Good leadership is vital to achieving the goals of a company, but it’s easy for even the best leader to lose sight of slowly decreasing morale. Low morale is typically slow to become apparent, and individual employees do not tend to show the same characteristics. Ironically some employees may seem apathetic and withdrawn, and others may become somewhat aggressive and disagreeable. Over time, feelings of frustration and low morale typically manifest in missed work, accidents in the workplace and low productivity. There are many ways to increase morale, which are inexpensive and effortless to incorporate into the work environment, which will produce happier, more productive employees.
1. Employee recognition
Possibly the most important way to increase morale is as simple as saying "Thank you." Most people feel unappreciated and overlooked as they trudge through their day. It is human nature to work diligently, while hoping for some form of recognition for the effort put forth. In time, people tend to resent that their best endeavors are not rewarded, either monetarily or emotionally. Just a few words or, a small bonus can make the difference between a happy, productive employee and someone who ceases to care.
2. Stress teamwork
Establishing a sense of teamwork will make your employee feel that they are an important member of the staff. Thereby stressing that their work is important to others, gives them a sense of belonging and that personal effort has meaning. Having occasional meetings or events that allow team members to work together on a fun project will not only boost morale, but could generate new ideas that will significantly increase productivity.
3. Employee incentives
A bonus, promotion or prize incentive will go a long way to making an employee feel appreciated for their efforts. Unfortunately, employees usually correlate promotions and bonuses with how much effort they believe they are putting into their work, and often feel overlooked and underappreciated without, what they feel is just compensation. Little things such as an extended lunch break or an occasional shortened workday with pay for a job well done can sometimes be all that is required to increase production and pride in a job.
4. Work day luncheon
At times, a project with a pending deadline can create stress and tension as employees are forced to skip lunch and work until completion. Having a simple catered lunch can relieve the stress, allowing them to grab a bite when they find time. It is simple to set up a table with sandwiches and soft drinks. The gratitude of your group will be well worth the extra effort. Even without a pending project most employees would enjoy a thoughtful gesture such as this.
5. Personnel as a vast resource of ideas
A good way to boost morale and retain high-quality employees is to promote within the company. An employee who has been with the firm for a number of years knows what is relevant to the corporation and will do what it takes for the overall success of the enterprise. Many innovative ideas have come from personnel who were afraid that someone would take their proposal and use it as his or her own, which frequently happens when outsourcing for promotions. Open team meetings that recognize original ideas can also be a means of increasing efficiency and drive. Although no idea should ever be deemed to be bad, a few may be, but sometimes just a short discussion of the pros and cons within a team can transform any proposal into a workable plan. Just knowing that management is ready to listen is all that it takes to create an atmosphere of harmony and give new purpose to your workforce.
These tactics, as well as many others, will leave your team members with a sense of purpose and accomplishment that will, over time, contribute to the success of any business. Employee recognition in any form is the key to an enjoyable and dynamic workplace.