Building and nurturing a strong culture of appreciation is essential to any business’s success. When talented employees are rewarded for their effort and hard-work, either independently or as group, it creates a fertile work environment that encourages growth, loyalty and engagement.

Signing your employees’ paycheck may seem like a big enough gesture, but your efforts shouldn’t stop there. Trust and respect is a two way street, and in order to create a workplace that fosters ambition and creativity, your workforce needs to consist of happy, motivated employees.

Developing a culture of appreciation in your company can yield fruitful results for your business, employees and customers. If you’re eager to improve morale and witness a spike in productivity, check out the following 7 tactics that can help you build appreciation in your small business.

1. Open Door Policy

As a business owner, your schedule is more than likely jam-packed with meetings, phone calls, everyday tasks, and responsibilities that demand your immediate attention. Nonetheless, it’s important that you maintain an open door policy for all of your employees. Restricting access or communication to a few select personnel can create a divide in team spirit, and may lead employees to adopt an “us vs. them” attitude.

2. Team Merchandise

Encourage an attitude of team spirit with some free company swag. Treating your employees to company shirts, sweaters, totes, mugs and other merchandise will create a sense of unity and promote company pride.

3. Celebrate Milestones

Dates are important when it comes to businesses and its employees. Commemorate important milestones like 1, 5, and 10 years of company employment with unique or special gifts reserved for a specific number of years, such as gift basket for one-year anniversaries or a nice watch for five years.

4. Performance Reviews

Let your employees know their hard-work hasn’t gone unnoticed with quarterly or annual performance reviews. Reward those who’ve shown exceptional talent and contribution with an appropriate bonus or promotion. Employees need to know you’re invested in their well-being and growth, and the possibility of advancement or a pay raise is a great way to express your gratitude and confidence in their abilities.

5. Offer Health Insurance and Vacation Time

Your employees are working hard to maintain, grow and promote your business – make it a two-way street by nurturing their health and happiness too. Offering your employees health insurance and vacation time creates a positive work environment for employees and management. Failing to meet such basic needs, however, may result in employee resentment.

6. Say Thank You

Although it’s easy to get swept up in the challenges, tasks and issues that arise on an everyday basis, “thank you” are words that shouldn’t be removed from your business vocabulary. A simple “thanks” may seem like an inconsequential gesture, but when it comes from the big boss, its meaning holds weight.

7. Don’t Skimp on Furniture

Happy, comfortable employees make for productive employees, which in turn directly benefits your business. Don’t purchase office furniture based solely on its cheap price or décor – instead, opt for ergonomic furniture that’ll help your employees better focus on their important tasks at hand. Frequent breaks due to sore bums or wrists won’t help your business’s morale or its profits.

Start Socializing

If you’re still working on building a strong culture of appreciation into your business, try incorporating the above tactics. Show your employees that you’re invested in their happiness and well-being, both at and outside the workplace. Forging strong relationships with your employees will foster loyalty and positivity, which for any business, is a recipe for success.

Stay tuned! We’ll be featuring additional helpful articles in celebration of Business Appreciation Month.