by Art Piccio . September 19th, 2014
Recognizing employees who perform well is a basic part not just of management, but of leadership.
Unfortunately, few of us can afford to give away gift cards or paid vacations for every good deed. This is especially true if you find yourself in a position where cash flow can be a problem – which is something nearly all business owners are familiar with.
Of course, there’s very little chance you mistreat your team in the way a typical 17th century sea captain would have. But no one wants to feel like they don’t matter. Even if you do know what their suggestions or problems are, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they know you do. Even just by repeating their concerns to them at a later time can go a long way towards building their trust. Better if you ask questions to clarify concerns.
Y’know. LISTEN for a change.
Of course, even better is taking action on the more reasonable suggestions.
In a lot of cases this will cost you nothing. Depending on your industry, you could even offer a performance-based schedule, where employees are allowed to leave early upon reaching a realistic quota, or if significant downtime is expected. In some cases, it might even save your employees commute time, which can reduce stress and help them be more productive.
But if you could relax the dress code so that they can be comfy and remain professional-looking within an industry or field, then by all means go for it. A relaxed dress code can also be a turn-on for many younger applicants who might find strict dress codes oppressive.
Inviting your team out for a beer (if they’re fine with it), movie, coffee, or whatever else everyone can enjoy after work might be a better – not to mention cheaper – way of building a healthy working relationship. If things work out great, this little outing can become a regular tradition.
What other money-saving morale tips can you share?
Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.