You have heard the term “throwing money at a problem”. This speaks to the mindset that with money you can fix anything. In business, owners always look at where their dollars can be best put to use. Do we spend money on a new computer network? Do we upgrade other vital equipment? Do we put money into our people? My vote goes to putting money into your staff.
Three ways to put money into your people that will not break the bank, but will increase productivity, morale and attendance; monthly bonuses, half day continuing education / management training and team building exercises.
Wait a minute. Isn’t this reserved to year-end bonuses or a Christmas bonus? Traditionally a bonus appears at the end of the year, but a bonus is just not a check. Don’t get me wrong – I will take the cash every time. Imagine month end just like a high school year book where you have “most likely to succeed” and so on. I am not a proponent of just giving awards out for nothing. Get to know your staff and see what motivates them – besides money.
You might have an attendance problem. Give out a perfect attendance certificate with a gift card to the movies and dinner for a family of four. Productivity may be down so how about a car rental for the weekend – just not a hybrid. Think outside of your corporate box and energize your staff. We all like getting gifts and just maybe people will start coming to work on time and working.
I was told years ago that a true leader trains the person who is to replace them. Competition at the work place changes the way you approach your job. We all want to win. Seeing your name at the top of most lists is a good thing. You have leaders among you. Start looking for them. Each business has different criteria that they use to grade or promote employees. Take a look at your staff and see potential. Who wants your job and who can handle it? Send them to a continuing education seminar.
This promotes interest and understanding of their role in the work place, but more importantly they can see the company from your perspective. Start by sending two employees who exhibit some leadership qualities to a half day seminar. If they are from two different departments it will add a nice wrinkle to the experience.
The work place is just that – the work place, but it doesn’t mean fun cannot be had while at your job. I have been accused of never growing up. Always playing around and never taking things seriously. Guilty as charged! With that said let’s play a game. Trust me; your bosses will thank me later.
Team building exercises can last fifteen minutes or an entire week. Start small and grow steady. One of my favorite games is the GRAB BAG SKIT. This acting exercise is sure to bring out the character in all of us and is an awesome way to energize your staff with a fresh look at their coworkers. With a group size as small as 3 – 5 people each group grabs an object(s) from a goodie bag and creates a three minute skit. Be creative. A dry erase marker becomes a light saber or a microphone. Make the topics work related and watch the magic. The office Oscar goes too…
Whether your business is in healthcare, law, property management, tech or any other industry, the most important part of your business are the people, your staff, who on a daily basis operate and run your office and company. Taking the time to appreciate and understand them is essential to morale, attendance and productivity.