5 Ways to Satisfiy Employees on the Cheap

Sometimes it is just the simple things that make work nicer.
Sometimes it is just the simple things that make work nicer.

Today’s post is brought to you by my friends at SocialMonsters.org. None of these tips are groundbreaking but it never hurts to have a reminder of the easy stuff every once in awhile. 
Keeping your staff satisfied with their jobs is vital to the continued success of your business, but you may not be sure what you can do without dropping tons of money. Morale boosters are some of the greatest tools a business owner or manager has to work with, and fortunately, they don’t have to be expensive — and while you’re rewarding your team, your business is rewarded in return.

Decorate their work space

Choose a fun theme like “flower power” or “zombies” and encourage your employees to decorate their desks for the week. In addition to brainstorming ways to make their desks amazing, it can also be an engaging (yet friendly) competition to see who comes up with the best ideas. For printable photos that match your theme, simply browse the Internet. Stock photo sites have millions of images in their databases.

Hand write thank-you notes

Sure, dashing off a quick email to an employee who has done a great job is easy and affordable, but if you have a stack of ready-to-go blank notes that can be filled out when gratitude calls, it can go a very long way. It’s important to show your employees that you care and that you know they’re not just a cog in the business machine. Consider giving them a shout-out on Twitter after you give them your note — that public appreciation can go a long way. There are a ton of different styles out there, but a quick glance through Amazon shows plenty of variety for as little as $10 for 36 cards, and it doesn’t take much time to fill them out.

Take your team out to lunch

Once a month, take the group out for lunch on your dime. Going to a pizza joint is cost-effective (or hit up a buffet) and it won’t take up any more employee hours than a regular lunch break. However, the benefits are far greater. It will allow your team to let loose and connect in a non-work environment, which will absolutely build a positive foundation of good feelings that will spill over into the average workday. If going out is difficult or prohibitive, bring lunch delivered to the office.

Let them eat chocolate

Instead of going with a traditional candy dish in the break room, give each member of your team their own little stash of chocolate (keeping potential food allergies in mind) they can enjoy as they work. A bag of Dove chocolates can cost as little as $3 and you can pick some up during your regular grocery shopping time. These little tokens of chocolate appreciation will go a long way.

Give them a slack-off hour

In addition to regular break time and lunches, award your staff with an hour of time where they can simply do what they want. It won’t cut terribly into your bottom line, and is an amazing reward for being a valuable part of your team. Having an extra hour to goof off on Facebook, take a walk, enjoy an extra-long lunch or leave early will not only give your employees something to look forward to but will increase their motivation as well.

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