With Valentine’s Day around the corner, thoughts turn to love. But love isn’t just about romantic relationships. For entrepreneurs, now’s a great time (really, anytime is a great time) to love and appreciate your employees. Here are a few suggestions for showing how grateful you are to your team for all their hard work in your small business.
Tip 1: Say Thank You
You might be so busy and stressed that you don’t often take the time to simply say “thank you” when an employee delivers an assignment, (especially if they over deliver). Get into the habit. It takes half a breath, so there’s no excuse why you can’t show your appreciation every day to each person who works for you.
Tip 2: Get to Know Them
Do you know the names of your employees’ spouses or kids? Keep up with their hobbies and interests? While you don’t have to be BFFs with your team, you should show a healthy interest in their lives. Doing so can make them feel like a part of the work family, and they may be less likely to seek other job opportunities. Keeping employees happy can lead to lower turnover.
Tip 3: Do Something Nice
A gesture, big or small, can go a long way to showing your staff that you care. You could hire a massage therapist to come in and treat everyone to some stress relief, take your team to a midday movie matinee, or give everyone an extra vacation day. These gestures don’t necessarily have to cost money to get the point across that you appreciate your team.
Tip 4: Make a Fuss Over Birthdays
Most people like being pampered and getting attention for their birthdays. Institute an office policy to have some sort of celebration for every birthday. But don’t settle for the once-a-month birthday cake in the breakroom that many companies do. Some people wouldn’t welcome a sugary treat if they’re trying to watch their weight. Perhaps you can take the birthday girl or boy out for a meal or give them a gift card.
Tip 5: Send a Warm Fuzzy
Remember as a kid how your teacher would give warm fuzzies to children who paid attention in class? The grown-up version of this is sending a notecard personally thanking an employee for a particularly well-done job. You’d be amazed what a little praise can do. Everyone loves feeling valued.
Tip 6: Offer Career Advancement
Sure, you’d love for every employee to stay in their current position until the end of time, but you need to recognize that people have career goals, and that means moving up. If you have room in your company for people to climb the ranks, encourage and help them to do so. If you know an employee is looking to make a move into another industry, do your best to help if you have contacts there.
Tip 7: Provide Education Assistance
Another way to help with employees’ career advancement is to offer education help. That might come as tuition reimbursement so staff can seek higher degrees, training programs to develop new skills or an educational library where staff can borrow books to sharpen their skills.
Tip 8: Write a LinkedIn Recommendation
LinkedIn is the biggest career tool for your team, so help each employee out by writing a glowing recommendation on their profiles.
Continually showing appreciation to each and every employee is the best way to make them want to work harder for you.