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Mutual Benefits

These little extras cost you nothing--and pay off in happier employees.

This story appears in the February 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A common lament among smaller companies is that they can't afford to compete with the benefits packages offered by major corporations. But even if you don't have much money to spend, with a little bit of effort and creativity, you can offer extras that don't cost you a cent-but make a big difference in employees' attitudes and productivity. Barbara Adolf, a principal with Kwasha Lipton, an employee benefits consulting firm in Ft. Lee, New Jersey, offers these ideas:

Conveniences. Reduce the need for personal errand-running by having products and services brought to the office. Contract with a dry cleaner to pick up and deliver on a scheduled basis. Make arrangements with a restaurant to prepare meals and deliver them to the office at closing time for employees to take home. Look for companies that will come to you to wash and service vehicles. In all cases, employees pay for the service but benefit from the convenience.

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