Keeping employees happy doesn't require a huge budget or expensive gestures. Instead, one expert says that small, simple and repeated gestures are much more effective in improving employee morale and happiness.
That is good news for small business owners who often operate on a shoestring budget and are unable to provide the lavish benefits that larger companies can.
"Many small companies often think that a large gym facility at work or reward trips to exotic countries are what create overall employee happiness, but often it is the smaller touches that create a positive and rewarding environment," Heidi Golledge, CareerBliss co-founder and CEO, told BusinessNewsDaily. [Read related article: 10 Secrets Every Boss Should Keep]
To give small businesses some guidance on how they can best reward their employees, Golledge offers the following tips.
1. Reward a job well done.
It does not have to be an extravagant reward, but recognize good work. Perhaps a luncheon for a team that meets its goal, or gift certificates to a local venue for employees who go the extra mile – team-building events even as simple as bowling can be great ways to recognize good work.
2. Create opportunity.
Employees say that providing opportunity to grow is one of the most important factors in overall happiness at work. Do you create an environment that allows employees to grow their careers? Perhaps your administrative assistant has the goal to one day be an office manager — create goals and benchmarks for them to meet and discuss how they can reach their career goals within your company.
3. Have fun.
Employees love a positive work culture. At CareerBliss, we want people to laugh and have fun with what they do each day. Embrace fun holidays at work, create contests between teams — during the holidays we have a sing-off where teams compete by singing holiday songs for prizes. It’s amazing how laughter can truly inspire a team!
4. Foster relationships.
One’s relationship with co-workers is always one of the key factors in employee happiness for some of the largest companies in America. People often love their work because of the people they work with on a daily basis. Small companies can create these types of relationships by offering employees a chance to work with teams, share ideas with co-workers and create a collaborative work environment.
5. Money does not always matter.
Although salary is an important part of work-place happiness it is not the No. 1 driver of overall employee satisfaction. Employees want to feel rewarded and compensated for their work, but more times than not, our CareerBliss data shows, a positive work culture, relationship with one’s co-workers and a fun and rewarding company structure are the most important factors in creating happiness for companies big and small.
6. Foster culture and create programs.
Happiness in the workplace can be achieved for companies of any size! From our research at CareerBliss, we know that what matters most to employees is a positive work culture. By offering employees rewards for great work, fostering relationships that provide for co-workers to feel bonded and giving opportunities for folks to grow within their career are all key to creating happiness at work. Small companies can get big results with simple things such as "MVP of the month," where all employees vote who was their MVP — who went above and beyond that month.