As a small business owner, you may not have all the time in the world to devote to making sure your employees are happy. You’re busy with running the company, developing clients, and increasing the business’ revenues. While these are all important to growing and running a small business, it is a mistake not to factor employee happiness and motivation into the mix.

And employee satisfaction is more than just a salary. Your employees can make or break your business. Happy employees can offer better customer service, work harder, and remain loyal to the company. Putting them first is a worthwhile investment.

Additionally, the high costs of replacing valued employees mean that a small business can really take a hit if they ignore keeping their employees happy and motivated. Small businesses often have fewer employees than large companies, so losing a valued employee or having employees who start not to care is even more costly. The average cost of replacing an employee can be twice their base salary, and if they are very valuable, it can be even higher.

It is incredibly important for small businesses to understand what motivates their employees. Understanding what employees want and ensuring they are happy and productive pays off in many ways and goes a long way in retaining them. As an employer, you can easily find out what your employees want and find a way to give it to them or enable them to earn it. Here are some ideas when it comes to employee happiness.

Communicate That You Care About Them

Employees should know and feel that you care. This helps foster mutual respect and motivates them to perform at their best. Begin by using clear communication between management and staff. This will help to create a strong workplace culture. It doesn’t have to be expensive to send a positive message that you care about your employees. Little gestures such as providing coffee or having a holiday party help to communicate that the company cares.

Make Them Feel Valued

Don’t hesitate to ask for your employees’ opinions and feedback because this communication helps them feel valued and a part of your company. They can tell you what they need and want. Never make the mistake of assuming that everything is okay, when in reality, there may be negatives under the surface, ultimately leading to costly employee turnover.

Keep Things Casual

Allowing employees to go casual can go a long way toward motivation. This can be as simple as your dress code, or allowing them to customize their workspace.

Offer Benefits

Here are some other considerations that can help keep your employees motivated. Choose and implement the benefits that work for your budget and your company:

These benefits are only suggestions, but any gestures you can make that help them feel valued and positive about the company will pay you back tenfold in employee retention, employee motivation, and your bottom line.