We all heard the term “throwing money at a problem” before. It refers to the mindset that “money can fix anything.” Understandably, in business, owners always look at where they can put the funds to the best use. Do we spend it on a new computer network? Maybe, we will upgrade other vital equipment? Or do we put money into our people? Of course, it would be nice to do all of it, but if you have to choose, the vote should go to putting money into your staff.

There are three ways to invest in your people that will not break the bank but increase productivity, morale, and attendance: monthly bonuses, half-day continuing education/management training, and team-building exercises.


Wait a minute, isn’t this reserved for year-end bonuses or a Christmas bonus? Yes,traditionally a bonus appears at the end of the year, but a bonus is not a check. So get to know your staff and see what motivates them – besides money.

You might have an attendance problem. How about giving out a perfect attendance certificate with a gift card to the movies and dinner for a family of four? Productivity may be down, but you can fix it by rewording a good worker with a car rental for a weekend. Think outside of your corporate box and energize your staff. We all like getting gifts, and your employees might like it when their punctuality and exemplary productivity get recognized and rewarded.


A true leader trains the person who is to replace them. Take a look at your staff and see the potential. Who wants your job, and who can handle it? Competition at the workplace changes how we approach our job, and the leader can suddenly emerge when given an opportunity. Start looking for them. Each business has different criteria to grade or promote employees. When you find someone with good potential, consider sending them to a continuing education seminar. It will stimulate interest and understanding of their role in the workplace and allow them to see the company from your perspective. Start by sending two employees who exhibit leadership qualities to a half-day seminar. If they are from two different departments, it will diversify your options and might allow for some bonding experience between them.

Knowledge is contagious, and your staff can be more receptive to it than you think.


The workplace is just the workplace, but it doesn’t have to exclude the fun factor completely. The concept of “never growing up” can be more useful in business than you think, so now that many of your employees are returning to the office, we can play a game.

Team building exercises don’t have to last fifteen minutes or can last the entire week. Start small and grow steady. One of my favorite games is the GRAB BAG SKIT. This acting exercise will bring out the character in all of us and is an excellent way to energize your staff with a fresh look at their coworkers. With a group size as small as 3 – 5 people, each group grabs an object(s) from a goodie bag and creates a three-minute skit. Be creative. A dry-erase marker becomes a lightsaber or a microphone. Make the topics work-related and watch the magic. The office Oscar goes to…

There is no wrong time to start a day on a positive note; play games with your staff. If your employees are working remotely, schedule a conference and do it online. “The worst dressed” contest could be hilarious.

Whether your business is in healthcarelawproperty management, tech, or any other industry, the essential part of your business is people, your staff, who operate and run your company daily. Taking the time to appreciate and understand them is crucial to morale, attendance, and productivity.