A valid quote that I've heard many times is... It is cheaper to keep your employees happy than to hire and train new ones. It costs a great deal to advertise, interview, train, and equip new employees. It also takes a great deal of time to start from scratch, so how do we appreciate the ones we have?
I had many years of experience in the corporate world before I became an entrepreneur. I have mixed memories of appreciation that I have received over the years. From simple things like a thank you from a manager to pay raises are some of the things I remember receiving. The most important things I've learned are:
Simple words go a long way:
A free and easy way to show appreciation is to thank employees with words. I'm sure there are many words of thanks you could use, but no matter the words used the result is the same. Employees feel special when they are appreciated, which leads to a better attitude as well as enhanced performance. Try these simple phrases:
1. Great job!
2. We couldn't have done it without you!
3. We appreciate your hard work!
4. Your effort is never taken for granted!
Gifts of appreciation:
1. Employee birthday gifts. Typically, I will do a $50 bonus check or a Starbucks gift card each year to honor birthdays. Not only is the employee happy, but having this type of program in place acts as a reminder that no one is forgotten for their special day.
2. Yearly appreciation for a job well done. After all, without them would you have been able to accomplish your goals? Based on the ability of the company, this can be whatever you want it to be or are capable of providing.
3. Simple gifts for holidays. I make small gifts for all the major holidays with notes that say "Thank you", "I appreciate you", etc. Use your imagination to find cute ideas that will really show your thanks.
4. If you work in an office together, try providing breakfast or lunch to celebrate reaching goals together. This is a special treat for everyone.
Always be there:
The open door policy only works if the employee knows that you mean it. Make sure they know you are available to talk and can be open to sympathizing with their concerns. It is very important to make employees feel comforted and appreciated, otherwise they will be unhappy and eventually use their skills to build someone else's company.
However you decide to show your appreciation, remember your employees are the ones that work everyday to provide you with the opportunity to have a business. No matter how wonderful an entrepreneur you are, no one can succeed completely alone. So make sure to keep employees happy to not only fuel their success, but also your own.