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What do your employees want?

Most of you will say, “More money,” and you’re probably right. But is that the only thing they want? When it comes to rewarding employees, sometimes recognition for a job well done is all they want. There are always gestures that cost little or nothing. Buying lunch, extra time off (even an hour here or there), work-from-home days, use of company perks usually reserved for executives — these are all good options.

But don’t forget, this is about what they want. Make sure you ask them. Having these suggestions can help start the conversation, but take time to get their thoughts as well.

I know what you’re thinking. “What if they want something I can’t provide?” Then treat them like adults and tell them why. Present the problem and let them engage in the process of solving it. If it is money that they want, let them know how much more the company needs to make and invite them to help figure out how to make more. You don’t have to open the books and tell them everything. You can say something as simple as, “In order for our company to thrive, we can only spend X% on salaries and benefits.” Then let them help with ideas on cutting costs and increasing revenue. This is not merely an exercise to make them feel better. You might find a wealth of ideas you hadn’t even considered.

Obviously, you could do this all day every day, which would keep you from ever getting your own work done. You don’t need to overdo it. Schedule on your calendar a couple times a year to check in on your employees to see what they want, and find a way to give it to them.

Not only will you have happy employees with a greater sense of purpose for and ownership in your business, you’ll have laid the foundation for teaching your employees to treat others in the same way.

If you would like us to sit down with you and find ways to enlist your employees in creating a movement, contact us.

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