In some jobs, task repetition and slipping into a routine can cause low morale. Company management transitions or benefit reduction are other culprits to a discouraged staff. Fortunately, there are easy ways to put some excitement in the workplace and lift employee’s spirits.
1) Throw a monthly party with food
Having an office pizza party or bagel spread once a month can be a generous but affordable way to shake up everyone’s schedule. Try to feature a different food each time – switch off between a few options to keep it interesting. While this is a very easy way to boost morale, it should be used somewhat sparingly to avoid becoming routine and expected. Allow time for employees to socialize a bit during the lunch or bagel break.
2) Organize a community comedy board
A little humor in the workplace can brighten up a tiring day of work. Employees can offer funny pictures and jokes that can be shared on the board for everyone to enjoy. One or a few employees should be given the responsibility of monitoring the materials before they get posted to keep the humor in good taste. Every 30 to 60 days, the board should be wiped clean and new submissions solicited so that the jokes never grow old. A “best funny” of the month incentive motivates employees to participate.
3) Host meetings outside the office
A change of environment can help people feel more energized. Set up a meeting at a restaurant with a private room so that you can have the perfect balance of a productive and fun atmosphere. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can find a restaurant with an arcade or bowling lane to encourage friendly competition during meeting breaks. Maybe do a half day at a fun place, alternating work sessions with fun time.
4) Keep your ears open, because all ideas are worth a listen
Employees will feel more like members on your team if their voices count. Sometimes people may feel uncomfortable with presenting their opinions. During meetings, require that every person at the table should give at least one new idea or constructive feedback. Requiring interaction from everyone stimulates their listening skills and involvement. If you haven’t already, place suggestion boxes in the office for ideas outside the boardroom. Hand out a survey every few months to keep track of how employees feel in the office.
5) Affiliate your company with a charity event
This approach is great on several levels. First, you are encouraging interaction outside the office among co-workers. Social activities can help your employees develop stronger ties and become a more effective team. In addition, you are providing an outdoors activity that promotes healthy living. Finally, you are supporting a good cause, taking a focus away from just the business and making profits. A generous environment will keep your employees feeling positive about their work.
The key to boosting morale is to change out old practices. Different voices can push your business into new directions that keep it fresh. Offering fun and different activities shows how much you value your employees. Sometimes a company’s mission should not just be about the clients, but also about the employees who make it work. Remember that generosity, kindness and recognition can be motivating and contagious.
When Ann Reed is not writing motivational tips for employers, she works for GNeil, the leading human resources tools and motivation product provider.