When money can't talk: If a company can't afford to give its workers raises, there are other ways to motivate them, says George S. May International Co., a management consultant. Positive feedback given in person and flexibility in meeting employee needs, such as a different schedule for a new parent, are two ways, Mr. May said. So are stock options for a long-time staffer. Mr. May also suggests a boss ask employees' opinions on ways to improve the company.
Dress down: More companies are accepting the idea of casual dress, finds the Society for Human Resource Management. In a survey of 505 human resource managers commissioned by the society and Levi Strauss Co., 42 percent of respondents said their organizations allow at least one casual dress day a week, up from 17 percent in 1992. One-third allow casual dress every day or on most days, unless employees are meeting with important clients. That's up from 19 percent in 1992. The society notes that casual dress can have advantages for companies at little or no cost.