6 Ways to Boost Morale (and Your Bottom Line) in the Office
The most important asset of any business is its staff. This is especially true for small businesses. If you want to keep your productivity high and your turnover low, you need to keep your team happy.
Here are 6 ways that you can boost morale in the office.
Show them that you appreciate them.
Everyone wants to be appreciated. We spend a large portion of our time every day at our jobs, and it is nice to know that what you do matters.
Remember that everyone is different. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to get to know your team members as individuals and find out how they like to be appreciated. For some, a simple “thank you” or a handwritten note may be just right. Others may prefer a small gift or recognition in front of their peers.
Find out what motivates each of your employees and show your appreciation for them in the way that means the most.
Liven up the office
Imagine it’s your first day at a new job. You walk into your new office. The place is dirty and dingy, there are old fluorescent lights in the ceiling, and the whole place smells like mildew. Each person is working on his/her own in a cubicle. It’s not exactly a place where you would expect to find the best and brightest.
Now, picture this. You walk in and everything is crisp and clean. There are plants in the lobby and artwork on the walls. The workspace has an open floor plan and there is a buzz of collaboration in the air. Now we’re talking!
Your employees spend the majority of their waking hours in your office. It’s important that it is set up to be a productive environment. Sometimes a simple change of scenery, like rearranging furniture, can help. You may want to consider some upgrades. A fresh coat of paint, some new furniture, softer task lighting, and color are all great ways to make a better office space.
If you’re really feeling innovative, consider getting a foosball table or setting up a room for your team members to take naps. Short breaks have been shown to increase productivity in the workplace.
Show me the perks
Incentives and perks will almost always boost morale around the office. Casual Fridays is a perfect example. The change of pace makes Friday something to look forward to all week.
Consider stocking the kitchen with snacks and drinks. Provide free team lunches once a month. Offer incentives for performance, such as individual and team bonuses. Encourage and offer to pay for training and certifications for your staff.
Getting creative with perks and incentives will help your company stand out and become a talent magnet. Think outside the box to determine what your team would really value.
Better yet, ask them. Would they like a free house cleaning once a month? How about discounts at local restaurants near the office? These kinds of perks will help you attract and keep talent in your company.
One of the biggest trends in the workplace today is a flexible schedule. Technology and the Internet have helped to create a culture where we are always plugged in. Even though we may only be on the schedule for 40-50 hours per week, we’re likely working significantly more.
Flexible schedules and the ability to work from home have started to become the norm for many businesses. As long as your employees don’t abuse the privilege, think about giving them some freedom.
Set expectations for what each staff member needs to accomplish in a given week, not how long they need to be at their desks.
If people are afraid to take an afternoon off to pick up their children from school or to go to a doctor’s appointment, the culture and quality of work will suffer. Help your team achieve work/life balance and your business will be better for it.
Have fun together
Do you remember when you were a kid and you would go on a field trip with your class at school? These were always the best days.
The work environment is optimal for getting things done, but it isn’t the greatest place to really get to know your colleagues. Talk to your team and discuss possibilities for extracurricular events you can participate in together.
Sometimes simply getting out of the office is enough. A quarterly outing off-site may help to break up the routine and energize your staff. The same goes for holiday parties.
A great way to build camaraderie is to do something together for the public good. Volunteer for a day at a soup kitchen or build a house for Habitat for Humanity.
Exercise and sports are perfect for team building. Poll your staff to see if there is enough interest to sign your company up for an intramural sports league. Volleyball, kickball, and softball are available for adults in most areas.
Listen to your team
Perhaps the most important and valuable thing you can do to boost morale for your company is to be open and willing to listen. Give your employees input into the type of company you are becoming and how you are run. Send out anonymous surveys in order to get honest feedback and generate discussion.
Create an environment where your team wants your business to succeed as much as you do. Show them that they can be honest with you and the rest of the staff and that you are willing to hear them out and do whatever you can to make your business the best it can be.