The pressures of tighter labour market conditions in the information technology (IT) industry in particular and the resultant challenge of recruiting, retaining and motivating valuable staff without substantially increasing pay levels have led to a renewed interest in nonfinancial recognition initiatives. This research investigated employees' preferences regarding a formal company nonfinancial recognition scheme in an IT organisational context. A sample of 758 employees from a large South African IT company participated. The Nonfinancial Initiatives Inventory was applied to achieve the objectives of the study. The findings revealed that participants from various sociodemographic groups differ significantly regarding the value they attach to the criteria associated with an effective formal company recognition scheme and the types of recognition incentives they prefer. The practical value of the results of this study lies in the design of a more effective reward and recognition incentive strategy for IT personnel and the possible retention of valuable staff within the IT environment.