5 Ways to Boost Employee Morale
Employees are the heart of an organization, they produce the supply and create the demand. So, when employees are not happy, it is inevitable that the business will suffer. Tom Wright, PhD, a professor at Kansas State University and industrial-organizational psychologist concludes that: “People who are more psychologically well and happier tend to be better producers.”
Smart managers and HR departments understand the importance of investing in employee satisfaction. And to your surprise, implementing these perks and incentives may not be as costly as you may think. Here are 5 ways to boost employee morale and keep your employees innovative, energized and satisfied.
Don’t let milestones and achievements go unnoticed. When your employees meet goals, celebrate with special rewards like cake and ice cream ( or other treats), a half day at work, a parking space, a trophy, or the employee’s picture being hung in the lobby. Although this may seem cheese, a small gesture can go a long way.
Sales departments have a history of celebrating their top performers, but why should this practice be restricted to the sales department?
Allow Employees to Pursue Their Passions
Many of your employees have big dreams they want to pursue and their talents extend far beyond their professional responsibilities. Promote innovation and creativity by allowing time for your employees to work on a “passion project”.
For example, Apple's Blue Sky project allows select employees a couple of weeks to turn their attention to a personal project outside of their regular work.
Giving your employees the power to choose how they spend their time gives them permission to solve your company’s and your customer’s problems. You will also see a happier, more empowered staff.
Encourage a Good Work-Life Balance
Since happy employees tend to be more productive, it makes sense for companies to give their staff the time, pay and benefits that are needed to have a successful life outside of work. Be sure to pay attention to employee complaints about leave, hours, and other factors that may affect their performance at work.
One way to encourage a positive work-life balance is to consider allowing flexible work hours. Allow employees to choose their own hours therefore giving them the extra flexibility to pursue other personal endeavors.
Encourage Staff to Take Ownership Over Their Areas
You hired an expert in the field or you at least trained your employee to be an expert. As a leader, you should be clear on the vision for your department or company and set clear directives for your employees to execute. After that, give your team the freedom to do their jobs effectively and allow them to do what they do best. Drive home the point that each employee is individually responsible for the success or failure of their craft and encourage them to improve upon processes and systems.
Encourage employees to embrace a creative outlet. Creativity promotes self-expression and allows people to release negative or pent-up emotions.
Zappos- the online retail store encourages its employees to be creative at home and in the workplace. Zappos team members are encouraged to decorate their workspace and wear whatever outfits they like ( within reason).
A study conducted by San Francisco University stated that employees that have creative outlets experience less stress and process challenges more easily.
Each company has a unique culture, so the best way to boost your employees’ morale may be dependent on the personalities and interests of your staff. One study shows that happy employees have fewer sick days than the least happy employees, costing the company over $27,000 less per year than the unhappy, sicker employees. Investing in the morale of your employees is well worth the investment of time and money.