Does this look familiar? Whether your business is run by five employees, or five-thousand, every business owner knows that a good staff is not only hard to find, but, it is essential to keep, in order to maintain your customer-base, and keep your business flourishing.
In today’s workforce, people are spending more time at work than ever before. As the expectation for longer workdays become common practice, we, as business owners, have been faced with the ever-increasing need to build morale within our companies. To some this may seem like a frivolous business expense, but studies have shown workers who are rewarded and acknowledged beyond their weekly paycheck do, indeed, work harder.
It’s no big secret that deep-down we all enjoy praise of one type or another. The issue we face, however, is how do we do this without taking away from the productivity of a workday. With a little creative thinking, you will find that not only is this doable with very little time taken from the day, but, your employees will work faster and harder for you in exchange for your efforts.
The first thing you need to do is think about a budget. Though it’s always nice to be able to raffle-off a 52″ HD television, it is not within all of our means to do so. This is where the creative thinking comes in. Though you may not have a budget of thousands of dollars- how about a gift card to a restaurant, tickets to a movie or even a comedy show? All of these things can be obtained for less than $50, and the benefits you will reap as their employer will come back to you at a rate much higher than “two-fold.”
Other things you may consider are:
- On a slow day, hand out raffle tickets for the rest of the day off with pay. Essentially, this doesn’t cost you anything more than you were going to pay-out in expenses, as you were going to pay them for the day anyway- and who doesn’t want to leave early on a nice day to grab an iced coffee and relax a bit?
- Believe it or not, people love swag. Hand out hats, t-shirts, tote bags, or other merchandise with the company name and logo on them. They get a gift, you get advertising, and it’s not a bad way for people to show pride for the company they are working for. A word of caution: Don’t make those the only things you hand out. My former employer handed out decks of playing cards- which were great, until it became laughable the eighth time I received a pack for my five-year employment with the company.
- Cater a lunch, or offer a pot luck giving people a little extra time on their breaks. This gives them time to enjoy something different than their cafeteria and brown bag lunches, and more time to spend with their colleagues.
- Birthday cakes- Once a month celebrate those who celebrate their birthday during that month. I still like offering birthdays as paid days off, as part of their benefits package.
As you can see, boosting morale can be very simple, and inexpensive. The important part is letting the people you rely on the most know that with your reliance comes respect for all they do. Always remember that respect is earned, and not blindly given.