As a small business owner, you understand the role employee appreciation plays in productivity but may not have the funds to offer bonuses or big rewards. But rewarding employees is still important to you. How can you do so on a tight budget? Try these five ways to show how much you appreciate your employees and their efforts.
Use your words. A grand gesture isn’t always necessary. Never underestimate the power of simply saying “thank you” when employees do good work. But don’t just whisper kind words in passing; make a point to stop by employees’ desks to express your gratitude, which helps foster a positive atmosphere around the workplace.
Focus on more than metrics. It’s easy to single out the best salesperson on the team, but it may be harder to identify others who put in extra hours or lent a helping hand to other teammates. The success of the company relies on more than just measurable numbers. Be sure to recognize those who contribute to the business in other ways as well.
Write it down. While you should always jot a quick “thank you” at the bottom of your email requests, that gesture isn’t enough. Make the extra effort to compose a handwritten thank you note. They are becoming more and more rare, and they often make the recipient feel valued.
Make it a regular thing. One employee appreciation lunch per year is not enough to carry your staff through tough months. Recognizing jobs well done should be a constant effort. Thank hardworking employees at staff meetings. Showcase hardworking employees in company newsletters. Take every chance you get to show your appreciation.
Give small gifts. Restaurant gift cards and movie passes can become impersonal and are often forgotten after they’re spent. But gifts come in other forms. If an employee has put in many extra hours to meet a deadline, offer him/her a paid day off after the project is complete. If an employee has gone above and beyond expectations, treat him/her to lunch on the company’s dime. Those small, yet personal monetary gestures mean much more in the long run.
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