According to the American Psychological Association (APA), happy employees are more likely to have better health, relationships and even money management skills. Keeping morale up in the workplace is essential to keeping employees happy and engaged at work. Here are six proven ways to keep your employees’ morale up.
Morale building can be done on an individual basis. That is, recognize important and unique events in employees’ lives. For example, send birthday cards and give gifts for weddings or baby showers. Even better, host a simple celebration lunch during work for a birthday or after work for an off-site baby shower. Major milestones, such as retirement, or unique events, such as recognition by the community, can be celebrated at work. Furthermore, be sure to recognize employees for outstanding achievements and contributions.
Although many people like their job, it never hurts to try something different. Providing employees with the opportunity to cross train and transfer to a different position is a great way to improve their morale. Career flexibility will empower employees to continue to learn and grow while contributing to the company. Ideally, employees will be allowed to transition into positions that utilize their strengths and encourage their passions. This will also reduce burnout and increase creativity and enthusiasm. This is also an excellent recruitment tool.
Invest in Employee Health
According to Harvard Medical School, exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Exercise increases the level of feel-good endorphins while reducing stress induced hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. Exercise reduces anxiety and depression and increases relaxation. Therefore, regular exercise is the key to physical health and mental well-being. Consider offering discounts to a local gym. Even better, create an on-site gym that employees can use for free. Handing out pedometers or stretch bands are an inexpensive, yet genuine way to show that you care about your employees’ health.
There are many simple and small ways to offer benefits to employees. For example, on-site massages are becoming more popular in the corporate world. Reach out to local business to find appropriate discounts that can be offered to employees. Consider instigating a casual Friday and celebrate major holidays together. Free meals are an excellent way for employees to build rapport while relaxing. Even better, off-site barbecues with family members is an excellent way to encourage socializing and friendship building. To truly send the message that the company is totally invested in the employee, consider offering limited education reimbursement.
Nothing destroys employee morale quicker than when management fails to hire from within the organization. Employees already know the company culture and understand how the business operates. Internal promotion will empower employees and recognize them for their hard work. As a result, employees will be motivated and committed to contributing more to the company. This will also reduce turnover, which negative impacts employee morale. Research has clearly shown that hiring from within is better than hiring from outside.
One thing that frustrates many lower level employees is that their improvement suggestions are often ignored. Although management is qualified to make informed decisions, involving employees with improvement activities is a great way to boost employee morale. Management often focuses on the bottom line and makes appropriate business decisions based on financial outcomes and business needs. Nevertheless, minor improvements to valued suggestions can have major results. The easiest way to implement this is to accept employees’ suggestions and publicly respond why the suggestion is feasible or not.
Keeping up morale in the workplace benefits both the employee and the employer. This can be accomplished through providing individualized attention, offering career flexibility and investing in employee’s health. Providing fringe benefits, promoting from within and continuous improvement will also help with improving employee morale.
Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. For major personal problems within the workplace with employee suggestions, she suggests using a customized HRIS for accurate data analysis. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber