The bottom line isn’t the only thing that keeps a company going. You could have had an excellent year in sales but, if the company morale is heading downhill, you won’t be able to sustain this for long. People love great salaries and benefits but they also value quality of life and, if your company’s employees are dragging their feet just to get themselves to come to work every day, you could be in trouble. Head off this trend at the pass. Read on for five ways to boost team morale in the workplace.
1. Teambuilding Isn’t Just a Bunch of Trust Falls
We’ve all seen The Office reruns and other shows that make these teambuilding retreats look cheesy and silly. The truth is they’re anything but. They are a way for employees to let off steam while getting to know one another—something that you can’t even put a number on as far as building morale. These kinds of events are especially helpful if you work in a stressful environment with long hours in which the employees have little interaction. Find something that everyone thinks will be fun by sending out an email questionnaire during the planning phases. Whether it’s paintball, bubble soccer, or even just a dinner out on the town, your employees will appreciate that you went to the effort to take care of them. Not only that, but the time they had will also surely translate into better teamwork when back in the office.
2. Celebrate Their Achievements, Big and Small
We’ve all heard about the lavish sales incentive trips that some employees get for reaching their annual goals. These are excellent ideas if your company can afford them. Even if you can’t, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate achievements—even in a small way. Send out a company email letting everyone know that one of your employees went above and beyond in a certain way. Offer an “Employee of the Week” program. Write something about your employees on the blackboard you keep in the company kitchen. You won’t believe how much these small tokens of appreciation could mean to the people who work for you. And when people see others being recognized, their competitive instincts will likely kick in, too, so it’s a win/win.
3. Offer Zen Areas for Downtime
You don’t have to have a fancy game room like the ones at Google, per se, but an area where people can go and relax and take a break when things get too high-stress is recommended. If you’re a smaller company and only have a small lunch break area, consider bringing in fun magazines, playing cards, board games, or other things people can do to take a momentary break. Trust us when we tell you this won’t detract from work productivity. In fact, it will increase it—it’s science, yo.
4. Play Up Those Perks
Again, not everyone is going to get free massages and sports center memberships like those dang Google employees. Perks don’t have to be this massive to have a positive effect on morale. Whether it’s free lunch on Fridays, yearly bonuses, or even a paid cell phone bill, all perks count. Again, you can find out what’s most important to your employees by using something like Survey Monkey. Once you know what they value the most, offer a perk in that area. If it’s time off, improve your vacation pay or give one Friday off a month.
Frontier Properties CEO knows his CO-based employees value their time outside, so he allows for longer lunch hours so his people can go on hikes, bike rides, etc. As he puts it, “It’s a great time for them to get out and clear their heads so they can focus when they come back to work. If they choose to forego this time, they can leave early. I’m okay with either option.”
Whatever you choose will come back to you in employee happiness.
5. Work Smarter, Not Harder
You likely have very few employees who don’t value their downtime at home with their friends and family members. So make sure you all become experts in time management. If you can say it with an email or a memo and get the same result as an hour-long meeting, do it. Your employees will thank you!
Follow these tips and you’ll see a nearly immediate uptick in morale. Value your employees and they’ll value you and their jobs.