candy-canesAs you end 2016, you may be thinking about how to reward employees and give back to the community. According to the fall 2016 Bank of America Small Business Owner’s Report, small business owners often have to make sacrifices in order to give holiday perks to their employees. Also, navigating local charities to work with can be challenging—and then there’s planning for next year.

Don’t be overwhelmed—that’s where we come in. I recently moderated a YouTube Live event presented by Bank of America*, which included Flexible Work Culture Strategist, Cali Williams Yost, Small Business Expert and USA Today Columnist Steve Strauss, and Bank of America Head of Small Business Sharon Miller. We generated key tips and strategies to help you navigate the holiday season in your small business and prepare for 2017.

You can watch the full event here, but some of the key takeaways included:

Rewarding Employees Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank. You can be creative in how you reward employees, from offering time-saving services (like a gift wrapping room at work), to some extra time off or even the ability to work remotely. And, if you do feel a little pinch by giving an extra bonus, you should be able to reap the rewards with happy employees in the new year.

Giving Back is Good Business. Being engaged in the local community is good business. There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing, and lifting up the community strengthens it, which ultimately benefits your business too.  You can let employees pick their favorite charity or non-profit individually or even as a team to further the mission and culture of your business.

Be Flexible as You Look to Next Year. As you think about next year, flexibility should be top of mind. Technology enables you to be able to let employees work remotely—and you can even attract better talent by not being geographically constrained. Also, be flexible in your product and service offering and marketing strategies. Being willing to adapt to trends will set you up for success.

You can get more details on these tips and some additional tactics to help you spread the holiday cheer by watching the 20-minute video of the event. Invest just a few minutes to get the most out of the end of this year and have a successful 2017.

Disclosure: this company has a client relationship with or its affiliated entities