A weary workforce is easy to spot when you walk through an office space. Slumped shoulders, low-key discussions and reduced energy levels are the hallmarks of unhappy employees. Although managers might offer raises on a regular basis, more money isn’t always the key to a happy workforce. Consider some of the simple changes that business owners or managers can implement to boost company morale.
Encourage Project Creativity
The daily grind can be grueling, from stacks of paperwork to back-to-back phone calls. At least once a month, call for a project-creativity day. Employees can put down their normal duties and work on a project that’s dear to their heart. The project should be somewhat related to the business, but ultimately it must please the employees. Ideally, the work will be completed within that day’s work hours. Employees can then present the projects to management the next day. As a result, workers can show off their talents while feeling valuable simultaneously.
Every business is busy with projects and deadlines. Once one deadline passes, employees concentrate on the next one that’s approaching. Management, however, needs to take a different perspective on this workflow. Productivity may be high, but employees aren’t seeing the recognition that they deserve. Consider a monthly accomplishment meeting that simply focuses on the workers and their achievements. Give out small rewards, such as gift cards, as tokens of appreciation. This simple gesture means a lot to the employees, and only encourages them to work harder in the future.
Deal With Poor Management
Most of the managers in a company may have positive relationships with the employees, but one bad apple can spoil the harmony. Business owners need to recognize when a negative person is marring the company’s productivity. Although this manager may have seniority, they cannot bring down entire departments with negative energy. Business owners need to weed out these individuals and remove them from the situation. The employees will immediately recognize the change and alter their work habits accordingly.
Acknowledge Their Social Needs
A break room for the employees is a perfect area for relaxation and socializing. Creating a break room where employees can interact with each other shows them that their leaders recognize the need for socialization throughout the day. You may have a refrigerator in this area for lunches and other items. However, you can boost morale even further by having a vending service add a vending machine to the break room. A full stomach and a good conversation with co-workers only encourages healthy productivity.
Recognize Extreme Situations
Employees aren’t robots—they must be treated kindly, with respect to their individual circumstances. One employee may have just suffered a loss in the family, for example. Managers should be aware of this sensitive issue and help the employee out on a temporary basis. If foul weather sets in, employers need to be flexible with workers’ attendance. Working from home during a snow storm might be the best thing for a worker with a long commute.
Offer Unique Perks
Most businesses offer standard health care and vacation days. To boost the company morale even more, consider unusual employment perks. The company might offer days off for community service or tuition reimbursement. All of these perks can influence employees’ minds and their attitude each day at work.
A smile and a fun break can make a world of difference in an employee’s life. As a manager, take some time out of your busy, office schedule to socialize with your workers. Offer them a smile and a piece of normal conversation. Talking about local sports, families and other pursuits will let workers know that management cares about them on a personal level. The morale has another chance at rising with this simple gesture.
About the Author:
Emma is a freelance writer from Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. Find Emma on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2