Showing appreciation for your employees

After creating your business, many entrepreneurs are constantly preoccupied with finding ways to target both new and existing customers to build their business. But sometimes improving your firm starts closer to home.

Creating a unique and pleasant work environment for your employees is one way to help build morale and boost productivity, which may result in better results for the company as a whole.

There are many ways small business owners can accomplish this. It can be as simple as allowing employees to work a flexible schedule or have a say in company policies such as dress code. Many small firms also choose to offer their employees other unusual benefits that they may not get if they were to work at a larger business such as free gym memberships, paid volunteering opportunities and monthly cookouts with prizes.

Showing your employees appreciation on a consistent basis can result in an improved morale that can benefit a business' bottom line. And while some business owners do this on a more regular basis, others wait until the end of the year to either throw a party for their workers or give them end-of-the-year gifts.

Entrepreneurs and business managers should know that now is the time to start planning a year-end celebration or make plans to purchase gifts for employees.

However, a recent survey conducted by global incentives company Parago revealed that employers don't have to spend a lot to make an impression on their workers.

It found that 61 percent of the employees polled said a $25 prepaid card would meet their expectations this holiday season, and 85 percent would be happy with $100 or less.

The research also showed employers that are able to reward staff this holiday season will foster loyalty and positive morale. More than 80 percent said a reward would make them feel either appreciated, motivated to work harder or more loyal to the company. In addition, 82 percent said receiving a gift from their employer would prove they did a good job and are valued by their bosses.

While gifts are appreciated, nearly 70 percent said they don't expect their employers to give end-of-year rewards or holiday gifts this year.

Firms of all sizes often choose a holiday party to show their appreciation as well. Whether it's an elaborate celebration or an intimate get-together, doing something for those whose job it is to help build your business is a good idea.

If you choose to throw a party, experts suggest enlisting the help of your employees to decide what to do. According to BusinessWeek, forming an employee holiday party committee to brainstorm ideas and plan the celebration can help ensure the company's culture shines through. Thinking outside of the box can also ensure employees have fun and have a lasting memory.


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