To keep employees performing at their best, it’s often necessary to give them a reason to look forward to coming to work. As an employer or a supervisor, it’s your job to pay attention to the signs that morale is running low. According to executive financial placement firm, Robert Half, these signs include changes in attitude, an active grapevine (gossiping), lack of initiative, scarce rewards, and poor performance. Finding ways to boost office morale can be different for every company, but here are a few things you can try.
Offer gym memberships to your employees
According to Business Insider, regular exercise can drastically improve a person’s work performance. It gives them energy, increases mental capacity, and alleviates stress, preparing them for a better day at work. And sometimes, just getting out of the office for an hour can be all the break a person needs to get them back on track. It will more than likely be worth it to your company to pay for a group membership at a local fitness center and allow your employees an hour to workout without docking their pay. They will appreciate the gesture and probably reward you with higher productivity.
Don’t forget the fun
You’ll spend the better part of your adult life at work, and if there is very little laughter and camaraderie, no one wants to be there. We could all learn a lot from Google’s workplace culture, where employees are offered free meals, on-site massages, haircuts, and dry-cleaning services. And all this is within a space decorated for fun with bean bag chairs and nap pods. Granted, not every company has the resources Google has to create an employee playground. And some businesses may not be as conducive to such an environment. But every office can do something to make their space more fun, even if it’s just a break room with comfy chairs where employees can relax and tell jokes without being frowned at by a supervisor.
Treat employees with respect
No one likes the boss who sits in his office all day, firing off emails to scold or give directives. These kinds of supervisors rarely hear what their team members have to say and are usually the subject of most of the break room banter. Get out among the people once in a while, but not in a way that makes them feel like you’re watching over their shoulder. Ask them about their kids or their cat. And welcome them into your office whenever they have a concern or even a joke. Sure, you have to use your authority and make sure the job gets done, but also show your employees some trust and respect. You hired them for a reason. Trust them to do their job unless they clearly are not.
Remember the little things
Giving your employees little perks throughout the day can make them feel valued as individuals. For example, don’t just stock the break room with grocery store coffee. Spring for something a little more gourmet, perhaps with an office coffee delivery service. Get employee input of little things they feel would make the office a better place to work. It might include things like designer lotions in the women’s bathrooms or better chairs in the break room. Take time to listen and do what you can to grant some wishes.
It’s easy to get complacent when you have a good team and just expect that their good work is reward enough. But studies show that companies with value-based employee recognition see significantly higher retention rates, worker engagement, wellness, and employer brand recognition. Monetary bonuses are always a great way to recognize achievements. But if your company is not quite profitable enough to do that yet, public recognition is a good alternative that employees appreciate.