In addition to productivity and positive team interactions, employee morale is an important factor in effectively operating a business. Managers need to understand what they can do to keep their employees motivated, keep their spirits high, make them want to deliver for the company and stay on for the long term. In this article, we’ll discuss improving employee morale and motivation, and how to increase and improve your team’s productivity and commitment overall.
Boosting morale in the workplace
For the most part, boosting morale in the workplace is about keeping employees engaged and invested. They need to feel like they aren’t just doing a job, but rather they’re doing something important and fulfilling. Everyone needs to feel like what they’re doing matters on some level, but everyday activities often get in the way.
If you are a manager, you must take time to show your team members that they’re making a difference perhaps by celebrating their achievements. Focus on individual employees and let everyone know what they’re doing matters. Little things like highlighting the achievements of your team members, when you can, make a big difference in how they feel about what they do every day.
We naturally focus on the future, like where the company is going and what needs to be fixed to get there. It’s equally important, however, to reflect on what’s gone right recently and how that’s helping you get there. Managers can focus as much on the positive as they do on the constructive. Think about asking everyone to provide a list of their accomplishments for the year, and publish a “top achievements” list for the entire staff.
How to improve employee morale
Here are some steps you can take to improve team members’ morale in the workplace
1. Provide time off
Extra time off, and encouraging employees to use their time off, is a great way to increase productivity and make employees feel more comfortable in their roles and with the organization. Extra time off can also allow employees to pursue outside-of-work activities. Encouraging your employees to engage their creativity during this time off can help them feel more personally fulfilled, which could make them more productive at work.
Also, consider offering time off for employees to perform organized community service projects. For instance, you could set up a highway or neighborhood cleanup crew or recruit staff to work at a soup kitchen for a day. You can support and use many charitable initiatives and causes as team-building for your staff, who would likely benefit from the chance to make a difference while representing the company.
2. Host a variety of events
Give your staff members a chance to leave their cubicles and meetings behind. Suggest participating in team-building activities like social hours, department luncheons, celebrations, or recreational retreats. Fun activities like sporting events or potluck dinners can enhance morale and, in turn, increase productivity.
3. Focus on coaching
Many of the keys to improving employee morale and motivation are similar to the ones you need to be a good leader. When you manage, try coaching and leading rather than mandating behavior. Set a good example, and be willing to be involved. Listen to your employees and be aware of their concerns and ideas. When employees feel like you value their contributions and viewpoints, they are more likely to show dedication to the company.
To maintain effective coaching, keep a constant and open line of communication with your team members, know what they need, and be willing to provide for those needs. Aim to be as accountable as you would expect your employees to be.
4. Develop your company culture
Consider a casual dress code. For instance, if you’re in a less formal industry like online journalism, it may be appropriate for your employees to wear jeans and T-shirts. You can also offer couches as workspaces or allot a certain number of work-from-home days per month or quarter. Aiding your employees’ ability to relax in the office and work at their own pace can also result in increased morale.
5. Respect your staff
You can develop morale by taking the time to treat your team members with courtesy and respect. Remember that you hired these individuals for their drive, determination, passion and skills. Trust that they want to be there and that they will likely use their skills to the best of their abilities. Aim to keep an open line of communication, and remove any barriers between staff, management and executives.
6. Seek employee input
In addition to showing respect, you can encourage your team to give candid feedback about their job and the organization. For instance, consider facilitating weekly five-minute team meetings where each person states their strengths and challenges. You could also ask for anonymous feedback by distributing comment cards and instructing employees to fill them out and drop them in a box so you can review them later.
When you ask your staff for direct feedback, you’re adopting an open stance that gives your employees a feeling that they can contribute to positive change. You can use the anonymous technique to encourage honesty among employees who feel more comfortable in this fashion. To show you value the input, it is crucial to implement positive changes based on the comments.
7. Offer workplace fitness programs
Creating a fitness challenge at work can be a great way to develop friendly competition, team building, and support in the workplace. It can also enhance morale since physical activity can translate into higher productivity.
Consider investing in a company-wide gym membership, or installing fitness equipment in your workplace. Encourage staff to work together to run a marathon or any other sort of athletic challenge. You will encourage people to live healthier and be happier overall.
I hope you find this article helpful.