Employee morale is much like the accelerator on an automobile. When morale is high, the pedal is pushed to the floor, and the vehicle moves forward quickly. When morale is sluggish or negative, the pressure on the pedal is released, and the vehicle moves forward very slowly or may stop completely. To keep your company’s pedal to the metal, implement these strategies to keep your staff engaged in their work and excited about projects for the future.
Make Employees Part of the Company Vision
Keeping employees informed of the direction of the company and the scope of future projects helps to keep them feeling an active part of its goals. Conversely, keeping employees in the dark makes them feel uncertain of their futures and unfocused in their efforts. Knowing the ultimate goals they are working toward frees people up to apply themselves in a consistent manner. Make your employees a part of what’s going on, and where the company is headed, to get their best efforts.
Nothing fires up morale in a company as much as knowing that the higher-ups are watching for excellence and are ready to reward it. Public acknowledgment of stellar performance makes employees feel valued and important to the company’s goals. Staying abreast of the progress of your projects, and who is contributing the most to their success, allows you to distribute incentives that keep employees performing at their highest levels. These rewards do not have to break the company bank to be meaningful.
Provide Small Incentives Regularly
Acquiring and keeping good employees is an ongoing effort. Savvy business owners offer small incentives that keep their staff feeling good about their jobs throughout the year. Many employees appreciate membership in a local gym, or others may enjoy gift certificates to popular restaurants. Find out what your employees enjoy and provide the incentives that will be meaningful to them.
Promote from Within
Nothing is more discouraging to employees than to see a position in the upper levels open up, only to be filled by an outsider with no knowledge of the company. Although some business experts feel bringing in new people can add new ideas and energy to the company, it can also be a drag on the morale of current employees. Whenever possible, fill your upper levels with people who have already proven their ability and loyalty to the company. This measure will show all employees that they have a stake with the company and their efforts are not just for the company’s benefit, but also for their own.
Make Them Feel Special
According to this Forbes article one of the most important actions you can take in upholding employee morale is to know your workers and what’s going on in their lives. The simple act of taking the time to get to know each person and what is important to them can help to bring out the best in employees and make them feel they are a unique asset to the company. In turn, knowing your employees helps you to offer the right incentives to keep them engaged. Stay warmly engaged with your employees, but not intrusive, and you will have the information that allows you to keep your workers positive and functioning well.
Updating the employee break room is also a great way to boost morale and show your employees you care about them. This doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate to get the attention of your employees and their gratitude. Consider purchasing used snack vending machines, chairs, tables, a few area rugs, and couches.
These five tips can help to keep your employees engaged and optimistic in the day-to-day operations, as well as the overall goals of the company. You will be rewarded with a more positive and enthusiastic staff that is ready and willing to take on new projects as they arise.
Author: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writing currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2. For information on used snack vending machines and various break room supplies, she credits West Way Sales.