There are other ways to praise your employees without giving pay raises
It’s important that you have a happy workforce. A happy workforce means better retention, which means much less time and money spent finding, recruiting, and training new people. It also means a more pleasant workplace, and it means team members who are focused, energetic and agreeable.
Actually keeping your people happy can be tough sometimes — because let’s face it: Any job can grow wearisome or stale from time to time. Burnout can happen, boredom can set in, and morale can drop. The traditional way to keep employees happy and motivated is to just raise their pay, which is certainly effective — but what if you can’t actually afford to do that just now?
The good news for business owners is that there are alternative ways to keep employees happy. In lieu of heftier paychecks, consider any of the following approaches:
Invest in training, especially for your managers. Nothing sours you on a job like being led by someone you perceive to be incompetent — or someone who is simply a poor leader. As such, it’s crucial to ensure that all of your managers and supervisors receive ongoing training, making them the best team leaders possible.
Give each employee a sense of purpose. One way to keep people engaged in their work is to show them that what they do truly matters. Make sure you regularly remind your employees of your company vision, as well as any short-term goals you might have. Also be clear in the part each employee plays in fulfilling that mission.
Offer verbal affirmation when it’s due. People like to be praised, especially in front of their peers. So, when your employee does something really stellar, give him or her a pat on the back — publically, if possible.
Allow yourself to be spontaneous. It’s okay to act on a whim every now and again, and your employees will really notice if you spontaneously give them a half day off, or buy everyone lunch, or let them leave an hour early on Friday afternoon.
Spend time with your employees. There’s no substitute for being a personable leader. Get to know your employees a little bit. Mingle with them, ask about their kids, or just chew the fat. Make yourself accessible to them, and don’t always focus on work stuff.
Provide flexibility. You may not be able to give all your people a pay raise or an extra day off, but you probably can allow one employee half a day to go to his son’s piano recital, or a couple of hours to get the family car serviced. Being loose and flexible about these things can really help employees to feel appreciated — and employees who feel appreciated will also feel happy.
The bottom line is that your time, attention, and flexibility mean a great deal — and in some cases, may even mean more than money. And they can certainly help keep your team members happy.