So you have a few employees and cash flow is on the up swing, but not quite enough for you to splurge and give each of them money as a holiday gift. But you want to do something. What are your options?
Although money is a good motivator, it’s short term — here and gone, and forgotten easily. Think bigger to get some long lasting bang in terms of employee loyalty out of that holiday gift. Here are some of your options according to Steve Strauss at NFIB
Show your appreciation: Thanking employees for a job well done is simple, yet so effective, especially this time of year. Thank-yous can take many forms. It could consist of a call from the president, a special parking spot for a week, a night out with your team, increased territory, a massage and facial or a round of golf. FedEx inscribes the names of special employees´ children on the nose of new planes to thank employees for a job well done. How often do you see an "Employee of the Month" plaque?
Recognize employees: Letting everyone else know that someone did a great job is usually much appreciated. According to a survey by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 68 percent of employees said that being appreciated was important to their job satisfaction. At Blanchard Training in Escondido, Calif., praise from customers or managers are reprinted in the company newsletter. What about sending a press release of an employee´s accomplishment to your trade journal? That published article would make a great holiday present.
Ask for input: Listening to employee ideas and utilizing them makes people feel like they´re part of a team and that what they say makes a difference. At Grumman Corporation in New York, employees whose suggestions are implemented get gift certificates. Fel-Pro out of Skokie, Ill., has a yearly drawing for $1,000 for employees who participated in the employee suggestion program. Start a holiday suggestion box and give something special to the employee who offers the best suggestion before the New Year.
Offer freebies You can give employees an afternoon off, a gift certificate to a favorite local department store or tickets to a game. None of these are expensive, but they do convey thanks for a job well done, and they will be appreciated. At H.B. Fuller Company in St. Paul, Minn., employees get a paid day off on their birthday. Mary Kay Cosmetics gives the birthday girl a lunch voucher for two. You can do the same this time of year.
Make your workplace special: What about having a massage therapist come by the week before Christmas for a complimentary 15-minute back massage at employees´ desks when everyone is a bit crazed and trying to get their job and their holiday shopping done? What about an in-house Yoga class that week? Have a great holiday party or dinner out together. Throw a holiday party for employees´ children. Again, none of these ideas cost a lot, but they would all be appreciated.
Be creative. Take suggestions. Employees are much more motivated when they enjoy their workplace, and they will notice when you show your appreciation this time of year. A few thanks can reap tremendous rewards.
That should get you thinking about your options. What do you think? Do you have another suggestion for holiday rewards? Leave me a comment.