This year’s Employee Appreciation Day will take place on March 2. Do your employees feel appreciated? As it turns out, most small business employees do feel appreciated. According to a 2017 study by Aflac, 84 percent of small business employees say they are happy with their current job. More than two-thirds – 67 percent – of small business employees report that feeling appreciated is a benefit to working for a small business.
It’s common sense that high morale among employees means more productive work days and more pleasant customer service, two keys to small business success. But it’s not just about your business’s bottom line: High employee morale signals that employees feel happy and successful, which can foster a more positive environment within your organization. To keep up morale, show employees you care about the work they do.
Celebrate Their Successes
Your employees’ successes are your business’ successes. Celebrate their jobs well done in a monthly meeting or with a token of your appreciation. A coupon or gift card should do the trick.
Shout Them Out
Take your celebration of their success to the public. A quick shout-out on your business’ social media pages shows your employees that their work doesn’t go unnoticed. Social media shout-outs also give your fans a chance to get to know the people who serve them in your store or office.
Welcome and Farewell Them
Employees will come and go, but you can make sure they feel valued at every step of the way. When a new team member joins your organization, host a lunch or coffee break in order to welcome him or her. When an employee leaves the nest, part ways with a kind word in front of the team and a memento, such as a photo or a card.
While they’re on your team, give employees a reason to stay. Similar to a customer loyalty program, an employee loyalty program may feature incentives like an in-store discount, extra vacation time or a cash bonus. After all, it may be cheaper and more efficient to retain employees than to hire new ones.
Treat Them to Lunch
Treating your employees to a catered lunch gives them more than a free meal. It’s an opportunity to pick their boss’s brain, get to know each other and feel more comfortable in their work environment. Small businesses who eat together succeed together.
Host Their Families
These days, many businesses give employees the benefit of a flexible work schedule that allows them to spend more time with their loved ones. If you can’t offer them more time at home, let employees bring their loved ones to the office. “Bring Your Son/Daughter/Pet to Work Day” could break up the monotony of a busy week.
Invest in Health and Wellness
Surely, your business runs more smoothly when your employees are happy and healthy. Help employees make healthy choices and allow them to prioritize their well-being. You can stock the break room with healthy snacks, start an employee walking or jogging club or treat employees to a gym membership.
Support Their Causes
When it comes time for your next charitable campaign, let employees choose the cause. During the holiday giving season, offer to match your employees’ donations to local non-profits. Taking an interest in employees’ favorite causes shows them that you care and helps you get to know them better.
Provide Opportunities for Professional Development
Put your employees’ skills to good use by allowing them to develop new abilities. Set aside a budget for online courses, industry conferences, and skills-based workshops. Then, let employees request funding for the professional development opportunities that appeal to them. Investing in organic intelligence will keep your business and your employees on the cutting edge of your industry.
Take Their Advice
If you’re not sure how to show employees you care, let them tell you. Administer a suggestion box or monthly check-in with your employees to hear their ideas for improvement. Once you hear what they have to say, take their advice to heart and implement what you can. That way, they’ll see that you take their ideas seriously.
In business, the customer is always right. As a small business owner, your employees are always right. Treat your employees with as much attention as your customers, and they’ll return the favor when they work hard for your business.