happy employees

By Ana Lopez

New research claims that contrary to popular belief, happiness often precedes success, and not vice versa. Thus, happy employees are much more hard-working, motivated and successful at their jobs than those who aren’t, especially within smaller companies.

If you want to increase employee satisfaction, reduce costly employee turnover, and revamp your company’s productivity, try out these simple and creative ways to show you care without breaking the bank.

  1. Give them a card with lottery tickets inside. It only costs you one dollar to bestow a hard working employee with the chance to win a million.
  2. Utilize little gifts. Have an employee who went the extra mile? Give them something little, such as Promos On Time’s clever “Thanks for Going the Extra Mile” gum kit. It’s small (and cheap), but is a simple way to draw attention to a worker’s attempts to exceed expectations.
  3. Offer free chair massages. Once a quarter, once a month, or once a year, have a massage therapist give your employees a fifteen minute chair massage that will leave them feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
  4. Name a beer after them. Microbreweries can brew a small run of beer for a while – label your special employee’s name with it hold an after work cocktail hour in his or her name.
  5. Consider in-office catering.  Chances are, your employees like to eat. In-office catering not only feeds your workers, but it also gets employees off their computers and into a social environment. “’Themed lunches provide an exciting experience that employees look forward to and can spark individual creativity and innovation,” says Deborah Miller, founder and executive chef of Deb’s Catering, who focus largely on corporate catering.
  6. Celebrate big events. Birthdays, wedding showers, baby showers, you name it, remember you employees’ important life markers; it will make them feel valued. Even something as small as a pizza party celebrating a colleague’s special day provides an often-needed break to any work day.
  7. Bring out the brag boards. For some camaraderie and a supportive atmosphere, create a board where anyone in the company can post a “brag” about the accomplishments of a co-worker. Get creative with this, and make it fun.
  8. Allot performance hours or monopoly money. If employees consistently perform well, give them “performance hours” tokens they can redeem every quarter for gifts or simple perks like a longer lunch or the ability to leave early on a given day.

The easiest and most cost-effective way to show employee appreciation? Simply saying thank you. So incorporate these ideas with those genuine two words from time to time to up employee retention and facilitate growth in your small company.

Ana Lopez is a proud Grady graduate from The University of Georgia and currently works as a freelance writer, editor, and content producer in Atlanta, GA. You can view her other works here, and she can be found at https://plus.google.com/u/0/102373360814056068636/posts/p/pub.