As today’s business sector continues to thrive with more and more job opportunities, it’s more important than ever for businesses to keep their employees happy. Hey, if these workers work hard but feel underappreciated, they might jump ship and elect to work for your competitor — and who would blame them?
While it’s true most businesses can’t compete with the incentive packages and year-end bonuses offered by Silicon Valley tech giants, business owners can reward their employees in several very affordable ways. From providing flexible schedules to offering free or discounted gym memberships, here’s how to reward your employees while staying in the black.
1. Flexible Schedules
It’s not all work and no play. Indeed, many employees may take the day or afternoon off to watch their child’s piano recital or baseball game. With that in mind, let them decide how to make up those missed hours with a flexible work schedule. Allowing workers to balance personal obligations while still getting stuff done at work is a total win-win scenario. Ultimately, offering greater flexibility equals happier and more productive employees.
2. Extra Vacation Days
Money isn’t everything. In today’s economy, many job seekers would consider taking a lower-paying job if it offered more vacation days. And if workers factor vacation days into job decisions, offering more vacation time to current employees could yield significant returns in terms of retaining top talent. Plus, employees will be happier and more productive after taking some much needed R&R.
3. Cell Phone Allowance
Providing your workforce with new cell phones is a tremendous benefit, as it allows employees to communicate with customers, clients and fellow colleagues without the worry of incurring overage charges on their own phone plans. Plus, this type of reward is surprisingly affordable. For example, purchasing the iPhone 8 from certain providers will run you only $30 per month under a two-year contract.
4. Better Office
It’s no secret that a well-designed office positively influences employee health, wellness, satisfaction and work performance. But while you may not be able to afford a complete office redesign, consider offering some of your shining stars an office with a view. Or, rearrange workstations to maximize privacy. A “new office” could even be achieved by applying a new coat of paint and installing new light fixtures over workstations.
5. Work Remotely
You don’t have to be Google to offer great or even over-the-top employee benefits. Instead, implementing one or more telecommuting days per week not only provides more freedom and flexibility for your employees, but also helps to keep down your overall utility costs. Plus, employees who are able to work from home tend to be more satisfied and productive in their jobs. Hello, pajamas and basketball shorts.
6. Employee Recognition
Recognizing and praising the hard work of your employees doesn’t go unnoticed. Beyond incentivizing others to perform at higher levels, it allows those who are recognized to feel more appreciated and loyal. Plus, offering praise is completely free to employers. With that in mind, give your employees a shout-out in front of the whole team or in a group email. Or, better yet, endorse their skills and aptitude on LinkedIn, so their entire network can acknowledge their accomplishments.
Your Level of Sincerity is Always Showing
Forget about a fat holiday bonus or vacation getaway in the Bahamas. No matter the size of your business or the amount of revenue you generate annually, employees of all stripes will come to feel appreciated if you make a concerted effort to recognize them. From offering telecommuting days and flexible schedules to holding employee recognition events, the options are truly endless. Just be sincere and committed to the cause.