You don’t have a business without your employees. They help find and service your customers. They make your product. Every day, they contribute their talent and their knowledge to making your business grow.

So, why is it so hard to say “thank you?”

Part of the issue comes from the regular bustle of day-to-day life. In the course of doing business, there isn’t much time for appreciation.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to get the tone right. You want to say “thanks” in a meaningful way, but you can only afford to do so much. You can’t lavish raises and bonuses on your workers or provide everyone with an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii. The little things seem too little and the big things seem out of reach.

However, some of those little things can make a big difference. Not only does regularly and effectively expressing your thanks make for good manners, but it also helps your business long term. It improves morale and helps keep turnover in check. Employees who feel appreciated will work harder and be more productive.

With all that in mind, here are a few things you can do to make your employees feel more appreciated:

Just Tell Them

It may seem simple and even a little corny, but expressing your appreciation out loud can make a big impression. People like to hear that their contribution is valued. Taking a few moments to thank people publicly contributes to a positive atmosphere.

Treats and Parties

Get everyone together for an impromptu party in the break room, or schedule a big outside-of-work bash, with families and friends invited. Either way, providing a social function not only gives you a chance to show everyone your appreciation, but it also helps bind the team together and create a more welcoming corporate culture.

Make Individual Connections

Instead of creating one big gesture to show your appreciation to the entire team at once, engage each member of your staff one-on-one. Make the process more personal. Take individuals out to lunch. Call them into your office to give them a personal “thanks.” It makes the sentiment more specific and more meaningful.

Build Respect into Policy Decisions

Appreciation shouldn’t come as a special event. Your employees contribute to the bottom line every day. Consider that as you craft policy. Keep your workers in mind in situations like weighing health care options, or making staffing decisions.

Advancement Opportunities

You can’t give everyone a raise. But you can make sure that your current team gets the first crack at any advancement opportunities. For the person promoted, they feel a sense of accomplishment (and receive the benefits of the better-paying position). Meanwhile, the other staff members see that they are working toward concrete goals. If they do their jobs well, you’ll recognize it and reward them accordingly.

More Open Schedules

Monetary rewards might stretch your budget too far. But you can still offer other practical benefits that will have a similar positive impact on your workers’ lives. A chief example of this comes from offering more flexible schedules. By allowing employees some input into their work schedules, you help them create a better work-life balance, and show that you recognize the effort they expend on your behalf.

Telling your workers “thanks” gets easier when you have great workers to start with. A top-flight recruiting partner, like SmartTalent, can help you attract the kind of team that will inspire your appreciation every day.

Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.