5 Essential Ways to Boost Employee Morale in Your Business

5 essential ways to boost employee morale
As the head of the company, the buck might stop with you, but without motivated and empowered employees, you’ll likely struggle to achieve long-term goals and hit benchmarks. How do you make sure employees understand and buy into the company’s culture and strategic plan? Keeping a pulse on office morale is one of the first steps. If you notice morale is low, here are five ways to get it moving in the right directions — where organizational leadership and improved management meet.

Talk and Listen

In a recent report by Business Journals, 38 percent of human resource managers cited communication as the most effective way to counter low employee morale. It’s important to note that communication goes both ways. As a leader be sure to provide clear direction. However, it is equality important to listen and really hear what your supervisees are expressing. By communicating clearly and regularly with your employees, you’ll lessen office gossip, which can quickly spread and cause panic, particularly if the organization is going through a restructuring process or is making budgetary changes. If you are a supervisor, it’s also important to let your employees know that you are advocating for them. Everyone wants to know that someone has his or her back.

Give Rewards Every Day

Everyone wants to feel appreciated and rewards can come in all forms. While monetary rewards will most definitely be received well, employees will also feel valued in a variety of ways. This might include certificates and acknowledgement at a company meeting, spotlights in a company newsletter or gift certificates to a local restaurant or theater. Food might seem like a strange reward, but by having snacks, coffee or a candy bowl available to your employees, they will feel a sense of reward every time they grab a Twizzler or an afternoon caffeine fix. Office-wide rewards could also include an outside-the-office activity such as a picnic, bowling or lunch at a local restaurant.

Empower Everyone

Give your employees the chance to grow professionally through training and the ability to contribute. By providing avenues for employees at all levels to offer suggestions, you will build a stronger team and boost morale. This might take the form of a suggestion box (that is actually utilized), roundtable discussions or surveys. When an employee offers a suggestion to improve the workplace, he or she should also be encouraged to contribute to the implementation of that idea. As a supervisor, you should also help each employee develop a career track by answering the questions: What are your short- and long-term goals? What training opportunities would you like to participate in? As always, no one likes to be micromanaged.

Take a Breath

Create a culture and mindset of work-life balance. Employees who aren’t near the brink of burnout will be more effective. The creation of this culture might include establishing space for employees to “play” during breaks. Google has taken this idea so far as to provide ping pong tables, a video game room and a rock-climbing wall for their employees. While your company might not be able to offer such extravagant perks, you can still implement a culture in which employees are invited to happy hours, company-wide potluck lunches and monthly birthday celebrations. Inviting guest speakers, fitness instructors and other special guests to the office can be another way to offer employees a perk as well as a break in their normal routine.

For supervisors, it’s imperative to set the example for work-life balance. If your child has a piano recital, leave work in time to attend, and encourage your employees to do the same. As a supervisor, it’s important to help your employees manage their time. If you notice someone regularly working 70-hour weeks, find out what is causing the excessive overtime and what mechanisms could be put in place to make their work week more manageable.

Build Foundations

Get to know your employees as individuals rather than just workers. Make sure they know that family can stop by and visit the office, and perhaps create an internal newsletter or weekly email highlighting family-oriented information or personal insights. Then, as you look for ways to reward and empower your employees, you’ll have a better understanding of how they feel appreciated and ways in which they can grow professionally and contribute to the organization.

Building a strong organization with high employee morale is a team effort. It takes everyone’s input and participation. If you’re not sure where to start, you can begin with simple conversation and thank you notes. Let those you work with know they are appreciated, and in that moment, you will have boosted their morale.

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