Winning the war on talent isn’t easy. Not only do you have to spend time and money to recruit good employees, but you also have to make an ongoing effort to keep those employees happy and engaged. Companies that attract and retain the best of the best work hard to create great places to work, and part of that is offering attractive benefits and perks. But what happens if you’re on a tight budget? The good news is, there are still a few things you can do that will delight your team while not breaking the bank. Let’s take a look.

Casual Days

It may not seem like much, but being able to come in after a busy weekend without having to wear that stuffy suit, or end a hectic week in more comfortable clothing can seriously boost morale. Relaxing your office dress code may not be something you can do five days a week, but designating one or two days – typically Friday or Monday – when your employees can wear business-casual clothing is a great perk. Best of all, it won’t cost you a single dime.

Field Trips

Remember the excitement you would feel going into school as a kid when you knew you had a field trip? You can recreate some of that same buzz by implementing regular excursions out of the office. Once a week or a couple times a month, take the whole team (or individual departments, depending on the size and nature of your business) to an offsite location to work. 

There are plenty of options for this, including local coffee shops, co-working spaces and even the nearby bookstore. It’s a great (free) way to let your employees recharge while also supporting local businesses.  

Tech-Free Time

Technology can be great for getting things done, but it can be detrimental when it comes to building and nurturing real, human relationships. That’s why some offices have taken to designating a specified amount of time each day or week during which all employees are required to unplug and interact with one another. Not only is this a great way to strengthen your team, but it’ll also demonstrate that your company cares about more than just the bottom line.

Meeting-Free Days

Meetings can feel like a tremendous waste of time. They can also have a devastating impact on productivity. While it may not be possible to eliminate meetings entirely, it is possible to cut down on how many and how frequently you expect your team to attend. One idea is to block out an entire day, once a week, during which there are to be no meetings held. You’d be surprised at how much something as simple as looking forward to a day of no interruptions can improve the attitude of your staff.

These days, hiring the right people is only half the battle. It’s keeping them that can become the real challenge. But offering perks and benefits can get expensive – especially for a smaller company with an even smaller budget. Thankfully, the four ideas above are both effective and absolutely free, which means you can keep your team happier without taking a hit to your bottom line. Win-win!