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26 Business Footprint winter 2010 footprint-magazine.co.uk final wordWhen times are tough, how do you make your staff feel valued and wanted? asks Sue Cohen.From no cost to low cost, show people they are valued within the organisation and do your bit for the wider community. Here are a few hints and tips. A 'swap shop' Could be a simple book and magazine swap, clothes swaps or toy swaps. Each buyer pays a small amount to the seller and puts a donation into a charity box. At the end of the month (or quarter) the money in the box is given to your chosen charity.Times are tough for everyone, including voluntary organisations and charity shops. Anything which can't be swapped between the staff could be given to the local charity shop. Staff might volunteer to help in the shop - maybe over an extended lunch hour, so they give some of their time and you give them some time. Having a staff day? It's a chance to do the business update and team building; then go out and help tidy up a communal garden or children's play area.Encourage staff to donate blood. This takes about an hour, usually every four months and it's highly likely there's a centre which is easy to get to from the office.Make sure you pay attention to what's going on inside the organisation, before you start volunteering elsewhere.Pay attention to the positive and say "Thank you" to your staff and colleagues. It also makes dealing with the problems and issues easier. Maybe they will tell you what makes you a good boss / manager ... and how you could be even better!Tell them the truth including the problems and the possibilities, not overly pessimistic The Feelgood Factorand not overly optimistic. If you try and pretend things are better than they are, you are letting them down and making the next round of conversations even more difficult. Ask for their help in moving forwards together and dealing with the difficulties. This is just as important, if not more so, in a small organisation as a large one. UK tap water is great - filter it, if you prefer, through a mains water dispenser or a filter jug. In the summer, put some in the fridge. We know bottled water is hugely energy inefficient as well as costing a lot more. Have a supply of decaffeinated coffee, herbal and fruit teas . Available for staff, alongside the kettle or hot water supply. How about a small supply of fresh fruit, daily - weekly, depending on your numbers? Support your local greengrocer with a regular order of fresh fruit and encourage everyone to take some. So, is it rocket science? Definitely not.Common sense? Yes, probably. But common practice? Again, definitely not SIMPLE CHANGES ARE BEST, PROVEN TECHNOLOGY. Did you know? IF EVERYONE IN THE UK WITH GAS OR OIL CENTRAL HEATING INSTALLED A HIGH EFFICIENCY CONDENSING BOILER WITH FULL SET OF HEATING CONTROLS, WE WOULD SAVE ENOUGH ENERGY TO HEAT NEARLY 1.7 MILLION HOMES FOR A WHOLE YEAR AND SAVE AROUND 3.8 MILLION TONNES OF CO2 WE CAN HELP, CALL US AND START THE SAVINGS! 01920 465111 Unit 9, Gentlemen's Field, Westmill Rd ,Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 0EF