There’s an old adage, “good help is hard to find”. It’s absolutely true. Good help is extremely hard to find. It’s even harder to keep. The trouble with a good worker is that everyone wants them. If they don’t feel you appreciate them, they are happy to move on to someplace with someone who will.

Here’s the really cool thing though, showing someone you appreciate them doesn’t have to come in the form of money. A lot of times, bosses think if they pay people enough those employees won’t leave. But there’s a lot more that goes into employee satisfaction than the amount of money that they get paid. Here are a few ways to show your employees you value and appreciate them without spending a ton of money in the process.


Say Thank You

Everyone wants to feel valued and sometimes the easiest way to do that is to say “thank you”. Take the time once or twice a week to single out an employee and write a heartfelt thank you note to her. Or stop by his desk to say thank you. Let the employee know you appreciate something specific that he did, such as the extra hours he put in on planning the company holiday party.


Establish a Peer Recognition Program

Another great way to let your employees know they’re appreciated is to create a peer recognition program. It’s an opportunity for co-workers to recognize each other for their hard work and dedication.


Feed Them

Sometimes a box of donuts goes a long way. Put aside a little bit of money in your budget every month for a catered lunch. Buy a special snack for your employees. There’s an amazing connection between how a person feels and food. It’s a complex relationship that’s looked at in this article on First We Feast. Bottom line is good food makes people happy.


Offer Incentives for Them to Stay Healthy

Studies have proven that when you encourage your employees to eat better and exercise more, they are more likely to perform better at work. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, a commercial laundry company saw a jump in productivity when it started a company-wide wellness plan. The plan encouraged employees to exercise, eat right, and lose weight. The increase in productivity yielded a 76.3 percent return on investment (ROI).

Maybe you can’t do something on such a grand scale. However, giving employees an extra 30 minutes for lunch so they can take a walk around the block or run errands so they’re not stressed out after work might be a great start.


Offer Input on Community Involvement

As Millennials start to flood the workforce, the opportunities you offer your employees will need to change. One of the things this latest generation is known for is social activism and involvement. Employees feel better when a company is involved in a cause that they believe in. In fact, a study by Cone Communications found that 83% of Millennials are more loyal to companies that help them contribute to social and environmental issues. What’s more, 88% of Millennials find their job more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues.

If your company gives to charities, give your employees a chance to weigh in on what charities you donate to. Or you can sponsor a day of giving. This day you would shut down your office and pay your employees to volunteer in their communities. For some more ideas on how your company can give back, check out this previous post


Written by Erika Towne