When most business people hear the term "boosting employee morale", they usually picture exotic corporate retreats with corporate gurus guiding the group through trust exercises. The problem this concept is that it involves a great deal of money, time away from productive work, or both. Fortunately, most employees can be given a huge moral boost through simple recognition and fun. Below are five methods of making the workplace a more positive place for employees without wasting a great deal of time or spending a great deal of money.
You Know What Would Be Good On These Ribs?
Take any random sampling of four adult males and the likelihood of finding at least one who considers himself a grillmaster is probably 100%. Take advantage of this by having a company sponsored barbecue lunch. The grillmaster himself may be nonproductive for a couple of hour out of the day, but the rest of the staff can run out and grab a plate during their normal lunch period. To really run with the idea, have people sign up to become grillmasters at the monthly barbecue and offer a prize at the end of the year for the best. In addition to raising morale, this is a rapport building event suitable for inviting clients.
A Little Recognition Please
This concept has been underutilized in the past. A popular physical corporate joke is the employee of the month picture hanging somewhere in the back of the office - a picture that no one has bothered replacing in a decade. Creating a little ceremony to announce outstanding work, sacrifices a couple of minutes but can inspire people to be more productive every working moment in an effort to achieve the recognition.
Make Them Feel Special
For those who require a greater incentive than simple recognition, offering special privileges could turn an adequate worker into a frenzied production machine. The classic example of this is the parking spot next to the door reserved for the employee of the month. Offering a benefit that is not taken for granted as an employee's due, but rather a prize to be earned can boost morale and employee work ethic.
But It's For The Children
Throw a party that includes the children of employees. From a basic pizza party to a full blown private fair, having the kids happy with the company will make employees happier. Clients also have children. When clients' children are looking forward to a company's annual fair, the odds are much better that clients will remain customers for a long time.
Do You Know a Better Way?
Offer incentives or recognition for improvements in the way the company does business. It is amazing how often a long term employee can be filled with great ideas for improving profitability but never bother mentioning them. It is equally amazing how offering small incentives or recognition for such ideas can streamline a company's processes and make employees happy.
For businesses that cannot afford losing staff or spending money on long morale building trips, a little imagination can produce results just as good without the expense. What other tips do you have for maintaining employee moral? Make sure to leave them in the comments.