upon the following principles:

1) good organization (well-established work with auxiliaries and departments, i.e. work of the HR-department with other structural parts of the organization);

2) dynamism (the system is not static; it works in different situations when stimulation “in advance” or after some achievement is required, it presupposes a set of rewards which should be developed with consideration of the employees’ personality characteristic features, awareness of degree of a reward impact on employees with different motivation types and corporation peculiarities);

3) realistic character (incorrespon-dence of motivation “tools” to the environment in exact structural departments);

4) consistency, integrity.

Motivation as a continuous process is a cycle which includes the following stages:

1) Planning, a stage of designing methods, techniques and activities of non-monetary motivation of the personnel;

2) Implementation of the plan;

3) Coordinated actions, monitoring;

4) Analysis stage, when the impact of motivation “tools” on the employees and their reaction are analyzed.

Choosing non-monetary motivation techniques and monitoring the efficiency of the proposed system, one should take into consideration factors which can affect this system of personnel motivation.

1) Breach of the unpublished contract. When a person is being employed he and the company “bargain” that the person’s free time, energy and intellectual abilities are exchanged for certain material remuneration, the possibility to realize his personal motives and some “environment”. Personal motives can widely range from the possibility to come somewhere every day and socialize to work and see the results of one’s work. However, the real “environment” in which a person will have to work is not much discussed, as the people who are being employed are intimidated and do not ask questions and HR managers keep “commercial secrets” or make the candidate see the employer company “through rose-colored spectacles”. As a result, a new employee has overrated expectations, which cannot be met as the state of things in the organization/ enterprise is different;

2) Not using the skills of an employer which he himself values. Even the best candidate for a position may not have some skills or he is not skilled enough, but he may have some other skills not mentioned in the vacancy description. That is why, an organization/ enterprise almost always teaches newcomers something (directly or indirectly, i.e. “in process”), putting aside the skills that are not used. In the course of time such indiscreet neglecting of such skills may result in serious de-motivation if among them are skills valuable for the employee;

3) Ignoring ideas and initiative. Starting a new job, people tend to “splash about” with new ideas – from improving work to moving furniture in the office and providing a favorable impression on the customer. And these ideas are turned down – partly, because they do not trust newcomers, partly, because they do not want to change their routine work even if it is not effective;

4) Lack of the “being part of the company” feeling. This demotivator is more frequent in freelance employees and the assisting personnel. Such employees often have a sensation that for the managers they are “second class” people who work for the organization/ enterprise only for money;

5) Lack of the feeling of accomplishment, when results are not seen, there is no professional and personal advancement.

If the specificity of work does not give a chance to develop and achieve results, in some time the routine monotonous work will destroy internal motivation in the majority of employees, even in those, who do not like diversity. Pondering over the years spent in the organization/ enterprise an employee will understand that has got nothing but salary, given in time. Authors suffer from lack of interesting challenging work most of all.

In some other cases it is work done in such a way that its results are seen only after a long period of time that is a demotivator. Some years may pass till an employee sees the results of his work. Not every person has enough patience and persistence to work for such a long period of time without seeing results. People may quit halfway.

6) Lack of acknowledgement of achievements and results from the management and colleagues. It can reveal itself when an employee manages to negotiate a contract which is very beneficial for the company, but no one in the organization/ enterprise acknowledges it, taking it for granted. It may be connected with the organization’s/ enterprise’s practice of not speaking about one’s own achievements or mark out an employee, or with the management’s establishing too high standards of assessment the results of the personnel’s work.

7) Lack of changes in an employee’s position. Structural limitations are the most frequent cause of slow career development or its absence, exactly, the change of an employee’s status in the company, which will give him power, enable him to settle new tasks and grow. The subjectivity of the management while making a decision about promotion is a demotivating factor. Imagine the reaction of an employee who has had a position for quite a time and “has grown” out of it when he learns that somebody else is promoted to a vacant position [4].

The above-mentioned non-monetary motivation system was tested at an industrial enterprise. After analysis of the personnel response on this or that motivation tool, motivation tools were either improved or changed. To do it we took into consideration the fact that the non-monetary motivation system is based upon three levels:

1) The basic level which is determined by the general desire of an employee in his job, satisfaction of his basic needs including personal safety. This level is characteristic of the majority of employees;

2) The level of the employee is characterized by his interest in production figures, responsibility and initiative;

3) The level of personal abilities is characterized by realization of a person’s potential, innovation, creativity, level of motivation control.

Besides, we have singled out factors causing slow down of an employee’s performance at all the above-mentioned levels. On the basic level we can note the following factors:

1) uncomfortable working conditions (poor light, lack of work clothes, humid /dry air, harmful working conditions, bad nutrition, etc.);

2) lack of information about the company’s achievements;

3) lack of significant punishment for breach of work discipline and order;

4) lack of information about current events and the personnel management policy (no assuredness of one’s personal safety, lowering of one’s interest in his work, low/no results of the working activity (no move up the career ladder).

To avoid negative performance of an organization’s/ enterprise’s workers it is necessary to motivate the employees on the basic level, on which we singled out the following motivation tools:

1) Creation of good working conditions (hygiene and sanitary conditions, safety measures, nutrition, work clothes, rest, working hours, etc.);

2) Presentations and activities aimed at the demonstration of the organization’s/enterprise’s achievements;

3) Notes of thanks for the achievements of employees sent to their families;

4) Information about employees’ achievements (punishments) on information stands;

5) sanatorium vouchers (rest, treatment);

6) Company’s system of interaction of the organization’s/ enterprise’s employees (information about the organization’s activities, events, achievements of other departments, boxes of suggestions and questions whish are publicly answered).

As a result of implementation of these motivation tools we expect increase of employees’ interest in their jobs and the work done, of employees’ enthusiasm and their feeling of significance as workers of the organization.

After implementation of each motivation tool monitoring of its efficiency and the employees’ response on the activities is done which enables one to estimate the efficiency of each motivation tool.

Among factors decreasing an employee’s motivation to do his job responsibilities at the organization human resources’ level we single out:

- lack of confidence in the stability and development of an organization/ enterprise;

- lack of professional advancement opportunity;

- employees’ confidence in lack of punishment for low quality of their performance;

- low level of personal responsibility before the organization and colleagues;

- devotion to the organization/ enterprise (division: “mine”/ “not mine).

Let us consider motivation at the level of an employee, i.e. his interest in his personal contribution to increasing production figures. The motivation tools at the employee’s level are:

1) transfer of authority (both during promotion to some position and dismissal); status increasing, status rewards (both on the level of an employee’s significance for the organization/ enterprise and in his position, e.g. the “best locksmith nomination”, “breastplates”, i.e. everything connected with production, specification figures, etc.; temporary practical training on a higher position) ))

2) At the organization level – stability and rise of the organization/enterprise profit (an employee’s responsible work, their high performance, matching his personal goals with those of the organization/enterprise should be shown in information sheets where the contribution of an employee/ group of employees to the development/ rise of the organization/enterprise profit is given.

Implementation of the above-mentioned tools results in increase of labor discipline, interest in productivity, initiative of an employee.

Besides, to develop and, if it is necessary, to improve the held activities, their monitoring is done.

We would like to note some factors which reduce motivation at the personal level:

1) conflicts caused by underestimation of employees by the management;

2) lack of opportunity for an employee to use his knowledge and skills;

3) lack of desire in employees to further improve their professional skills and get new information;

4) frequent breach of labor discipline;

5) feeling that you are not understood, underestimated, insignificant;

6) low activity in solving problems on one’s own, in prompt actions, low level of responsibility, aggression both towards colleagues and other employees.

To increase motivation or prevent factors reducing it, we suggest the following influence of motivating employees on the personal abilities level. Motivation tools on this level are:

1) Òraining (personal development and professional advancement), corporate events

2) Appreciation of an employee by the management (at the corporate meeting));

3) Appraisal of work groups;

4) Competition of departments in the “best work group” nomination, the “innovative work group” nomination, etc.

5) Practical training for employees to see possibilities of their professional development;

6) Involvement employees in work of groups dealing with solution of problems.

Like with other motivation levels the monitoring of the obtained results is done.

Now let us consider the way the non-monetary motivation system works.

Based on the monitoring of the motivation peculiarities of the personnel, done by the HR department, before implementation of a motivation tool, at each level tools and activities which will motivate personnel in their professional activity are defined. After that heads of departments of an organization/enterprise individually and in group are acquainted with the inventory of the tools, their possibilities and limitations, are trained in using techniques and ways of motivating the personnel at different levels of personnel management as motivation should be done by the management or heads of the departments where these motivation tools are to be implemented. Further work is done by heads of the departments which spread the information and directions on use of the motivation tools to their middle managers, to those, who directly interact with workers of the departments.

The HR-department continually monitors use of motivation tools in order to correct or improve motivation tools, including monitoring of implementation of the motivation system at different management levels and the quality of activities held with the purpose of the personnel motivation.

To monitor the non-monetary motivation system we suggest the following criteria and methods of results assessment:

1) Satisfaction with the working conditions is detected with the help of a special questionnaire;

2) The quality of work is assessed by means of the expert judgment of the consumers of the services provided (with the help of KPI of the key activity indices. KPI is a system used for achieving goals of any business such as attraction and keeping customers (consumers), professional development of the employees, increase of profit and decrease of expenditures);

3) Employees’ readiness to work, which reveals itself in high quality of the given tasks, their timely fulfillment. To assess it, results obtained as a result of the done/ undone tasks and reports are analyzed;

4) Satisfaction with interpersonal relations in the organization/enterprise at different levels is assessed with the help of information boxes, questionnaires, meetings with the personnel, comments of the personnel or some of the employees on the held activities;

5) The personnel initiative is assessed by means of analysis work-improvement suggestions and innovation proposals, i.e. information boxes are used;

6) Labor discipline is studied with the help of documentation analysis (the number of disciplinary penalties, information stands on which information about breach of labor discipline in departments, work groups, etc. is given).

Thus, changing methods and techniques of this motivation type, one can achieve significant growth of working efficiency. Non-monetary motivation is a more flexible and advanced way of influencing personnel of an organization/ enterprise.


1. Ashirov, A.D. (2005). Labor motivation. Moscow: Prospect.

2. Samoukina, N. (2008) Effective personnel motivation at minimal financial expenses. Moscow: Vershina.

3. Author, A.D. (2006) Developing skills of making optimal management decision with the “problem vision” method.// the “Vysshaya Shkola Kazakhstana” international scientific journal: Poisk. Almaty 2

4. Personnel management in the organization…

5. Author, E.V. (2012) The “Feeling a problem” phenomenon in managers ’innovation activity. Ust-Kamenogorsk: S. Amanzholov EKSU Publishing House.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

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