Thanks to the struggling economy, many small business owners are putting a freeze on raises and bonuses. But according to Ed Hess, entrepreneurial expert, and Charles Goetz, a distinguished lecturer in entrepreneurship at Goizueta Business School, Emory University, that makes it all the more critical to show your appreciation in other ways if you want them to stick around for the long haul. Here are eight ways to show your employees your appreciation.
Say “Thank you.” It’s so simple, it almost seems silly to mention it, but just telling your employees “thank you” when they’ve done a great job will go a long way.
Give them inexpensive bonuses. A few great options include a gift certificate to a local restaurant or tickets to a show or ball game. Alternately, consider giving them a Friday afternoon off with pay.
Provide them with free meals. Provide a catered lunch once a month or doughnuts in the morning. Also don’t forget to take advantage of birthdays and anniversaries.
Award them. Come up with a way to award great work at your business. It is a fun way to show your employees that you value their hard work.
Write them a thank-you note. Let the note be a nice surprise for them by putting it in their mailbox at work or by mailing it to their home. And make it specific: “Thank you for staying late last Thursday to help clean the treatment rooms.”
Help them improve themselves. You can do this by paying for them to attend a class to learn a new technique or service.
Help them get healthy. Providing your employees with a gym membership can have multiple benefits.
Ask them what they’d like to improve about the business. It will make them feel like they have some ownership in your company—plus, it can be hard for an employee to leave when he feels that he has helped build your company into the great business it is.