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Start a stimulus plan in your office

Employment concerns have risen almost as fast as unemployment rates over the last couple years. When employees feel like they need to keep one eye on their job status and one on their work, productivity dips and the worry can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. So what do you do to make sure your employees and team members know that they’ve got value within your organization beyond just the work they do?

Below are several ideas you can implement within your office to show your appreciation for staff members. Think of it as a mini-stimulus plan. We’re not suggesting that you run out and start each of these tomorrow. Instead, think carefully about which of these items would fit into the culture of your workplace.

You may also want to talk over some of these ideas with a select few members of your team. Motivational initiatives that seem like they come out of the blue from the top levels of the organization can have the opposite affect if they’re not in line with the culture and personality of the office.

This is a good list to get you started, but there’s a good chance you’ve already given some thought to addressing the stress that your employees may feel due to the current economic conditions. If you’ve implemented ideas that you don’t see in this post, please feel free to share them in the comments section.

  • Focus on your successes and a thriving business. Encourage everyone in the workplace to identify and talk about what is going right in the operation.
  • Initiate “Good News” meetings. At least once a week, have employees meet together in small groups or teams (of no more than six to eight people) and limit the agenda to good news only.
  • Solicit input and feedback from employees. Regularly solicit employees’ input and feedback on what’s going on.
  • Ask employees for their ideas and suggestions. The best ideas for surviving and rebounding just might be in the heads of some of your associates and employees.
  • Act on employees’ ideas and suggestions. It’s not enough to ask employees for their ideas. Supervisors and managers also have to listen and respond to them.
  • Do Strength Assessments. By knowing each individual’s strengths, people can be placed in positions where their strengths are paying off better for themselves and for the company or organization.
  • Hold an “Opportunity Search Day. “ It’s a day when every employee is asked to think about opportunities for ways the company or organization can succeed, and to report their opportunity ideas to each other and to management.
  • Give out appreciation and recognition. Look for opportunities to recognize and reward individuals and teams. And remember, showing appreciation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. A handwritten note of appreciation, a small-dollar gift card, or a pizza party are often more appreciated than a few bucks added to the paycheck.
  • Inject more fun in the workplace. Having fun unleashes creativity. It just does.
  • Share profits and gain. Explore with your accountant or business advisor the feasibility of your business or organization setting up a profit-sharing or a gainsharing plan for employees.
  • Crank up more training. Offer employees more training in areas and skills where they can make themselves more valuable to the organization.
  • Flexible work schedules. Many jobs today do not require the employees to adhere to a strict time schedule. One way to help downcast employees appreciate their workplace is to allow flexibility in work schedules.