Some companies may find it challenging to boost employee morale. There are many simple yet powerful techniques you can use to instantly boost employee morale at work. No matter how low-spirited your team is, these techniques can help spark positive change.
How to Boost Employee Morale at Work
1. Have a daily employee huddle at work.
Gather your employees at the start of each workday for daily huddles where you share your business's actions and progress to make things better. This can naturally boost employee morale—and is better for your team than doughnuts and coffee in the break room. You can play music, play a quick game to shift the mood, give each other kudos, or even do some breathing exercises to get the day started on a good foot. A daily huddle can get your team excited about the workday and give them the push they need to accomplish their goals and remain productive.
2. Provide your employees with a flexible schedule.
When your employees are unenthusiastic about work, breaking up their routine can help increase morale. If your business allows you to, you can provide your employees with a flexible schedule. Allow your employees to work remotely or hybrid a few days of the week. Let them start late on Monday so they can clear up any personal stuff from the weekend and come in focused and ready to turn things around. If you ensure your business offers work-life balance, you’ll be sure to see a boost in employee morale.
3. Tell your employees how much you value them.
The tax collector's office is as excited about collecting taxes as you are about paying them. But if your employees are reminded that the funds they collect are to protect citizens, beautify parks, improve education, and more, that can really help improve morale at work. Use this concept in your business to help boost employee morale. Remember to talk about the purpose behind what your employees do to remind them why their role is important, and their position is valued within the company.
4. Boost morale with recognition and rewards.
Showing your employees that you appreciate them can help increase morale at work. Take the initiative to recognize your employees for the hard work they do. This can be by simply saying thank you or giving them a gift card for coffee or lunch at a nearby restaurant. You can send out a monthly kudos email that recognizes the employees that really showed out that month. Getting rewarded for the work they do will give your employees to motivation to keep pushing forward.
5. Allow employees to openly communicate with you.
The first thing customer service reps learn is that angry people need to vent before they're open to change. Meet with your team individually or in small groups to allow them to share all the problems and challenges they're facing. Is it the detailed monotony of filling out timesheets? Is it a particularly challenging client no one likes to deal with? The key here is to do it in small groups. In big groups, you’re more likely to get a soap boxer harping on one problem, spawning more issues than you can fix.
Providing your employees with open communication is a significant step in instantly boosting morale. When your team feels that they can be open and transparent about how they feel at work, they can be more productive and have a better attitude towards their work.
6. Encourage opportunities to socialize outside of work.
Even in a great workspace, emotions can fall when the physical environment stays the same. Get your team out of the office occasionally for unique and different team-building activities. Try volunteering for a day at a local nonprofit organization, having a monthly happy hour after work, or hosting a lunch and learn. You’ll quickly see an improvement in employee morale as your team starts to build relationships with each other outside of the office.
7. Promote mental and physical wellness in the office.
Bringing in bagels for breakfast or cupcakes in the afternoon is a nice gesture but might not be enough to increase morale at work. Try doing something different, like promoting mental and physical wellness. If your employees sit in front of their computers all day, it can cause a lot of strain on their bodies and become mentally and physically draining.
Encourage overall health by implementing a wellness program where employees can receive deeply satisfying shoulder and back massages. Or how about hiring a professional dance instructor to come in and teach a hip-hop, fitness, or dance class for an hour? You can offer a stipend for a monthly gym membership and discounts on meditation apps. You can also encourage your employees to use their vacation days to reduce burnout and improve their overall well-being.
Provide a quiet, dark “nap” room where employees can opt to lie down on a comfy couch, in a recliner, or even on a cot and take a 20-minute nap to rev up their attitude. If you have employees who work overtime or late hours, this has been proven to increase their productivity, increase their energy levels, reduce accidents, and ultimately boost morale.
8. Encourage professional development.
Encouraging professional development will instantly boost employee morale. You can start by providing your employees with access to online courses to increase their knowledge in the skills needed for their field of work. You can also place them within mentoring and coaching programs to take further ownership of their professional development.
9. Celebrate work anniversaries.
Another way to boost employee morale is to celebrate your employees on their work anniversaries. You can do things like send out an email blast, provide them with a gift card, or even get a cake for that special day. Celebrating a milestone like a work anniversary lets your employees feel appreciated and valued in the workplace.
The overall success and productivity of your business start with your employees first. If you have low employee morale in the workplace you can start daily employee huddles, provide a flexible work schedule, and give your team the recognition they deserve. It’s also helpful to allow your employees to openly communicate their concerns so you can fix issues head-on. Encouraging opportunities to socialize outside of work and promoting mental and physical wellness can also improve employee morale.
A version of this article was originally published on March 27, 2013.
Photo: Getty Images