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Employee appreciation: How to keep your business’ most valuable asset happy

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What do you think your business’ most valuable asset is? The hundreds of thousands of rands worth of hardware and networking that keep your company operating? Your intangible assets such as client contacts and the goodwill accrued over years of doing business together? How about your employees? True, you can’t put a price on them and add them to your balance sheet, but without them you wouldn’t have a business – and without the right ones, you run the risk of damaging your reputation. That’s why finding the best employees, and then hanging onto them, is so important for the longevity of your business. Let’s talk about employee appreciation and how to keep your most valuable assets happy, as practised by stationery suppliers like OfficeBox.

Businesses with happy employees earn more money.

Did you know putting some effort into appreciating your employees could make your business richer? That’s certainly the opinion of Dr. Noelle Nelson. The clinical psychologist published a book titled Make More Money by Keeping Your Employees Happy and believes that “when employees feel that the company takes their interest to heart, then the employees will take company interests to heart.” What could be better for business than 100% of your workforce backing you and working towards the same goal?

Make sure you know your staff, and appreciate them and their hard work.

Employee appreciation isn’t just about keeping your staff smiling – it’s about letting them know you appreciate them. A hand-written note (more on this in a future blog) to each staff member is a nice gesture, but nothing speaks louder and more effectively than actions. You’ve got to demonstrate employee appreciation by how you treat them. The tactics you employ to do this will vary depending on who your employees are and what makes them tick.

Finding out what makes them tick is the first step in ensuring their contentment.

Taking time to get to know your staff will give you an indication of how to keep them happy – but remember to maintain a sense of professionalism and distance. Some of your employees might welcome you inquiring about their personal life – others might feel uncomfortable discussing private matters with their employer. You need to tailor your approach to every employee. If you think face-to-face interviews are inappropriate, you could send out a survey that they can complete anonymously. Your staff will automatically feel valued by the fact you’re asking their opinion.

Here are just a few things you can do to make employees feel valued:

  • Buy good quality toilet paper. It might seem like a small issue, but no one enjoys using tree bark on those sensitive areas.
  • Offer flexi-time and the chance to work from home one day a week. Remember that your staff are adults who require a certain level of freedom and autonomy to be happy.
  • Provide storage for personal belongings. The average person comes to work laden with a laptop, notebooks, a packed lunch and coats. Having them store all this under their desks is a security risk and makes the office space look untidy.
  • Install a coffee machine or buy good quality coffee. For many, caffeine is the lifeblood that gets them through the day. Everyone who drinks coffee will appreciate a decent cup of joe over the cheap stuff.
  • Cover the cost of parking, especially if your office is in an urban area. With exorbitant parking rates, covering the cost of staff parking will save them a lot of money – something they’ll greatly appreciate.
  • Allow your staff time to attend to personal issues. Nothing shows appreciation more than compassion towards the lives outside office hours.

Stationery suppliers like OfficeBox understand the value of appreciating a business’ most valuable assets – that’s why we’re shaking up the stationery suppliers industry. For more on employee appreciation and how to create a workspace that employees love, download our guide.

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David Adams
30 December 2015
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