Let’s face it — we’ve all been in an employment situation where we were less than excited to go to work every day. Many factors outside of a huge salary or great benefits make up a company’s culture.

There’s a lot that small businesses can do — without significant financial investment — to enhance company culture and improve employee retention.

We know money can’t buy happiness — the same goes for your employees’ satisfaction and productivity. All the hacks below focus on your employees because they are what ultimately make or break your company

Pooch Presence

Dogs are a huge part of their owners’ lives. Working alongside your dog can reduce stress and nurture productivity as they serve as a reminder to pause and engage in a little playtime or take a short walk. This allows for a mental break. Letting employees bring their dogs can save them significant money on daycare costs — a benefit surely appreciated by passionate owners.

CUE office dog Bentley trying to help out


It doesn’t necessarily matter if your company can’t offer substantial training and development programs — merely offering mentoring or skills exchange with Photoshop or Quick-Books, for example, will show a willingness to invest in your employees. This adds to their feeling of being important, and shows that you care about their personal development.

A casual office

No strict dress code can help employees feel comfortable. The way you dress is hugely personal, so being able to feel like yourself at work can enhance an employee’s feeling of being accepted and appreciated the way they are. Besides, if you have smart employees, they will understand that in a meeting with a client, putting your shoes back on is a good idea. So no risk of the slippery slope argument there.


Any form of recognition will help your employees feel as though their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Everybody wants to feel like they are doing a good job, right? In case you are not in a position to offer bonuses, something as simple as having your employees nominate each other for ‘employee of the month,’ can go a long way. Recognizing your employees shows that you take notice of their good work and talent.


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