Keeping hold of employee morale is important for any business owner. Low morale is associated with high staff turnover, productivity dips and even poor customer service. More business owners than ever are waking up to the risks of a sour office climate.
Luckily, there are some simple ways your HR department can pursue excellence, so your employees want to sing and shout about the organization just as much as you do.
1. Revamp your benefits package
Salaries are important, and well-paid teams usually make for happy workers. In an ideal world, you’d have bags of money to throw at the very best, most engaged workers in your industry. This picture isn’t always realistic, especially if your business is scaling or going through a rough patch.
Working on your benefits package is a useful alternative if you don’t have the cash to spare. In fact, benefits often help in ways salaries can’t. Highly-paid executives are not immune to workplace squabbles, after all.
Benefits packages could include handy extras like health insurance and vouchers – but encouraging fun can be just as resourceful. Buy a games facility, or invest in team building activities that really work. It’s all useful in your bid to create a happy, healthy work environment. The latest trends in employee benefits show a move towards specific, voluntary and customizable packages.
2. Shine a spotlight on your events calendar
There is nothing quite like a sparkling event to keep your workers motivated and upbeat through the hardest times in the business calendar. Give them something to look forward to and they’ll start to live and breathe positivity again. Who doesn’t love an opportunity to celebrate?
Give your event the ‘wow’ factor even on a tight budget by hosting an awards ceremony or motivational speech. This can help your employees to feel engaged and valued. Plus, a dose of motivation rarely goes a miss!
To create a glitzy and glamorous impression, hire a little outside help from party planners or experts in corporate decor. Speaker bureaus like Speakers Corner can even help you to source the perfect host from a range of charismatic leaders in your industry.
3. Embrace creative ways to celebrate accomplishments
Of course, celebrations shouldn’t be confined to corporate milestones. There are twelve long months between your annual business party and the next; it’s just as important to keep spirits high during these ‘in-between’ months.
Traditional routes of recognition – like annual appraisals – certainly have their benefits. The major drawback of this type of formal recognition is its propensity to feel forced or pressured. One of the biggest challenges employers face is getting workers to perform because they want to, not because they fear the consequences of poor performance.
Accessorize the formal routes with informal, creative ways to celebrate individual and team achievements. This might be a weird and wonderful Employee of the Month ceremony, weekly shout-outs or simple ‘thank you’ emails. Treat your direct reports with this kind of respect and you’ll be surprised how quickly it filters down.
If you’re suffering a particular problem with workplace negativity, opt for a stronger approach to cut through the downbeat atmosphere. Money talks, so it’s worth considering financial bonuses for workers who have gone above and beyond.
4. Give employees a breathing space
One of the major barriers to growth can be a lack of breathing space. When times are tough, you feel like you need workers with their noses glued to the grindstone, but this can hurt your business in the long term.
Not only do overworked employees leave, but they also fail to innovate. Top employers such as Google famously give their workers 20 percent ‘free time’ to work on side projects. This encourages innovation, individuality and fosters inter-team positivity by providing new ways to collaborate.
5. Encourage a culture of connection
Above all, your business needs a connected culture to keep morale high in the long term. Workplace disputes happen but, when they do, the best companies are able to swerve gossip and resentment with face-to-face discussion.
There is no simple shortcut to a connected office. Everyone you employ and every decision you make will shape the office atmosphere. But, when your processes are open and democratic so everyone has a voice, you’re far more likely to see engaged workers who all want to drive up the bottom line.