As a small business owner, your employees are the lifeblood of your company, and you probably feel especially connected to them. Unlike a large corporation, you know your employees on a more personal level. Therefore, you more easily recognize their efforts and achievements.
Unfortunately, unlike a large corporation, you may not be capable of grand gestures acknowledging these efforts and achievements. Perhaps you can’t provide a sizable bonus, a gold Rolex, or a fancy lunch – but you can express employee appreciation in other ways.
At the end of the day, your employees don’t really care how you say “thank you”. They just care that you say it at all. Studies show 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their bosses appreciated them. So employee appreciation comes back around to your company’s prosperity and overall job performance.
So, even though you may not have the funds for a showy display of gratitude, there are more affordable ways to display it.
#1) Plants & Flowers
Who doesn’t love a little greenery? Not only are small potted plants or colorful bouquets an aesthetic addition to the workspace, but they are the traditional displays of gratitude and celebration. A small plant or bouquet of flowers won’t run you more than $10-$15.
One of the best greenery gifts is a small potted bamboo plant. Not only do these symbolize health and good fortune, but they last forever. With minimal tending, a bamboo plant will continue to grow and flourish for years (much like your employee’s dedication!).
Much like plants, employees thrive on good care and attention. Show them you’re willing to provide that!
#2) Tokens & Trinkets
Maybe you can’t afford an engraved designer watch, but you can get your employees a shiny little something! Invest in some pins, charms, or keychains. They can be personalized with your company’s logo, the employee’s name, and their achievement. Best of all, when you order in bulk, many manufacturers offer reasonable discounts.
The beauty of these trinkets is that your employees can carry them everywhere they go, on their keys and in their wallet. For years to come, they’ll think of your gratitude and your company when they look at that small token of employee appreciation.
#3) A Simple ‘Thank You’ Card
Never underestimate the effectiveness of a “Thank You” card. These give you an opportunity to truly express your feelings about that employee’s hard work, and outline all of their achievements in detail. Furthermore, a card will usually never run you more than $5.
To take it a step further, pair the card with a small gift card (doesn’t have to be more than $10) to the employee’s favorite coffee shop. After all, everyone needs some caffeine to get them through the work day, so they’ll be sure to appreciate it.
#4) Potluck Party
This is the best option if you’re looking to reward and thank all of your employees at once. Potluck parties don’t require any money to throw, because you’re asking everyone to bring a dish (saving you money on buying food for the office). The beauty in this event is the time off you give your employees to eat, relax, and bond.
Give your employees a half day, and spend the rest of the day enjoying good food and hanging out. Your employees will be grateful for the leisure day you’ve given them to reward their efforts, and it’s a great opportunity to do some team building. Get your employees to build stronger connections with one another by sharing some good food and good company.
Offer to bring the main dish, and transform your office space into a smorgasbord. If the way to the heart is truly through the stomach, you’ll be sure to have the loyalty of your employees for a long time to come.
About the Author
Ellie Batchiyska is a writer for Checkworks, an affordable online check ordering service for individuals and businesses looking to save money.