Happy employees are productive employees. Most franchisees are familiar with the mantra, but employee satisfaction comes down to the bottom line: what a company can afford to give in extra benefits, salaries and perks.

Retaining and maintaining happy employees doesn't always require spending money, and sometimes an investment of time over money produces more sustainable workplace satisfaction. Workers want as much as the company can give them, but won't understand exactly what's available unless privy to the information. Paul Spiegelman, CEO of Beryl Companies, sees transparency as key in this sense.

"You’ll earn the trust of your employees," he told Inc. Magazine, "if you report on your company’s financial performance regularly throughout the year." Employees will be more likely to appreciate a small raise, for example, if they're aware that earnings were more modest than during past pay increases.

One of the most common gripes staff have about an unpleasant work environment is a lack of interaction. When beginning a small business opportunity, many employers overlook the seemingly unnecessary task of new employee orientation. No matter how simple an office environment is, or how straightforward day-to-day management and operations are, starting a new job is always somewhat socially awkward. "Friendship fosters satisfaction and productivity," Spiegelman notes - and creating camaraderie can be as simple as encouraging informal, conversational introductions at meetings.

Each employee in a business is an individual, and must be recognized as such. Some businesses may struggle in productivity without a structured system of expectations, especially those starting a corporate franchise opportunity, but no matter what industry, all employers can create a level of flexibility that staff will appreciate - even if it's just in day-to-day scheduling or allowing personal choice in decorating office space. Giving employees a level of autonomy proves that they can be trusted to perform their duties unsupervised, and building confidence is key for fostering future managers.

The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity is #1 in the tax franchise category of the 2011 Entrepreneur "Franchise 500." Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes "Top 20 Franchises to Start." Our tax franchise is an affordable and viable business choice. Each office provides thorough, computerized tax preparation coupled with superior customer service. For the best small business opportunity in the income tax franchise industry, choose Liberty!