As I review the business headlines each day, and read my various human resources magazines and newsletters, I am beginning to see a theme. It seems that since the economy is bad, businesses are figuring out all the possible ways to suck the joy from employee’s jobs. Layoffs are requiring additional work for many. No bonuses this year, pay cuts instead of raises, no training, no conferences, and no Christmas parties. I have even read about some businesses that now count the number of pencils each employee is given. If you need more than 3 in a month, bring your own.
I am a business owner too, and am well aware of the need to tighten the budget, buckle down and do what we need to do to make it through bad times. HOWEVER, don’t forget the value of motivated and satisfied employees. You might tighten the budget so much that productivity takes a nose dive along with the economy.
Most people are motivated by many factors other than money. Find those free or inexpensive methods to help employees feel appreciated and keep that motivation high to weather the storm. Is your training budget cut down to zero? This is a good time to start an in-house mentoring program. No money for bonuses? Give everyone an extra day off. No money for the annual Christmas party? Have a potluck dinner in the office.
Check out our guide on putting enthusiasm back into the workplace. It is filled with no cost or low cost ideas for adding fun into the daily work day.