Successful business owners understand that investing in the job satisfaction of their employees is the same thing as investing in their business. When employees feel content at work, they perform better, have less absenteeism and develop a sense of loyalty to the company. What kind of extras does it take to keep employees happy? Obviously, a raise in pay helps, but you can also offer benefits in boosting morale without cutting into your profits.
In a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 59 percent of those who participated reported that they would appreciate a flexible schedule over other perks like academic reimbursement or a company car. Aside from salary increases, a flexible schedule was the main factor survey participants believed would increase employee retention.
Allowing employees to work from home or take an occasional afternoon off makes workers feel like their employer understands the importance of a work-life balance – a perk that’s especially important for parents. Any costs related to a flexible schedule are generally outweighed by the positive benefits of increased productivity and employee retention.
Show you care
To feel valued, employees need to believe you care about them as individuals. As your business grows and you employ more people, the personal touch is more difficult to achieve, but no matter how large the payroll gets there are still several easy and cost-effective actions you can take in boosting morale:
· Keep work areas stocked with personal care products like tissues, hand sanitizer and hand lotion, to show you care about their comfort.
· Offer a holiday bonus. Your employees know that times are tough and the days of giant year-end bonuses are gone for now, but giving even a small amount or a gift card to a popular store may increase loyalty.
· Start a tradition of “Doughnut Mondays” or “Pizza Fridays.” A free meal makes everyone feel more collegial and is a great way for the boss to collectively thank employees she may not see on a regular basis.
· Offer a free gym membership to your employees and encourage them to use it. Physical activity is good for peoples’ mood and makes employees healthier and less likely to miss work. Post sign-up sheets for work-out buddies in the break room and lead by example.
· Allow your employees to take an extra 10-minute break “off the clock” each day. Set up a ping-pong table, a social media center where workers can check their personal email or Facebook or designate a “quiet room” where employees can go to meditate for a few moments. A mere 10 minutes of change in activity can recharge the brain and help employees focus on difficult tasks
· Send greeting cards. In this era of electronic communication, sending a traditional paper card is something of a grand gesture. Remember employees on their birthdays or work anniversaries.
Implementing at least a few of these ideas can go a long way to increasing employee satisfaction and increasing revenue. Workers have different expectations of their jobs than they once did; today few people are willing to stay with one employer just for the sake of stability. Show employees you care about their well-being, and you will be rewarded in terms of better retention and productivity.