If you want a happier family, do you begin by paying each relative? To have a successful dinner party, do you need to greet your guests with envelopes of cash? In these scenarios, the key factors to warm and productive relationships do not lie in financial rewards. We all have various techniques to nourish our personal relationships. Similarly, successful leaders know there are several ways to create a satisfying workplace without increasing bottom line expenses. Here are some simple ways to create a pathway toward good will and employee efficiency, productivity, loyalty, and satisfaction.
Smile. As cliché as it sounds, you cannot underestimate the importance of a smile. Look your employees in the eye, and give them that positive affirmation. A smile communicates happiness and appreciation. It makes others feel important. It also expresses two critical leadership qualities, confidence, and self-assurance.
Remember to say thanks. Expressing gratitude is incredibly important. Highly regarded employees are more likely to work hard and invest in the outcome of their work. Send periodic emails that include phrases like "thanks so much for your effort" or "I am quite grateful for your good work." Phrases like these encourage teamwork, communication, and good will.
Discuss a career pathway. Sit down with your employees, and try to understand their personal and professional goals. Help them to understand the various career opportunities that exist within your company. Allow them to express what they excel in, and what they need to improve. Help employees develop a one-year goal and a five-year goal. Show personal dedication and confidence in the future of your staff as well as your company.
Make a birthday call. Everyone loves being remembered on their birthday. Make a point to find out when your employees are celebrating their big day. Make a personal call, have a card waiting at their desk, order pizza, or let them leave a bit early. This is an easy way to make someone feel special and endear them to you in the long run.
Free (or almost free) rewards. When you are not able to reward your highest performing employees with a financial bonus, you can give an extra vacation day, a public shout out for excellent performance, a gift certificate to a hot local restaurant, or tickets to a sporting event. Each of these costs much less than a yearly bonus but communicates acknowledgment and generosity.