Instituting an employee fitness program is a common way of Investing in Employees ... photo by CC user United States Navy on wikimedia commons (ID 101108-N-8977L-001)

Photo by CC user United States Navy on wikimedia commons (ID 101108-N-8977L-001)

For any small business to truly succeed (unless it is a one-person show); the employees are typically the bread and butter of the operation.

Companies with fantastic employees are oftentimes head and shoulders above their competition. Meantime, those businesses with so-so workers will oftentimes find themselves just getting by, perhaps even thinking about putting up a “closed” sign for good.

So, how do some businesses find the cream of the crop when it comes to workers, yet others struggle to find the most talented and dedicated employees?

Put Stock in the Right Workers

There are myriad of means whereby smaller companies can show just how much they appreciate all the time and effort their staff put into their jobs.

Those companies looking to show employee appreciation can turn to options such as:

  • Finances – Ask just about any employee and they will tell you making more money proves to be their number one priority. Unfortunately, not all companies are in a position financially to do just that. For some, the last number of years of tight finances, a staggering at times economy, and uncertainty overall in the labor market meant wage freezes or even some reductions. If your business finds itself in such a predicament, do the best you can to let workers know that better days are hopefully coming sooner rather than later. There are a number of ways to get cash for your business in order to pay your employees what they are worth. You don’t want to end up losing a number of workers to competitors or other industries because they could not hold out any longer waiting for wage increases;
  • Investments – If you have not already, look to 401K’s and other investment vehicles for your employees. While pensions have been on the decline in many cases nationwide, 401K’s and other such products (especially if the business owner agrees to match employee contributions) can be quite popular with workers. Investing those 401K’s and other such retirement plans in well-diversified stocks can help set some employees up for solid financial gains over time. As with pretty much anything else in life financially, there will be periods of ups and downs, so encouraging participating employees to stay the course is important for them and your small business;
  • Fitness – While it may come as a surprise to some small business owners, many others are not shocked to learn that employees missing time at work is a real financial pickle. If your small business routinely has workers out of the office due to illness or injury, those absences are costing you money over time. As such, you run the risk of also letting customers down, something that can be a slow and agonizing death for some companies. To lessen the odds of such problems, offer your employees the option (never force it on them) of going to a local fitness center free of charge or at a discounted price. Even better, encourage them to do it in pairs or even small groups. When someone has others to work out with, they tend to be more motivated to do so. While you may think spending the money with a fitness center etc. is a waste on your end, the long-term costs of having employees out due to sickness, injuries and other issues is much more costly;
  • Families – For those employees that currently have or will be having a family soon, daycare costs can be overwhelming at times. With that being the case, have you thought about allowing for a daycare operation at your place of operation? Doing so may seem like a financial burden at first, but it could help you in retaining more employees over time. Remember, a revolving door of employees ultimately is a financial problem, especially for smaller companies that do you not have as much financial wiggle room as bigger ones tend to have.

 

Running a small business in today’s financial climate can certainly seem like a challenge at times.

That said there are opportunities galore for smaller companies, especially the ones that prove to be financially savvy.

If you’re one such small business, continue to practice the financial habits that are allowing you to do business and hopefully turn a sizable profit more often than not.

Investing in employees and appreciating them is a great start.