Positive work morale and culture are vital to company success because, without people, you have no company. Ideally, teams move together like a school of fish in harmony, working toward the greater good of the employer — but that doesn’t mean your employees don’t have individual desires and ideas for what makes an enjoyable time at the office.
“An office is a place of work, not fun,” you may think, but that type of thinking may lead to a low employee retention rate if you’re constantly putting noses to the grindstone. Here’s what you do get your employees loving what they do while enjoying themselves at work:
- Don’t Treat Employees Like Children
Some employers are more hands-on than hands-off with their employees, and often not without cause. However, that doesn’t mean you have to treat your employees like children. They’re adults, and you hired each for a reason.
Respect each employee’s ability to handle a given situation and ask for help when needed. Don’t hide company issues, either. When employees lack knowledge or resources, they can’t step up to the plate with solutions or take care of themselves if the corporate boat is about to sink.
- Offer Realistic Options for Work-Life Balance
Low pay, no recognition, being stuck in one place and bad health care policies are a few of the reasons employees eventually leave a company. Good work-life balance is key to employee retention, and 21 percent of employees work harder when this box is checked. There’s only so much sticking it out you can do.
Does your employee work better from home or need to take care of their kid or a sick family member? Are they about to have a child? If your employee’s performance has never wavered, why not be flexible with their circumstances? Help them achieve a good work-life balance with a better pay raise or longer maternity leave.
Human Resources is about taking care of your professionals as people, not keeping your minions in check. Maybe a flexible Friday or the occasional half-day would do you some good, too, as a very busy boss.
- Add Some Break-Time Fun Options
Working together is great, but friendly competition never hurt anyone. Serious and silly team sports can bring your team closer together, allow employees to sweat off frustrations and provide insight into their strengths.
How big is your parking lot? It’s big enough for a basketball hoop. For what you get out of it, basketball hoops are an affordable and reasonable investment, and some retailers offer free shipping, free pads and even rebates.
Employees can shoot hoops on their own time, but why not set up mini-tournaments? Offer incentives during the tournament to reward your employees. And if hoops isn’t your thing, set up a pool table, ping-pong, or even an xBox.
- Don’t Have Meetings for the Sake of Meetings
Tired of feeling like the teacher lecturing students on not doing their homework or having nothing to say in class? Don’t have meetings for the sake of meetings.
Have meetings when you have a valid need and clear objective. When you have a meeting, keep it short — like fifteen or thirty minutes. This can increase focus and avoid killing productivity. Reducing the length of your meeting forces everyone to get to the point and feel motivated about the objective. It stops you from wasting valuable time and boring everyone in the room.
- Volunteer Because You Mean It
Be an example to your employees and volunteer within your community. Better yet, get the team together and dedicate the day to a community project and raise awareness or money.
Don’t volunteer because you feel it’s a social obligation to be recognized as a charitable company. Don’t do it for the publicity. Those reasons are understandable, but volunteering is not a means to an end.
Volunteering improves professional and personal morale, and the largest generation in the workforce today prefers to be hired by sustainable companies with a “for the people” mindset. Millennials in the B2B and B2C workforce are affecting the way companies do business by boosting their social impact and infusing their mission statements with social consciousness.
Find a cause close to your company’s heart. Did someone in the company recently beat cancer? Volunteer because you mean it.
- Let Nature Into the Gray Workspace
Research reveals that employees who spend time in nature during the work week earn a productivity and motivation boost. Walking breaks or conducting meetings while strolling along a nature trail could be beneficial to employee morale.
Why not let nature into the office, too? Bring in shade-friendly plants, such as a calla lily plant. Open the windows. Add color to the drab and demoralizing gray of office cubicles.
If you can’t bring nature in, let employees listen to nature sounds to boost morale and productivity. If seagulls and ocean sounds become annoying, using earbuds will keep sensitive ears happy.
Let your employees keep their noses intact, and work on improving employee morale by making the office environment more enjoyable for all. Levels of positivity and productivity will improve along with your employee retention rate. What’s not to like about that?
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