Times are tough for everyone and just because business has maybe taken a hit that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the World. This is a great time to innovate and it may also be the perfect time to implement some new ideas into your business, most notably, ideas that support your greatest asset – your workforce. Here’s a few ideas that you might consider that may help your team during these tough times, best of all, you won’t have to break the bank implementing them!
Encourage the use of mobile technology. This is easily done by offering rewards of incentives to employees like setting them up with an iPhone or Android smartphone. Encourage them to test, report, and share details of cool apps, particularly enterprise apps that help your workers’ productivity. You may have some budding mobile developers in your office and enabling them with teachnology may just get those creative jouces flowing. Oh yah, and supplying your team with smartphones is also a valid tax deduction for your company.
Have your own internal ignite sesions. Sounds a little corny but why not have a monthly ignite where employees deliver a 5 minute presentation (think lightning talks) about anything at all. Sure, enterprise or work related talks are cool, but sharing details of how to build a composter, tips on making great home made beer etc… will definitely help your team boind and get to know each other. Oh, you’ll also be encouraging the team to develop their speaking and presentation skills!
Encourage green, environmentally friendly habits. Not everyone is on the green band wagon but by encouraging greener habits (recycling, use of greener products, using refillable coffee cups etc..) will make your workers feel good and could kick start your company to be more environmentally sound, something that could translate nicely into your corporate branding down the road.
Encourage a pet project. I love this idea which comes out of Google. The company encourages employees to devote a small % of their time to a pet project.It may relate directly to your products or services, however, itmay also be something that could indirectly be implemented into your business down the road as well… how do you think G-Mail and other cool Google apps have been created??
Encourage healty living and fitness. There’s no questioning that a healthy lifestyle and excercise will lead to healthy, happy, and more productive workers. You may not have the funds or facilities to build an in-house gym but you could work out a deal with a local gym for a corporate discount, you could encourage a couple of leaders to share their passions with the rest of the team, perhaps starting a lunch hour running club, cycling club, or even a healthy lifestyle group where you share ideas for a healthy lifer style. Complement this effort by replacing the donut tray or soda machine with healthier alternatives. Not to blow my own horn, but I’ve recently taken up a pretty rigid work out schedule along with lap swimming and as a result have seen tremendous results over the past 6 months. I noticed when attending a recent conference that I had more energy than I ever had, enabling me to enjoy very long days at the event, and maintain a very busy and productive schedule throughout the week – that also included the drive and energy to socialize and network late into the evenings.
Flexible Work Hours. this is huge!!!! Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to work for some fabulous companies, many of them being very flexible in accommodating me with a flexible work schedule, enabling me to sometimes work nights, week-ends, or simply adjusting the hours of my work day. In my mind this is perhaps one of the best ways to show your support to your staff.