As the owner of a small business, you may have embraced frugality as a guiding principle in the way you operate and grow. But how do you impress this value on your employees? How do you encourage your workers to be cost conscious without coming across as stingy and without hindering their ability to get the job done? Consider the following five tips:
1. Check your company culture. Employee attitudes will to a large extent be affected by their employer’s expectations and company culture. In other words, whatever you focus a spotlight on, that is where your workers will be more likely to go. Step back for a moment and consider how your business is run. Is a message of frugality currently being given over? If so, then how? Do employees receive feedback and encouragement for making frugal business decisions?
2. Create incentives. Trying to instill a frugal company culture almost goes hand-in-hand with putting in place a number of incentives to help encourage employees to conduct business in a cost-effective way. Rewards and recognition programs for employees who meet monthly frugal goals is an excellent means to motivate individuals in adopting frugality on the job. You could also give your employees a small “cut” of their cost-cutting efforts. If they receive a cash benefit every time they bring significant savings to the company, they may feel more ownership and thus be more motivated.
3. Develop clear frugal strategies. If you are serious about creating a frugal workplace, it may be beneficial to create an overall plan or strategy, complete with several company goals, regarding how you will get there. You can do this on a yearly basis and then let your employees know about it. Define measurable goals, as well as what you intend to implement in order to achieve those goals. But there are two important points with this: make sure that the goals are realistic, and take your employees into account. Setting targets without considering your employees will lead to certain failure.
4. Respect cultural and personal differences. When handling with the issue of frugality, you as an employer need to understand that cultural and personal differences play a major role in the extent to which your employees will embrace your frugal business values. Some cultures and personalities tend to lend themselves more naturally to frugality then others. Before implementing any sort of cost-saving program, make sure they are doable for your employees and are unlikely to offend anyone.
5. Set the example. It almost goes without saying that it’s difficult to tell others to walk the talk, when you are not doing it yourself. Your encouragement will be more effective when you also embody the lifestyle. By practicing and promoting frugality in your own actions, employees are more likely to follow suit.
While it may be a challenge to mold a person’s attitudes, values, and personality, you can teach your employees to become more frugal and take the necessary steps towards creating a more cost-efficient, thrifty workplace.
Rachel Hyun Kim is a writer for Resource Nation, an online resource that gives advice such as lead generation to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Rachel has written on a variety of topics, ranging from merchant services to credit card processing.