10 easy ways to make your employees feel special

April 23, 2015 Uli Aschenbrenner 1 Comment


It’s well known that making your employees feel valued and happy increases productivity and inspiration to grow your business.

The problem is that not all business owners have deep pockets to lavish their employees or attract the best talent (especially when they’re starting out).

Fear not, because we’ve put together a list of ways to show your employees they’re important without breaking your bank:

1. Celebrate with your employees.

While some people will shy away from it, everyone likes to feel important on their birthday. Little gestures can make a big difference, and there are plenty of other celebrations to be had too, like an engagement, marriage, birth of a child or work anniversaries.

Taking 15-30 mins out a month with a cake or some pizza is a small price to pay for the benefit of helping an employee to feel like they matter and the added lift in morale.

2. Train your staff and promote from within.

People want more than just to come into work and do the same tasks year-in, year-out. Training employees helps them to grow and feel like they’re on a career path to promotion. ‘

Not only that, but they’ll have additional skills that they can use to improve your business.

3. Subscription boxes.

Whether it’s a box of fruit or another form of goodies, subscription boxes are a great way to cost effectively add a perk to work.

Just try and include your employees and make sure you get something that they actually want.

4. Work with local retailers to get employee discounts.

Cafes or pubs often make a lot from local businesses in the area. Organising an exclusive employee discount can mean both businesses benefit. The cafe gets repeat business and you get to give employees a perk.

5. Make shift exchanges convenient.

If you didn’t know already, Ento allows you to swap employees shifts. This gives employees a little bit more flexibility when they’ve got something important they need to attend to without feeling stuck to their job.

Autonomy and flexibility in the work environment are proven to increase job satisfaction, so while you’re not missing out on shifts, you’re making your employees happier.

6. Smile.

How management approaches problems and the day reflects on the rest of the staff. Smiling, joking and chatting with employees is an easy way to help them feel a part of a team and valued.

7. Encourage employees to take breaks.

Working flat out might seem like a good idea for your company bank account, but in reality working without breaks is less productive. Even short breaks to grab a coffee or a snack allow employees to recharge their brain and feel appreciated when they’re under the pump to get stuff done.

8. Criticise less.

How managers treat employees makes a significant difference. People who are frequently criticised or don’t get recognition for their work feel unproductive and unwanted in their job. They’re not motivated to do more, and it often turns to them going through the motions, doing the bare minimum and not taking any risks to avoid being criticised.

That doesn’t mean that all criticism is bad, there are some instances when constructive criticism (suggesting what they could have done better next time) is beneficial, however it needs to be delivered carefully.

Motivating employees is better done through inspiration, encouragement and praise.

9. Encourage healthy competition.

A little bit of healthy competition can help to bond team members and strive for a target, whether it’s sales, quality of a project or a deadline. Of course pushing your staff to make more sales will just make them feel manipulated, so try and keep it to something light-hearted and jovial.

If you’ve got a ping pong or foosball table, a leading ladder can be a great way to bring healthy competition to the workplace, without it being about work.

10. Ask employees what they want.

Every employee wants to feel more included in company decisions, even if it’s about them. It might sound like a simple idea, but actually discussing the situation with your employees and asking them for inexpensive ways to make them feel special will go a mile.
If you feel like open suggestions isn’t quite your thing, you can always look into anonymous employee feedback software or the good old fashioned suggestion box.

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