There are many reasons why you should look after your employees. Perhaps you simply want to show you’re up to date with what’s going on: March is National Employee Appreciation Month after all. You don’t want to let workers think you’re out of touch.
But we have the best reason why it’s wise to show employees you appreciate them—this month and EVERY month: appreciation determines your business success this year.
The Importance of Improving Office Relationships
Have you ever considered that employees are some of your most important assets? For example, they showcase your company when they interact with clients. Their actions determine your public image.
But this asset only works in your favor if your employees act the way you expect them to. And your relationship with them often determines their actions:
- When workers trust you, they’re more loyal to your brand
- Employees who feel appreciated are happier and this can lead to higher productivity.
- Excellent communication prevents misunderstandings and conflicts, resulting in a healthy office environment. This keeps employee turnover rates low because no one wants to leave.
- Sharing personal details makes a work environment seem less clinical. This makes workers more relaxed instead of stressed, which can improve the quality of their work.
So, how skilled are you at building strong relationships between you and your team?
We’re going to show you how to manage one of these aspects more effectively this year: showing your appreciation. And don’t worry, it doesn’t take a fortune to say thank you.
Showing Appreciation—8 Easy and Affordable Ways that are Highly Effective
Make it Public—An Effective Way to Utilize Wall Space
It’s one thing to tell someone thank you during a private meeting, but they’ll feel even more special when it’s made known to the entire company. Get creative and brag about your team by putting up pictures of the employee of the month or sharing photos of team members’ accomplishments.
You can do this digitally too and share this type of news on social media.
Surprise Them—Unexpected Notes are Valued
Move away from technology for a few minutes and create handwritten notes for your employees. Make sure they refer to something specific—not too general—and leave them in their offices when they’re not there. It’s the thoughtfulness of the notes that make people feel that they’re noticed and valued by their superiors.
Be Thoughtful—Upgrade Your Business with THEM in Mind
If your business grows, you’re bound to upgrade your equipment or office furniture. When this happens, don’t simply think of aesthetics to impress visiting clients. Think about how renovations can benefit your team:
- Purchase chairs that provide lumbar support.
- Add a kitchen to the plans, for employees’ lunch breaks.
- Discuss whether employees would prefer standing desks to sitting down all day.
- Ensure there’s appropriate lighting for each individual.
Creating an office that empowers your team proves that you value their roles in your business.
Look After Basic Needs—Stock the Kitchen
Once you have a kitchen, it will serve office morale well to add a few items to the cupboard and fridge. On a tight budget you can’t afford to buy employees lunch every day, but at least make sure they have the basics to make coffee or tea during their break times.
Get Personal—Celebrate so Everyone Knows
A focus of improving relationships in the office is to transform a clinical environment into a welcoming one. You can prove that you value each person and make them feel more familiar with you—and each other—by publicly sharing & celebrating personal milestones:
- A child’s birth
- Obtaining a degree
Your team will know that they matter as individuals, not only because they’re helping you pursue your dreams.
Respecting Their Views—Allow Flexibility in Work Arrangements
When you appreciate someone, your focus shifts from your own opinions and preferences to theirs. Prove that you can consider someone else’s perspective: when your next employee asks for flexible hours, don’t simply dismiss the request.
Your employee may have valid reasons for the request, such as trying to avoid traffic or having family responsibilities that are difficult to manage between normal office hours.
Allow it on a trial basis and compare productivity rates. You’re bound to be surprised by the positive results of remote working and being more flexible about work hours.
Small Sacrifices go a Long Way—Give Them a Day Off
Yes, every minute your team isn’t working affects your bottom line. But if you don’t have the funds to buy them a token of appreciation, it’s time to get creative: give them time off. If you can’t afford to close the office for an entire day, let team members take off on different days, or simply let them go home early on a Friday.
By saying thanks, you’re nurturing your team’s attitude towards your brand, and that also affects your profits each month. So, view the dollars you sacrifice with loss of productivity, as an investment in your team and your business.
Listen to Them—Implement Their Ideas
Even in your regular office routine you can show appreciation without spending money or taking up valuable time: simply listen to your employees’ input.
When you’re consumed with work responsibilities, many business owners tend to follow their thoughts. Perhaps you don’t trust others’ skills yet, or you feel too busy to consider others’ input first. But by not trusting others’ suggestions you’re indirectly telling them their opinions are worthless. They’ll feel ignored and not much appreciated.
Rather make a conscious decision to consider others’ feedback and ideas. They may not always know how to help you make big decisions, but perhaps they have dynamic ideas about improving office dynamics or customer service.
Also, if employees make requests to improve their work environments, don’t ignore or postpone taking action. Prove your appreciation and reward hard work by meeting their needs.
See? Even while you’re still building your company and you don’t have much capital, you can still act in a manner befitting an established business owner: treat your employees like the assets they are.
And remember, your team determines your success, so looking after them is looking after yourself.
If you have more creative ideas others can use, please share them with us!