10 Ways to Boost Employee Morale
Regardless of how much you like your job or the people you work with, work is still, well, work. It’s eight, nine, ten or even twelve hours a day of your time when you’re required to be away from home, interact with others who are little more than acquaintances and be responsible to other people.
As a business owner or boss, it might seem difficult to offer your team a respite from the daily grind while maintaining productivity. When you start to notice employee moralelagging in your office, what options do you have to reinvigorate it? Here are some tactics you can use to help increase productivity by keeping your employees energized and engaged.
1. Remember, You Set the Tone
This isn’t so much a technique as a fact: you, as the boss or business owner, will set the tone for your office and your employees. If you’re uptight, they will be uptight. If you’re too loose, your workplace will be loose. You want to be sure to set the right tone thatencourages employees to have a good time but still get their work done. It’s a fine line, but here are some key elements to consider:
- Keep negativity to a minimum. Maybe you lost a big client, or a deal fell through, or you’re having an argument with your spouse. Whatever the circumstance, try to keep that negativity away from the workplace and your employees.
- Don’t overshare. If the business is doing well, you definitely want your employees to know. But if things are looking a little dim, it might be a good idea to keep most of the details to yourself. In any case, don’t exaggerate or embellish the facts. Be accurate and objective.
2. Recognize Personal and Professional Milestones
For a larger workforce, it may be too much to celebrate every birthday with a giant cake, but it’s still worth recognizing your workers’ special days. Even if it’s just a quick note (not an email), a card signed by their co-workers or permission to take an extra-long lunch, it will go a long way toward showing your employees that you care. You should also acknowledge your employees’ work anniversaries as well as any professional achievements (e.g. closing a huge deal, setting a sales record or anything that goes above their expected deliverables). Celebrate as many wins as possible. There are few things that make employees feel more valued than knowing that you appreciate the fact that they’re there.
3. Encourage Breaks
It may appear as if keeping your employees at their desks for their entire eight-hour shifts will produce the best results, but in truth, people who take periodic breaks throughout the day get more done. Make sure employees understand that it’s okay to get up from their desks, take a walk around the block or grab some coffee. The best way to ensure your employees know it’s okay for them to take breaks is for you to take a break. They don’t have to be long, but it’s best not to come to work and hide in your office all day.
4. Honor Your Open-Door Policy
Hopefully, you already have a well-established open-door policy with your employees. They know that they can come to you and seek out your advice or discuss any ongoing issues that might be bothering them or hindering their work. The most important piece of an open-door policy, however, is that you actually honor it. This further builds a relationship of trust within your organization and illustrates to your employees that you value their opinions.
5. Offer Ongoing Training and Education
Affirm an employee’s sense of worth by encouraging them to learn new skills for their current job or in anticipation of a possible promotion. Employees and managers can set up Skillshare sessions to share their valuable skills/knowledge with each other, which benefits both your employee and the company as a whole. You can also offer to pay for continuing education classes at a local community college or night school. Encouraging your employees to boost their skills will motivate them to strive for more responsibility. It will also show them that you believe in their abilities and have faith that they can handle more important tasks.
6. Remind Them of How Their Work Helps Customers
Make sure your employees understand the impact of their efforts, and reaffirm how they contribute to their customers’ quality of life. Share stories about how their work helps in satisfying the company’s customers. This way, employees might begin to see their work as more than just a job and will take pride in what your company is achieving.
7. Provide Your Employees With the Tools They Need
Nothing is more frustrating to employees than not having access to the tools they need to do their jobs. This can range from having to scrounge around for pens, to a copier that always breaks down, to very slow internet connection speeds. These little annoyances can quickly build into big issues that make your employees feel undervalued. In addition to providing them with the basics, check in with your employees on a regular basis to see if there are other things they might need. Little amenities, like a monthly catered lunch or stocking the refrigerator with soda, can make a huge difference.
8. Celebrate Successes
Not only should you celebrate successes by recognizing exceptional work; you should also make sure your celebrations are fun. Don’t just send out an email, make an announcement, call a staff meeting or schedule a quick huddle near common areas. Public recognition and acknowledgement of success are two of the best ways to demonstrate that you value your employees.
Sure, it may seem like a really obvious tactic, but spend some time thinking about how often you smile during the day. It’s probably less than you think. Make a genuine effort to smile more, especially when you see your employees or pass them in the hallways.
The underlying foundation for all of these techniques is solid communication. Communicate the big things and small things, the wins and losses, the challenges and opportunities. The more open you are, the better chance your employees will be open as well.
Employee morale is a huge boon to your business. While it may not be an easily measurable quality, it will affect your bottom line. Happy employees are more engaged, and engaged employees do better work. Keep in mind that you don’t need to spend a fortune to keep your employees happy and boost morale. A little consideration goes a long way.