What Would You Do With Extra Money on Your Cash Flow Spreadsheet?
What would you do if you had an extra $336 in your cash flow spreadsheet to spend on each of your employees?
If you haven’t asked yourself this question, you should – investing in your employees is a smart way to find more cash in your bottom line.
But if you need a few ideas to get started on how to use your increased cash flow, we’ve got a few great ones for you.
Ideas to Boost Your Business Environment To Add To Your Cash Flow Spreadsheet
Remember our original question: what would you do if you had an extra $336 in your cash flow spreadsheet to spend on your employees?
Note the keyword — your employees.
Your employees aren’t just the people you walk past in the parking lot every day or the numbers in your spreadsheet. They’re the heart and soul of your business.
And if you treat them that way, they’ll reward you for it.
Have fun like an episode of The Office (just, please don’t be Michael. Just don’t do it).
Boost Employee Engagement – with Cash
We’ll start with the obvious – how to use that extra cash in the cash flow spreadsheet.
Because if you’ve got $336 per person to spare and you’re willing to spend it, there’s no good reason to be shy about it. Make investments in your employees that they’ll thank you for.
Use the Space in Your Cash Flow Spreadsheet to Hire Great People
You know when you worked with someone who’s truly good at their job and excited to do it? That feeling you get from working with them that makes your whole work day better?
That’s the value of hiring great people.
So, we’re here to tell you: use some of that wiggle room in your cash flow spreadsheet to hire excellent people. It will amaze you how much one person’s positive attitude can lighten everyone in the office.
Hiring great people goes hand-in-hand with our other piece of advice: don’t be shy about firing toxic workers. You know the ones. The ones who show up with a bad attitude no matter what day it is, who don’t take personal initiative and drag everyone down.
Invest in Better Lighting
Seeing the world (or, at least, your small, fluorescent corner of it) in a new light is an excellent use of the spare change in your cash flow spreadsheet.
Exposure to natural light improves everyone’s energy, which boosts your day-to-day productivity.
Yet, nearly half of all workers say there is little to no natural light in their workspace.
Kids, it’s time to play smarter in the sandbox.
We’re not saying you have to knock down walls.
But investing in blue-enriched bulbs in brainstorming rooms can help reduce fatigue, while warmer tones in break rooms and meeting rooms help promote calmness. For conference rooms, you’ll want something in the middle.
Invest in an Office Your Employees Want to Spend Time In
You hate your desk. Your employees hate their desks.
So why are you forcing everyone to be handcuffed to their desks?
Take that extra $336 from your cash flow spreadsheet and use it to give people some options – like comfy chairs, or a choice of whether to sit or stand at desks.
Think about how much time you wasted last Monday just trying to get comfortable at your desk. Exactly.
Trusting your employees with that extra change to make their workspace how they want it to look is also a great way to spend that extra dime. It shows your employees that you value them and trust them to manage their own time efficiently, whatever that means for each person.
Improve Your Employee Benefits
Stop the naysayers in their tracks. We’re here to tell you that investing in better healthcare is worth it, especially when the no-cost benefits actually add cash to your bottom line.
There may be no better way to show your employees that you value what they have to offer than by putting that extra money from your cash flow spreadsheet towards better benefits.
It’s not just about winning over current (and potential) employees, either. Better preventative health care will save you both money for the long haul.
Which is not to say there’s no benefit to making better use of the healthcare you have. Reducing unnecessary health care costs is almost as valuable as better health care – it puts a bit of cash back in everyone’s paychecks and gives you the space to make better use of the healthcare you have.
Boost Employee Engagement – For Free
You do not have to drop every extra dollar from your cash flow spreadsheet on big gestures. Not everyone’s the same kind of romantic.
Seriously, though – there are some smaller gestures you can regularly make to your employees to show your appreciation for the time they spend in the office every day.
Here are five of them.
Reward Achievements (After the Fact)
Communicate clearly to your employees what success in the office looks like so they can strive towards it.
And once they accomplish it, reward them for it.
Your reward can be cash out of your cash flow spreadsheet (a la raises or a bonus), but it can also be something as simple as personal congratulations and thank you for their contributions.
When someone performs exceptionally well, congratulate them in person and publicly.
The little gestures go a long way towards making a better business environment for you and your employees.
Celebrate Personal Milestones
On the note of little gestures – personal milestones.
You don’t spend your non-work time sleeping under your desk, and neither do your employees. They have lives, children, significant others, and interests outside of the 40 hours a week they spend in your office.
Keep up with your employees’ personal lives and celebrate milestones – birthdays, life events, etc.
See, it’s not just about what they do for you directly. Recognizing your employees’ milestones makes them a part of a family.
So, the next time someone has a birthday, bring a cake to the breakroom. Send flowers when someone has a child or gets married.
Your employees will notice that you’ve been paying attention.
Make Time for Fun in the Office
Okay, to be fair, this is one you could entirely drop a bit of that extra cash from your cash flow spreadsheet on if you felt like being an overachiever.
But you can still make space for fun and do it for free, within the office.
Tell a new joke if you have one on hand (even if it’s a dad joke). Or put a small recreational activity in the breakroom, like a dartboard.
A few minutes of fun here and there won’t ruin your workday. If anything, it will make the work day go that much faster.
It’s incredible how much faster the hours go by when you’re not keeping your nose to the grindstone 24/7. Besides, keeping morale high will always be worth more to your cash flow spreadsheet than those two minutes it took to tell a joke.
Break Out of That Boring Routine
You are not a robot. Neither are your employees.
So why are you going through your workday as though you are?
All it does is slow everyone down.
It doesn’t have to be a massive shift. It can be something as simple as a change to the workplace scenery – a new plant, for example.
If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, a company break. Get lunch for the office, or change up your schedule a bit.
As we’ve been saying all along, little gestures make a big difference for your business environment.
Make Promises You Can (and Will) Keep
Fun fact: 90% of employees say that trust, honesty, and fairness are essential qualities in a workplace.
How do you show your employees that you’re honest, trustworthy and fair?
Start by making promises you can keep. And keeping them. Don’t overpromise or under-deliver.
Along similar lines, it also pays to admit when you were wrong. Show compassion, make amends, engage with your human employees, you know, like a real human being who cares about them and the time they’ve invested in your company.
Be Smarter with Your Bottom Line
With all of this newfound money awesomeness in mind, it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of dumb money mistakes businesses make every single day.
Hey, you can’t win them all.
It doesn’t mean you can’t play smarter going forward. Your cash flow spreadsheet (and your employees) will thank you for throwing out that old, lame, flawed rulebook and dodging your past mistakes.
Avoid These Four Rookie Mistakes
The good news – your particular relationship to your cash flow spreadsheet aren’t exactly unique.
Many businesses have gone where you’ve gone, and tend to make the same rookie mistakes.
And guess what? That means you can learn from their errors.
Get these four rookie mistakes out of your system.
1. Treating Your Employees Like Resources
Unless your employees are secretly computers, they have feelings.
On account of being, you know, people.
Treating employees like numbers in your cash flow spreadsheet is not a great way to make them feel valued. It mostly just makes them feel like numbers.
You can motivate your employees with incentives like bonuses and raises, but it will only get you so far if you’re not also taking the time to make them care about the company.
How do you do better?
Support your employees to show them that they are valued instead of treated like a finite resource.
2. Focusing on the Topline
It’s easy to hear that another company makes more every year than you do and assume that they’re more successful than you.
But earnings don’t automatically translate to profits, as any good businessman knows. They don’t mean that company’s cash flow spreadsheet is stronger than yours, either.
You could be running a smaller company with a better profit margin. Or be earning more every year than your competitor and still having a worse profit margin.
Ask yourself whether there are areas you can streamline to do better. Could your inventory or supply chain be simplified? Are you paying the right amount in taxes?
3. Not Investing in Your People
There are two meanings to this phrase, but in case you weren’t paying attention to the other ten times — your employees aren’t just assets.
Which does not mean; you should stop investing in your employees. That includes new and current employees. Plenty of business owners hire cheaply thinking it will help their profit margin, when in actuality, investing in the best person for the job will be better for your cash flow spreadsheet.
The same thing applies to your current employees.
If you’re not showing them that you’re investing in them for the time they spend with you, then why would they stay? You’re telling them that you don’t appreciate them.
4. Thinking that Working Harder Will Work for You
Repeat — work smarter. Not harder.
You can be the best workhorse on the planet, but it doesn’t make you a stronger business owner than someone with a strong vision that they know how to articulate.
If you know what you want to achieve and can tell your employees how you want to get there, you’ll cover a lot more ground than someone who just grinds day in and day out.
Treat your employees as valuable assets and treat yourself like one too. Make smarter use of your time instead of running yourself into the ground.
Make the Most of Your Cash Flow Spreadsheet
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