It can happen to any business – the teamwork and enthusiasm that helped your company grow has seemingly slipped away, leaving behind a group of less motivated employees. Slumping morale can be a real productivity killer – particularly for a small business. Searching for morale boosters that work? There is no one “sure fix”, but these tips may help:
Get to know your colleagues: Do you know your coworkers on a personal level? Or simply as office staff? When you make an effort to learn more about them, you may also discover what motivates them. The interest you take can help to create a culture where each employee feels more appreciated, valued…and motivated.
- Recognize birthdays: Your associates will be glad that you care enough about them to honor a special day in their lives. Besides, having cake doesn’t hurt, either!
- Ask about their outside lives: Do they have pets? What are their hobbies? These types of questions allow you to learn about them as individuals. Obviously, these questions can’t become too personal, but you’ll usually find that most folks are flattered by the attention.
Recognize personal and professional accomplishments: You might be surprised how motivated people are when they understand that the organization has seen and acknowledges the outstanding work they’ve done.
- Create an appreciation program: Sure, “employee of the month” awards might seem a little trite – but many employers still use them because they work. Offer some added incentive – like a gift card or other reward – and watch the results.
- Write them a personal thank you note: This added attention is always appreciated when someone does something particularly impressive. You may also include a gift certificate or other small gift in recognition of their hard work.
Free lunch? Yes: You don’t have to leave the office if time is tight; instead, occasionally order pizza or have lunch catered. Your staff will be able to relax and enjoy their work environment even more, given a chance to socialize.
Give employees a voice – then listen: The best way to ensure open communication may be through an anonymous satisfaction survey. But this is valuable only if you make an effort to address perceived issues quickly and thoroughly. Consider these ideas also:
- Hold staff meetings regularly: This will give staff an opportunity to know more about the company’s status and to voice any questions (or concerns) they may have. When appropriate, ask for team feedback if you plan to make significant workplace changes.
- Provide additional training: By offering available ongoing training, you’ll demonstrate that you value your team…and it certainly won’t hurt your bottom line to increase the number of productive, highly-trained workers.
Offer financial rewards: Let’s face it; everyone likes to get a little extra in their paycheck from time to time. Look for opportunities to incorporate a morale-boosting performance bonus.
- Ask for bonus implantation ideas: Seriously consider activating a rewards program based on associate input. You may be surprised at the creative ideas your employees suggest – and it might not be as pricy as you would think!
It’s important to note that these incentives don’t have to be overly elaborate or expensive. They just have to reflect an honest respect and appreciation. A little bit of recognition can go a long way toward improving the atmosphere in your workplace. Oh, and one other consideration: boosting morale is a great way to boost profits!
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