When it comes to boosting employee morale, some companies just don't get it. There are many simple, yet powerful, techniques you can use to instantly boost employee morale. No matter how down in the dumps your team is, these techniques are guaranteed to spark positive change.
1. Have a daily huddle.
When people are down, keeping it quiet only makes it worse. Have daily mini-meetings where you share the actions and progress you're taking to make things better. Do this through a daily standing huddle. It creates a natural shot of energy—and is better for you than doughnuts and coffee.
2. Switch up the schedule.
When people are in a rut, you need to break the routine. 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.
3. Remember the "why."
The tax collector's office is about as excited about collecting taxes as you are about paying them. But if these workers are reminded that the funds they collect are to protect citizens, beautify parks, improve education and more, that can really help improve morale. Use this concept in your business: Remember to talk about the purpose behind what your employees do. Talk about the why.
4. Say thank you.
This one’s easy. It takes two simple words. Say it, say it about something specific, and say it with meaning. Appreciation always increases morale.
5. Let them talk.
The first thing customer service reps learn is that angry people need to vent before they're open to change. Meet with people individually or in small groups to share all the problems and challenges they're facing. This process is a major step in instantly recovering morale. 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, which can spawn more problems than you can fix.
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6. Take one for the team.
Figure out what the one biggest stress point is that your employees are facing, then take the problem on yourself. Is it the detailed monotony of filling out time-sheets? Is it a particularly nasty client no one likes to deal with? Take on the problem yourself—for your team—and morale will go up.
7. Change the scenery.
Even in a great workspace, emotions can fall when the physical environment stays the same. Get your team out of the office occasionally for a totally unique and different activity, like volunteering for a day at Habitat for Humanity. While everyone is out, have the office freshly painted with bright colors. The return to a clean space may just be the spark you need to instantly improve morale.
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8. Allow employees to nap.
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 as well as their moods.
9. Organize something out of the ordinary.
Bringing in bagels for breakfast or cupcakes in the afternoon is a nice gesture, but might not be enough to elevate the mood. Try doing something different: If your employees sit in front of their computers all day, hire a massage therapist for the day so employees can enjoy quick but deeply satisfying shoulder and back massages. Or how about hiring a professional dance instructor to come in and teach a hip-hop, Zumba or other dance class for an hour?
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A version of this article was originally published on March 27, 2013.
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