Staff management is a sublime artform that requires both artistic endeavour and a scientific understanding of the human psyche. You need to be both a councillor and a disciplinarian rolled into one. It is therefore imperative that a good people manager rewards his or her team when they have performed well (or not so well if the company is about to go bankrupt). Here is a list of office perks to give to staff in the event of your business drawing its final breath – after all, you won’t be able to pay anyone this month anyway!
1. Petty cash
Most companies these days don’t keep huge amounts of petty cash in the office, but it is still required for the occasional corporate necessity like staff birthdays and leaving gifts. In the last throes of your company’s life, the remaining 20p pieces that are left in the petty cash box can be distributed to team members as a thank you for their hard work in the event of an impending bankruptcy announcement. This will of course depend greatly on whether or not the petty cash has been plundered previously, which would in turn explain the reason why the company is going under in the first place.
2. Bathroom inventory
Andrex toilet paper now costs £5.00 for a packet of 9 toilet rolls – this is without added shea butter for a comforting smooth touch finish we might add! At such sky high prices, it may therefore be a good idea to reiterate to staff how costly toilet roll is these days when handing it out as a thank you for their services instead of their final month’s salary.
3. Stationery cupboard contents
The average office stationery cupboard will contain enough pens, geometry sets, erasers, rubber bands, envelopes, compliment slips and staplers for you to set up your own branch of Rymans. Such a collection of loot would therefore be the perfect start up accelerator if given to a team member possessed of the right entrepreneurial spirit. Pick wisely however, as a person that has just lost their job may prove more than you bargain for when it comes to ejecting them from the premises and they have a set of compasses clenched in one hand!
4. The printer bloke’s number
It’s common knowledge in office folklore that, “he who gets the printer fixed shall rule the pub at lunchtime.” Apart from the Wi-Fi going down, printer failures are pretty much the worst thing that can happen in an office and the person that gets it fixed as soon as possible will quickly gain a reputation as a bit of a hero. If your company has a good relationship with the printer bloke, whoever has his number going forward will be useful to whichever company they end up working for. Be mindful however that the account needs to be paid up in full for the number to be of any use – a highly unlikely situation given the current state of affairs!
5. The stuff in the fridge
Ah – the office fridge. It’s a completely separate universe to the rest of the office. There are entirely new compounds that have slowly formed in the bottom of the salad tray over the past few months. A leaf of rocket, a shaving of parmesan cheese, some pastry from a lemon torte – all have been fused together to form the new compound that is slowly decaying in the bottom of your workplace fridge. But wait! What’s that? Is that what I think it is? Is that an Uncle Ben’s sweet and sour chicken with rice microwave meal that isn’t yet past its sell by date? Give this to a team member that truly deserves it. Give it to the person that usually steals everyone else’s food and send them packing on their merry way!
6. One of the remaining PCs
Bankruptcy announcements tend to be very unsettling for staff. Any company that is expecting the administrators to kick down the door at any moment accompanied by bailiffs may find it more difficult than usual to enforce the expected standards of discipline. A good way to ensure the continued loyalty of staff that haven’t yet jumped ship, and to avoid an all-out mutiny, is to tell staff that they can keep their desktop computers for themselves. This will of course need to be done before the bailiffs start loading the remaining PCs into the back of a van and will of course depend on how many of the staff that have already left decided to take theirs with them beforehand.
7. The remaining teabags
No company above a certain size buys teabags in amounts that are less than those huge bags of Tetley that you get from cash and carry stores. This goes for businesses that have a large canteen area, or smaller enterprises that are staffed full of the tea drinking equivalent of heroin addicts. When the final financial nail is hammered into your company’s coffin, the remaining tea bag inventory may serve as appropriate remuneration in lieu of a salary for some of your more libatious staff members.
8. The fire extinguisher
Let’s be honest, nobody actually has one in their home but that doesn’t mean you’ll never require one to put out a fire does it? Explain this to your sobbing staff members when you disconnect the large red canister from its wall mount and place It on their desk before explaining that they won’t be getting paid this month.
9. Your leather executive chair
…………it may squeak a little from all the leaning forward that you’ve done over the years whilst giving one of your team a rollicking, but it would work extremely well as a gaming chair.
10. Your sincerest apologies
Never mind the fact that the real reason you are sobbing like a lost lamb is because you’ll be banned from running a company for the next few years – a few tears, some loud wailing and the words, ‘I’m so sorry,’ will make everybody that worked for you believe that the company went under because of bad luck rather than mismanagement on your part and this is a much cheaper option than paying them with money that belongs to your creditors.