• June 5, 2018
2 minutes Read
Small businesses may be limited in the employee benefits they can offer compared to large corporations. However, it’s important SBOs reward the staff that make their entrepreneurial dreams possible. Whether through flexible work options, company outings or embracing your small business identity, there are many cost-effective ways to overcome this challenge. These initiatives will motivate employees to work harder knowing they will be afforded these extra perks.
Flexible work schedule
While small businesses generally do not have the robust staff or resources needed to offer workers an abundance of paid time off, there are a variety of ways that SBOs can reduce their staff’s time in the office without hurting productivity. The most generous of these options is to offer a set number of days per month when employees can work remotely. While it is important for employees to collaborate in-person as much as possible, enhanced technology and interactive platforms such as Skype and Google Drive, have made it simple and efficient for staffers to work remotely. Offering a few “work from home days” can let an employee with a long commute take a day off from travel, or let a staffer get a jumpstart on their weekend away by working remotely on Friday.
For businesses where working from home isn’t an option (e.g., restaurants, construction, body shops), entrepreneurs can create a time off policy for birthdays or have an impromptu early dismissal. The birthday day off is easy to plan, as the likelihood of multiple employees sharing a birthday is slim and therefore you can organize your staffing schedule accordingly. For the latter, a slow summer afternoon when the store is quiet could be an opportune time to let your staff have the rest of the day while you take care of any incoming business before close.
While giving employees some extra time off allows them to catch up on personal time, spending moments away from the office as a team can go a long way. And fortunately for small businesses, planning an activity outside the office shouldn’t be too hard to pull off since you are not scheduling for a large party. It can be something as simple as a picnic at a nearby park after work, or a happy hour at a local bar.
While it’s hard to please everybody, being an SBO gives you the opportunity to know your employees’ interests and find an outing everyone can enjoy. For instance, if you know you have a lot of baseball fans in the office you can organize a company outing to a game, or if you run a restaurant, taking your fellow foodies out to dinner at a new spot could draw excitement.
Small businesses should take pride in who they are and not strive to be like their larger counterparts. Work can be stressful enough; there is no need to enforce rigid corporate environments.
To ensure you don’t fall into this category, find ways to create a relaxed work environment. This could mean allowing employees to bring pets to work or having a casual dress code. Also, you can provide the flexibility for employees to attend doctor or other appointments during the work day so they don’t neglect these important personal obligations.
It is important that SBOs show gratitude toward their employees. When it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day, these small perks can alleviate an enormous amount of stress for your staff. At the same time, this mutual appreciation breaks down barriers between employees and employers and makes for a more collaborative, and profitable, work environment.