Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. Without their contributions, you wouldn’t have all you do — you owe it to them to repay their hard work with kindness and generosity. Your workforce should expect nothing less.
Here are seven ways to improve your employee morale and keep your core players dedicated and giving their best.
1. Send an Unexpected Gift
Who doesn’t love opening the door or mailbox to an unexpected package? A surprise gift can boost employee morale, but you need to include everyone. You don’t want to risk an uncomfortable situation by singling out only one individual for coffeehouse gift certificates. However, it’s OK to reward an entire department for a spectacular job.
Gifts of flowers or clothing can feel too personal for a work situation, but food is a tried-and-true favorite. Plus, in this age of COVID-19, it’s reassuring to know that no evidence supports the theory that the disease can spread through delivery. This trick works particularly well now with everyone working remotely and perhaps feeling distanced from the workplace.
2. Provide Competitive Wages
You know the industry standard, and you pride yourself on keeping up with the average. However, if you want to attract top talent, don’t fool yourself that they’ll derive long-term satisfaction from a so-so income. Plus, if your workers are worried about paying their rent, they won’t remain 100% focused on the task at hand — no matter how tight a ship you run.
Pay fair wages to all while rewarding those who go above and beyond. Many companies offer quarterly bonuses based on performance metrics — consider implementing a similar process if you don’t currently have one.
3. Ask What Perks They Want
Do you want to put together the ultimate benefits package for your staff? One way to make the perks go further — and improve employee morale — is to customize them.
For example, a gym membership makes an attractive perk for many employees. It keeps people healthier and provides a benefit they may not otherwise pay to access. However, if Barb in accounting prefers working out in her living room, she may never use it. She might appreciate a monthly subscription box full of yarn for her knitting endeavors or various gourmet coffees more.
4. Embrace Virtual Happy Hours
Virtual happy hours took the business world by storm in 2020, but there’s no need to abandon them once vaccines make in-person mixing and mingling safer. Such events are a godsend for employees with chronic illnesses who may lack the requisite spoons to attend an in-person event after-hours. You might find that employees who rarely RSVPd before will attend Zoom sessions.
You can get more people to participate when you make these events entertaining and brief. Plan a game or two that you can play with the crew and implement an end time as well as a starting point. Unlike purely social gatherings, you don’t want employees to feel compelled to stay until closing time for a work-related event.
5. Allow Flexible Scheduling
Today’s schedules were crazy before COVID-19 hit. Now, with ever-changing school and sports events, parents need to make extra arrangements to tend to their little ones.
It’s more crucial than ever to allow a more flexible schedule. Even if you run a client-facing business such as a restaurant or a salon, try to allow sufficient overlap in shifts so it doesn’t create a crisis for one employee if another one arrives a few minutes late or early.
6. Enhance the Office Environment
Would you do your best work if you had to sit in at a hard, plastic elementary school-style desk all day? Probably not, and your employees won’t, either.
When choosing your office furniture, pay attention to ergonomics, and make sure chairs and desks adjust to fit the tallest and shortest workers. Consider options like variable-height desks and inflatable fitness balls as chair alternatives.
Likewise, the clatter of heels on hardwood or tile can deafen your workers if you have a high-ceilinged, warehouse-style office. Look for ways to absorb excess sounds like drop ceilings and carpet. Take advantage of natural light whenever possible. A study from Cornell University shows it cuts headache and eyestrain by 84% — neither condition is conducive to productivity.
7. Invest in Emotional Intelligence
The right team can make or break your business success. However, as much as companies preach the value of emotional intelligence, they spend little time teaching it.
Instead of assuming your team knows what behaviors lead to success, make emotional intelligence training an integral part of their professional development. You’ll soothe interoffice conflicts when all parties know how to address concerns and meet their needs while supporting the team.
Improve Employee Morale With These Tips
Your employees are your business’s’ lifeblood. Show them how much you value their contributions and improve their morale with these tips.
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