Little things mean a lot to employers and employees

Published 8:53 pm Friday, June 16, 2017

Changes that impact a business and its employees don’t have to be big or expensive to make a positive impact. There are so many little things that are fairly easily implemented that can make a big difference. One to consider is benefit enhancements. 

One of the most well received changes that costs nothing is the relaxation of the dress code and allowing business casual wear more frequently. I have seen the positive impact this little change made in a staff’s morale and it was no less than phenomenal.

Introduction of floating days off with pay, or even without pay, is well received. Employees value time off even more than a pay increase. Striving for a good work life balance on the part of employers can position employees to become more productive.

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Managers who listen to employees will build rapport and trust.

It is amazing how much can be learned just by listening to your employees. Understanding them better will make for more respectful relations and open the door for valuable feedback and input on all kinds of topics. The people on your staff who are closest to the customer are in the unique position to know more about your customers and prospects and what it takes to make them happy. Ideas for providing better service, improving products and effective marketing strategies are there if you will only look for them.

Something as simple as setting your alarm one hour earlier will allow for needed time to exercise, planning for the day, prayer and meditation, starting the day right by being on time, even early, to work and it will set the stage for a better day when it starts off not as rushed.

Set aside time in the day for collaboration and open-ended discussions. Establishing a regular routine informal meeting between peers, managers and employees, cross-functional team members, etc. will bring out people who have never felt their opinion mattered. It will allow for the introduction of eye-opening ideas, many of which can easily be implemented. Not only will cost saving ideas be brought forward but employee morale will increase when staff members learn that their opinions count.

Reduce the number of meetings. Track the meetings, who attends and what, if anything, is accomplished. Analyze the cost of meetings by calculating the hourly rate of each attendee and you will be astonished at the enormous expense.
Start a mentoring program internally. Setting up a program by pairing experienced and new employees will pay dividends to the company and the individuals involved.

Show appreciation for a job well done. Reward top performers. It doesn’t have to be with expensive awards and gifts. Employees who outperform will continue to do so as long as they feel their efforts are genuinely appreciated.

There are many other small changes that can be made that add up to big results over time and are key to creating lasting positive change. Have a brainstorming session with your key team members to come up with how to involve everyone in the process.

Lastly, try smiling. This simple act will change your biochemistry and outlook and at the same time have a positive impact on others. Don’t give it up. Try it for 14 days and you will be amazed at the results. Little things can mean a lot when implemented and the results are very impactful positively for the business and its employees.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing