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Boost Employee Morale, Boost Your Business

Hands high-fiving in a display of employee morale

Among the many responsibilities a manager has, one of the most important – yet often overlooked – is employee morale. After running reports, analyzing numbers, and attending meeting upon meeting, it’s all too easy to forget an employee’s birthday, lose track of what your team’s working on, or postpone someone’s review. And while these lapses may seem minor in the grand scheme of things, they actually have a direct impact on your organization’s bottom line.

Employees who feel that their work – and therefore they – don’t matter put less effort into their jobs, call in sick more frequently, and resign more often, ultimately leading to lower productivity and lower profits. But there are several ways employers can boost employee morale – and keep it there.

Celebrate life events

A life event could be anything from a birthday to a wedding to having a child. Take a break, have a little party, and get a cake. Showing you care about what’s happening in your employees’ personal lives lets them know you view them as people rather than just a means to an end.

Recognize and reward accomplishments

When your department or an individual on your team meets a certain goal, celebrate it. Have a pizza party, make an announcement, and thank individuals personally. These simple practices boost team spirit, encourage cooperation, and signal to your employees that their work matters. In some cases, monetary rewards may be appropriate, but studies show that employees respond more positively in the long run to other types of rewards, such as acknowledgement and opportunities for advancement.

Welcome feedback and advice

Inviting your employees to share their ideas about everything from business practices to social events can be as simple as putting out a suggestion box. Since suggestion boxes are anonymous, more people will feel comfortable providing their feedback – which could lead to that innovative breakthrough you’ve been looking for. However, your employees shouldn’t feel the need to hide their identities every time they want to express themselves. Implement an open-door policy too to show that you’re also open to face-to-face discussions.

Be approachable

As touched on above, having an approachable demeanor is crucial to fostering an open and innovative work environment. As a manager, your mood can be perceived as a reflection of the company’s health or your team’s performance, so it’s important to maintain a positive appearance. Smile and communicate more, greet everyone you see in the morning, walk around, start conversations with your employees, and hold regular team meetings.

Keep employees in the loop

When employees are kept in the dark about major goings-on in the organization, it makes them feel left out and unimportant. Share news, expectations, and any other information your employees need to do their jobs effectively. And elicit their feedback before introducing changes that could affect their work. Remember that inclusion breeds effort.

Provide training

Providing training opportunities shows that you’ve invested in your employees and that you care about their professional development. Offering these programs can be tough in today’s economic climate, but they go a long way in retaining top talent.

Be socially and environmentally responsible

Whether you’re sponsoring charitable events, holding a fundraiser, volunteering as a team at your community food bank, or simply cutting down on your use of paper, employees like knowing that the organization they work for has a heart.

Encourage breaks and consider flextime

Ironically, people need to step away from work to maintain their focus. Encourage breaks – or even make them mandatory. Many companies also offer variations of flextime, such as summer hours or work-from-home days, in order to promote work-life balance. Research has shown that these tactics have a positive impact on productivity and profitability.

Make sure the workspace is comfortable

There may be little you have control over when it comes to the office you’re in, but the more you do to make it cozy, energetic, and welcoming, the more your employees will get done. Add splashes of colour by hanging pictures, offset pale fluorescent lights by opening windows and installing LED lamps, maintain an ideal temperature, and furnish the office with comfortable chairs.

Organize fun team-building events

All work and no play makes for a dull, unproductive, and alienated workforce. Remember that not every team get-together has to be about a specific life event or company accomplishment; some can simply be about building camaraderie. Play laser tag, go treetop trekking, or simply head out to a patio when the weather’s nice for a team lunch. Having fun for fun’s sake is payoff all on its own – but don’t be surprised if you see a more literal payoff at the end of next quarter, too.

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