By Tricia Mathisen and Laura Tracy, LBMC
Looking for low or no-cost ways to bring a little fun into the workplace and show your employees you value them?
Here are 10 low cost ideas to help increase job satisfaction at your company.
1. Shout outs for success
When employees go above and beyond, acknowledge their outstanding performance with a note, or recognize them in front of others. Telling employees why you appreciate them is powerful and can make a huge difference in your organization over the long-term.
LBMC’s Two Claps celebrates employees for jobs well done. These testimonials are shared first within the respective teams, and then via LBMC’s weekly employee newsletter and internal digital signage, both of which are viewed by the firm’s 600 employees. Recognizing employees through your internal communication vehicles is a simple but effective way to enhance fulfillment in the workplace.
2. Incent innovation
Some of the best ideas for making improvements at your company undoubtedly come from your employees. Encourage and incent innovation by instituting an idea box. When employees present ideas that save the company money, result in a new product, or improve efficiency, reward them for forward thinking. Gift certificates or cash bonuses can go long way in promoting ingenuity and will pay off for both the company and the staff.
LBMC recently launched the Innovation Center to reward ideas that save time, save money, drive revenue, improve processes, and improve client experience. All ideas are acknowledged with gift cards and are reviewed for feasibility, implementation and quarterly awards. Ideas that are not immediately executed are kept for consideration. So far, LBMC’s Innovation Center has yielded approximately 45 ideas from 35 employees, and the program has just begun.
3. Dress for your day
If your company doesn't already have a casual dress day, why not initiate one? According a recent survey by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), most companies allow one or more casual dress days per week. Having the freedom to dress down a little adds to employee morale without costing a dime, but be sure to communicate your policy to prevent confusion. For help writing your business casual policy, view SHRM’s Business Attire Policy to see basic guidelines for appropriate workplace attire.
LBMC implemented its dress for your day program in Feb. 2017 based on direct employee feedback. Since its launch, the program has been a huge success. “Dress for your day has been very well-received since we introduced it earlier this year,” said Jessica Utley, LBMC’s Director of Human Resources. “Our employees told us it was important to them in our most recent employee survey. It’s a no cost way to increase employee morale with a huge upside, and as long as you clearly communicate the guidelines, there’s very little downside. The new policy has also helped us attract new talent as most employees now expect a casual dress environment as more and more companies head in that direction,” said Utley.
4. Time off and flexibility
Time off and flex time can make a significant difference in quality of life for your employees. Make sure your PTO and work remote policies promote work-life balance in your organization.
LBMC offers summer flex Fridays as well as work remote options for eligible employees who meet performance standards. PTO takes effect on an employee’s hire date, and a purchased PTO option for additional time off is offered as well.
5. Provide a parking perk
Recognize high-achieving employees with a special parking space for a week – or even a month. For the price of a little paint, you can designate a parking spot near your office entrance as a reward. An “Employee of the Month” parking space is a high visibility way to acknowledge good work.
6. Sweet treats, anyone?
Need an afternoon pick me up? We’ve all been there. A surprise treat is a fun, inexpensive way to brighten your employees’ day. Cookies in the common area encourage camaraderie, and candy on your desk brings employees into your office. While your team members snag a sweet snack, they may share some crucial info that can help your progress on a project.
LBMC recently surprised its employees with afternoon ice cream sundaes scooped by leadership and morning donuts to enjoy with their coffee.
7. Leadership lunches
If you have a kitchen onsite, ask leadership to cook breakfast or make lunch for the staff. Your employees will get a kick out of being served by their managers. Even if you don’t have the accommodations to prepare the meal, you can hire a caterer and still enjoy dining together. Giving your employees regular opportunities to socialize with leadership will go a long way in improving your company culture.
LBMC provides made-to-order omelets during its busy tax season. The hearty breakfasts are always a big hit and lift morale as employees work to meet deadlines.
Hint: Provide treats and meals randomly to keep the surprise element. If offered on a predictable schedule, they may be viewed as a given.
8. Contests and concerts
Contests and drawings can add fun to the workplace. Give away a pair of movie tickets as an incentive to reward a goal, or host a Friday afternoon drawing for concert tickets.
LBMC shares board member perks with employees; for example, the firm hosts regular symphony ticket drawings for any employee who enters. Find out if your leaders are involved in organizations that provide freebies they can share. Your employees and your organization will thank you.
9. Business card boost
Even if you have a small business, you can order inexpensive business cards to make each employee feel like a valuable member of your team. Vistaprint is just one of many online companies that print and ship business cards at a great value, and promo codes are often available for additional discounts.
10. Grow the next generation
Does your organization have an affinity group for young professionals? If not, consider forming one. Developing young talent today – to become leaders tomorrow – is vital to your company’s long-term success.
LBMC’s award-winning Young Professionals (YP) program, which focuses on the firm’s professionals during the first seven years of their careers, nurtures leadership skills, promotes teamwork and networking, and creates a foundation for client development and lead generation. The YP group has a formal leadership structure that supports and fosters an ongoing dialogue with membership. Members provide regular feedback on issues important to them or areas where they may need support. Recent topics include how to become a nonprofit board member, community volunteer opportunities, team building activities, and leadership development.
To gift or not to gift?
While gifts may be a traditional way to thank your employees, you don’t have to break the bank to make an employee feel valued. Make sure any reward program you implement follows the IRS rules on employee gifts – awards to employees are deductible expenses for employers.
To learn more about taxes on gifts to employees, download our infographic on employee gift taxes. The good news is most of the perks mentioned in this article don’t cost anything, and it’s often the no-cost gifts that are the most meaningful.
Come to Grow
At LBMC, our work-life balance, growth, and community make us a top work place. Learn more about working for LBMC at www.lbmccareers.com.