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Positive employee morale is everything. It’s the foundation of teamwork, cooperation, retention, productivity, confidence, revenue growth… should I keep going? If you’re a strong leader, you already know this. You keep a close eye on your employees, engage with them, and listen to them. You may also know that organizations with high employee morale consistently profit from less stress. And less stress equals reduced turnover, which equals more productivity within the workplace. Seems like a no-brainer: invest in employee morale.
Surprise: lots of companies still don’t value the importance of employee morale. Don’t be one of them. Here are some popular and sought-after employee morale boosters you should adopt.
1. Get on the ball with health and wellness programs Exercise not only increases productivity at work, but it improves moods and makes people just generally happier. Up your health and wellness game and provide employees with access to a company gym. You can also partner with an external one to see if any corporate discounts are available. Or, give your employees flexibility and offer a discount toward their own gym or activity center.
2. Allow employees to work from home
Employees are burnt out from the 9-5 rat-race. They need a better work-life balance, and they need autonomy and empowerment.
Allow employees to work from home once a week (or whatever you’re comfortable with) and relieve them of the burnout. 36% of working people
would choose to work from home over a pay raise. Plus, two-thirds of working people already want to work from home, so why not just deliver?
3. Offer healthy food options Cognition and mood are directly impacted by nutrition. So while snacks like bagels, chips, donuts, and brownies are immediate mood-boosters, they won’t cut it in the long run.
Offer employees some healthy snack options. Nutrient-rich foods boost engagement, productivity, and even impacts overall diet. Sweet-lovers might not bite, but the gesture won't go unnoticed.
4. Spill the beans on company details Everyone likes to be in the know, especially when it’s your employees who work diligently to support company initiatives.
So, keep them in the loop. Let employees in on leadership/company-wide challenges, monthly revenue, any new shifts in direction, etc. Sharing inside information also shows your employees that you trust them (which you should), so don’t be afraid to show it.
5. Express gratitude and recognition Gratitude improves both psychological and physical health, uplifts moods, and even improves sleeping habits. Crazy, huh. Consider the following 3 options to express gratitude and recognition:
- Celebrate work anniversaries via an email announcement, and give out a small gift (e.g. mug, company-themed sweatshirt or jacket, a hand-written card from the CEO, etc.).
- Nominate team members once a month for their hard work, extra effort, teamwork, etc. Offer winners a range of gift cards to various retail stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and so on.
- Introduce new employees via email or a company/department meetings. If you send an email, include some fun tidbits, like the last Netflix show he/she watched, favorite food, etc. Throw in a photo to make it even more personal.
6. Host a happy hour and/or do a fun activity
Head out to a local bar once a month (or even once a week) for a company happy hour. Make sure to order some food, too, and always pick up the tab for your employees. You can also allow employees to have a beer (or whatever they prefer) on a Friday afternoon as they finish up the week.
As for some fun activities, wrangle up the company and organize a day to:
- Tour a brewery
- Attend a sporting event
- Host a potluck
- Go to an escape room
- Play games
- Host a working movie day
7. Offer personal development opportunities and coaching According to a 2012 study by Deloitte, retention is 25% higher for employees who have engaged in mentorships, training, or personal development sessions.
Take either individual teams or the entire company to relevant conferences, training sessions, and talks. You can also connect employees with appropriate mentors, or host an optional monthly coaching session.
8. Let employees move around the organization If members of your team express interest in another role within the company, give them the opportunity to pursue it. Create a roadmap for how they can get there, and connect them with the individuals who currently have those roles so they can learn more about responsibilities.
You can think about it like this: would you rather you lose an employee to another company while they pursue a goal, or would you rather retain them and help them pursue that goal internally? I think I know the answer to that 😉.