One way to grow your business, apart from having a great product or service, is to have employees who love working for you. While you might not be able to offer the same benefits package as most large corporations, there are more slick ways you can go about seeking your employees’ favor without breaking into the budget. Here are my thoughts on a few suggestions from Megan Totka:
Offering your employees the chance to work on their own schedules is a great perk for those who would prefer to get to work early or sleep in late. Not only do some people function better with a regular sleep pattern, but they will thank you for their ability to skip the 9 am and 5 pm traffic jams if your business is located downtown in a big commuter city.
It may be that you require your employees to be in the office for certain periods of time on certain days of the week: from 12-3 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, for example. But this does not mean that you can’t offer them the flexibility to come and go as they please as long as they put in the time to get their work done. You might even allow them to work from home if their job enables them to telecommute. Flexibility is a great way to increase employee loyalty.
Sometimes the stress of working long days at a small business can take its toll on the physical and mental health of your employees. If this has ever been a concern of yours or if you want to allow your employees the chance to relax at the end of a busy business cycle, try bringing in a masseuse to the office one afternoon per month or offering to pay for yoga classes for a period of time. Maybe if there’s a free room in the office, you can consider setting up comfortable furniture and exercise mats to serve as a sort of employee break room during the day. A bit of rest and relaxation could be just what your employees need for an energy boost in the middle of a busy week.
One thing that annoys me about office work is when you have to abide by a strict dress code. Loosening up the rules on dress can be a great way to allow some creativity in the office and promote a generally more relaxed work environment. For some people, there may be no more comfortable way to work than in jeans and a comfortable shirt. Others might feel more confident when dressed business casual, but that should be a choice not a requirement. Of course, there will be occasions when a dress code is necessary for a meeting or other client interaction. But in general, allow employees to dress down, and they will be grateful for the freedom.
Show Your Appreciation
Sometimes employees work so hard that they never stop to think about receiving any gratitude. But oftentimes that’s not the case, and a little appreciation can go a long way to show your employees that you acknowledge the work that they’re doing. Even if you don’t have the budget for a monetary award, maybe offer something simple like a certificate to acknowledge them as employee of the month. Other times, a simple gesture is better and a mere “thank you” is all an employee needs to keep up the great work.