As an employer, you know better than anyone the most vital part of your business. It is not your product or profit, but your employees. At the end of the day, the quality of your product or service and the size of your profit correlate directly with the morale of your employees. However, if you grant your employees every conceivable amenity, you’ll end up spending so much money that your employees will never be able to make up the deficit. It doesn’t matter how happy you’ve made them.
With that in mind, it becomes important to strike a good balance between treating your employees and giving them the respect they deserve, and avoiding bankrupting yourself in the attempt. If that idea makes you feel a little like a tightrope walker suspended hundreds of feet above Times Square, you’re not alone. Striking this balance can be daunting, but it is absolutely necessary for developing a strong and productive workforce.
Here are some tips for keeping your employees happy and effective:
1. Employee Appreciation Day
This is a staple in employer/employee relations. Whether it’s a big production with speeches and music or just cookies in the break room, this employee-appreciation strategy is an oldie but goodie. However, it’s not an option without risk. Most people who have spent enough time in the workforce have become cynical enough to write off Employee Recognition Day as an empty gesture. However, if you employ the other tips in this guide and make a genuine attempt to show your employees you care for them, your employees will look forward to Employee Recognition Day every year.
2. Bottomless Free Coffee
They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. This is only partly true. The saying should be “the quickest way to anyone’s heart is through their coffee mug.”
Bottomless free coffee is an especially effective and surprisingly cheap option. This is especially true if you run a distribution center where a lot of people are working long (10-12 hour) shifts. Employees being drowsy on the job not only affects productivity and morale, but can also be an impediment to safety. By offering free, bottomless coffee to your employees you’ll not only have a safer, happier workforce, but a much more energetic one, too.
3. Vending Machines
Packing a lunch every morning can be a drain on an employee’s time in the morning, making them late and hurting your productivity. To remedy this problem, consider installing a few vending machines in your business. Employees will appreciate the chance to grab a bite at work. And leaving the machines open to the public will also serve as a nice secondary source of revenue.
4. Do the Right Thing
In this day and age, worker’s rights are paramount. This is especially apparent among Millennials who now make up a sizable portion of the workforce. It’s important to recognize that your employees are people, not just numbers on a spreadsheet. When you realize that your employees are just as important as you are, you will always make the best decisions for them.