Small Business Financing: Set Aside a “Birthday Budget”
Customer loyalty has the ability to make or break a business, but then again, so does the loyalty of a business’s employees. While performance is at the core of an employee- employer relationship, business owners should also value the human element of the relationship, which goes beyond the metrics of their business, yet can palpably add value to it. Reducing turnover and creating a culture of accountability can increase organizational efficiency, stop losses created by employees leaving and help avoid the costly process of hiring and training.
A “birthday budget” is a small pool of cash set aside for honoring employee birthdays. Covering the cost of a cake and a small break to celebrate on employee birthdays is not only low cost when the costs are spread over the entire year, but also a nice way to say thank you to long term employees, and even to make relatively new hires feel welcome should their birthdays occur soon after they join your staff. Another benefit of honoring employee birthdays is that everyone on your staff will have a day of their own during the year where they are honored, meaning that your staff across multiple departments will have opportunities to get to know each other, bringing the business closer together as a group. A small business with multiple departments needs to be treated like the community that it is. Should one group of employees become too far removed, it makes coordinating that much more difficult. For this reason, small gestures like celebrating birthdays can allow for the establishment of better rapports between employees.
This concept can be extended to other notable events on the employee calendar. It is a great investment for small business owners to make their employees feel valued. The classic idea of a corporate holiday party stems from the concept of solidifying business connections with non-work related activities, but in the media is often portrayed as a tedious exercise or as a venue where people tend to lose face by acting inappropriately. Thinking outside the box, business owners can come up with a wide range of highly engaging activities that can be used as team building exercises.
Photo Credit to Derek Lee on Flickr