So you can’t offer your employees a signing bonus, union wages, or a company expense account, that does not mean that you cannot create a great working environment. A good working environment helps to attract and retain one of your most valuable company assets, your human capital. Employees serve your customers and are representatives of your company. As a result, it is important for them to be happy. Being that your small business budget may not allow you to lavish them with dinners and money, you may need to be more creative. There are other ways to create an environment where employees are happy:
Flexible Work Hours
More and more large companies are allowing employees more flexibility with their work hours. This is something that you may also be able to offer. Employees appreciate when their employers understand when life happens. If possible, allow employees to work late one day if they need an extra long lunch hour or have an extended appointment the next day. Or, if an employee is having furniture delivered, allow him/her to take some work home if this is feasible for your business. If you need a more structured or scheduled environment, offer employees the opportunity to work one extra half hour per day. In return, they get one day off every two weeks. This does not cost any money, and can be scheduled with shifts. Employees will appreciate the flexibility and understanding.
You may be in a position to help your employees in other ways. For example, if you have a shop, allow employees to work on their personal vehicles every once and a while. Or, you can setup a employee discount offer. Things like this will be appreciated by employees, but does not cost you a lot of money.
A major concern for employees is the welfare of the family. As a result, one major deterrent for employees when considering a position with a small firm is the benefits. Whether you offer health and dental benefits or a complete dental package, this can increase the attractiveness of your company. If you are a small company, you may fear that offering benefits is too expensive. Depending on your industry, you may be able to look for an industry association that offers benefits to its members.
In this manner, you can offer benefits, but the experience is pooled among all association members. This can save you a tremendous amount of money. For a lot of small businesses, this can really allow them to offer benefits. Another possibility would be to introduce cost sharing, where employees pay for a portion of their benefits. This can also make offering benefits affordable for you and the employee.
There are a number of things that can be done to create a good working environment without a lot of money. With any of these options, however, it is important that employees be treated equally. Also, it is extremely important that there are guidelines established for any program put in place. This is to ensure that employees do not take advantage of what is being offered. A clear policy in place will ensure that you have established the rules, thought of every potential scenario, and may protect you against any potential legal action. It is in the best interest of your company to create a great work environment for your employees.