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What little things are you doing to make a big impact on your staff?

A recent hot topic on this and other workforce-issue blogs has been the idea of making a big impact in the lives of employees with just a little money, time and effort (see previous SmartBlog on Workforce posts What are your cheap tricks for boosting motivation and morale? and How do you give feedback? ). Earlier this week, business strategy coach Tanveer Naseer used the example of a Coca-Cola social experiment to illustrate yet again how small gestures can make a big difference to people. His blog post goes on to explain how this principle can make a difference in the workplace.

One suggestion Naseer gives is to cut a regular meeting short and offer snacks. I love both of these ideas! Here at SmartBrief, the editors meet once a week and it’s a valuable meeting, but I definitely enjoy the times when there isn’t much to talk about or we’re all swamped and our fearless leader calls off the meeting and sends out announcements via e-mail. It’s just a good break. I also love when — usually for someone’s birthday, wedding or other special occasion — we have cookies from the local bakery during the meeting.

Neither of those little treats costs much in money or effort, but they make a difference in my day as an employee.

It’s obvious that recent tough times have turned our attention to inexpensive ways to boost morale and show employees they are appreciated. It’s my hope that this is a lesson employers everywhere will take to heart now and continue to apply once the economy improves and money becomes available for more expensive, traditional methods of showing appreciation.

With that in mind, I’d like to issue a challenge to everyone out there. If you haven’t done something small, but meaningful for your employees yet in 2010, I’d like to see you do so by next Friday, Feb. 5. I promise it won’t be painful. Just do it!

What little things are you doing to make a big impact on your staff? If you take my challenge, come back and share what you did and how it worked out!

Image credit, Talaj via iStock