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How to Keep Employees Happy

Aug 24, 2008
The housing crisis, interest rate cuts, soaring gas prices and declining stocks are making for a nervous American workforce. Antsy employees are anxious about expenses and worried about the loss of their jobs. Employers want to put these employees' minds at ease, but still need to keep their belts tight. If you're having trouble finding ways to please your employees during this time of worry, try some of these alternative benefits.

Everyone Loves a Three-Day Weekend

Employees always look forward to when a holiday falls on a Friday. Why not keep your employees excited by allowing four-day work weeks, making every weekend a three-day. Four-day work weeks allow more free time and family time, easing anxiety. If you're wary of the idea, try out a four-day work week for a month or so and see how your team responds. You may be surprised to see more work getting done in less time due to rejuvenated minds and refreshed spirits.

Add a Personal Touch

It may seem a small change, but simply engaging your employees in person to person conversation can help increase the positivity in the office. Add to this by recognizing employees for their hard work, such as sales goals reached or projects completed. The celebration doesn't have to be a fiesta; just a simple e-mail to the company praising progress will add a spring to their step. Celebrating birthdays, engagements, or pregnancy announcements will give a boost to employee morale as well. Try holding one birthday party a month to celebrate or congratulate an engagement with flowers and a card so as not to have a celebration overload.

Give Them Some Home-work

Allowing employees to work from home has similar benefits to the four-day work week. Being in the comfort of their home a few days out of the week will not only boost spirits, but it will save you money as well. Having fewer bodies in the office means less use of equipment and less consumption of such items as coffee. This is another tactic to try out for a bit. Give your most productive workers a break by allowing them to work from home two days out of the week for a month and see how it goes. If the plan backfires, you can always bring them back in to the office everyday.

Happy Birthday! Have the Day Off!

Any day off is a good day for your employee, so adding an extra day off will boost their spirits. Try giving each employee a day or two extra off each year. This can be done by divvying up the workload. It may seem this extra work would ruffle the feathers of the employees left to pick up the slack, but they will be happy to oblige in exchange for their day off later. It may be helpful to pick days that are special to the employee such as their birthday, a spouse's birthday. Simply ask your employees which day they would prefer.

Be Flexible

Grant "flex hours" to your employees; give employees the option of working additional hours in order to take off early in the future. This allows for the same amount of time to be put in by every employee, but gives a little more freedom as to when the work gets done. Giving this option will help out when employees have medical appointments, activities with their children or the need to leave early for a weekend trip. Allowing your employees to have this freedom will show trust, creating a more positive work environment.

By putting some of these alternative benefits into action, you can help ease the mind of your employees by creating a more positive, happy workplace. If these benefits don't work for your company, try others. Get ideas from other companies or from your employees. Spend the time to ask employees what it is they need to relax their mind while at work. By creating a positive, stress free atmosphere you can take your mind off thoughts of recession and think instead of the progress of your company.
About the Author
Melissa Mashtonio writes for Manta.com, the go-to site for researching company profiles. The site (http://www.manta.com) offers free research on more than 45 million companies worldwide
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