Company credit cards: a perk often associated with senior-level executives and seen as almost unattainable. Scrap that thought. It’s outdated, and like many outdated ideas about running a business, it isn’t helping you move forward. I’m here to tell you today about my experience with giving my employees company credit cards, and why I think you should too.
Unfortunately, empowered employees are not something you see as often as you should across organizations, and to me this is a problem. I cannot stress how important it is to foster leadership and empowerment in your employees. Employees who are empowered are more likely to take initiative on projects and get them done effectively, be creative problem solvers, and quick decision makers. They will feel more valued by your organization, and in the long term be happier working for your company.
I find that in my employees, no matter how junior, if they are given a credit card that they are allowed to use for company betterment, they will take this responsibility and use it wisely. My own employees have used this opportunity to improve the office space, bond with new coworkers, take management courses to further their education and promote usable job skills, and foster teamwork via activities. This has created employees that are more likely to take initiative and ultimately become better leaders within your company.
Improves Office Culture and Mutual Trust
Employees who feel involved, trusted, and ultimately enjoy the culture of your company are more likely to stay, plain and simple. Happy employees aren’t going anywhere, and this will save you money in the long run, as we all know how time consuming, and ultimately expensive hiring and training a new employee can be. Giving an employee a credit card can make this happen. To me, giving them this card says, “I trust you with this to make good decisions”, and that is worth so much in keeping employees happy and retaining them. I even call our company credit card the “culture card”, because its main purpose is to help you create a better workplace for yourself and for the rest of the office. In my office specifically, this is done by employees buying potted plants to decorate with, getting snacks for everyone to enjoy, and occasionally buying kitchen gadgets to make cooking in our office kitchen easier.
Gets Rid of the Hassle of Reimbursement and Expense Reporting
We all have had to hunt down, or have been hunted down, by whoever in your company was in charge of submitting the department expense report. It is a tedious task that most will put off, and the process itself doesn’t give off a feeling that you’re spending money for the good of the company. I have known coworkers in the past that will eat the cost of things on business trips, partly because submitting the expense report and going through the entire process did nothing but frustrate them, and partly because they could never keep track of all of their receipts for the expense report. Frustrated employees are never a good thing, especially if you’re sending those employees out into the field to advocate or sell on behalf of your company.
Company credit cards can eliminate this process altogether, which is also a good thing for the aforementioned employee who was responsible for hunting down expense reports. I can guarantee there is something far more effective for them to be doing with the time they are using on this. The same can be said for the employee submitting the expense report. These things take away valuable hours from employees, causing them to feel rushed or stressed by all of their other tasks.
Hopefully my experience of giving employees a company card has brought you around to the idea, me and my employees, cannot recommend it enough!
Author's bio: Brett Farmiloe is the CEO of digital marketing company Markitors and advisor to leadership career resource, Organizational Leadership Degrees. He is also a backyard chicken farmer who frequently contributes content to Forbes and Huffington Post.