Seven Tips For Boosting Company Morale
Thanks to low company morale and a lack of employee engagement, burnout at work is all-too-common. Let’s take a look at some of the facts about the current state of employees’ mental health:
- According to U.S. News, work is the second leading cause of stress among adults. The first is money.
- “Job stress is tied to hypertension, obesity, and even depression. Any one of these factors makes life more difficult and can even increase your risk of death,” U.S. News continues.
- Nearly half — or 44% of employees — confess they experience burnout at least “sometimes.”
- Just about a quarter (23%) of workers say they feel burned out “very often” or “always,” according to a Gallup survey.
- Stressed employees are “63% more likely to take a sick day,” and “2.6 times as likely to leave their current employer,” Gallup writes.
- The top sources of workplace stress and work-related burnout are workloads, relationships, struggles with work-life balance, and a lack of job security.
These stats make it perfectly clear: many businesses have a company morale problem. Thankfully, there are several steps employers can take to reconnect with their employees, to motivate them, and to improve their overall job satisfaction. Learn how to boost company morale below.
Repair the Office
An office building that is clearly falling into disrepair can be a serious downer. Do not underestimate the impact of the immediate surroundings on your employees’ moods. Something as simple as making necessary repairs around the office can make an incredible difference.
Start with the big things. Think elevator repair and patching up any leaks in the roof. While you may think elevator repair is optional or even the butt of a joke (there is an entire episode of “The Office” devoted to a broken elevator, after all), it can be a serious problem for some of your employees. Some employees may be suffering from arthritis, hip pain, knee injuries, and other problems that make an out-of-order elevator a true concern. Invest in elevator repair to ensure the comfort of all employees.
Similarly, show your employees you appreciate them for coming into work during extreme weather, like nasty storms. Do that by taking steps to make the office a pleasant place to be. Take care of commercial roofing. If you have active leaks or water spots on the ceiling, call in roofing services to fix it. Purchase a generator and backup systems and utilities. That way, employees will be able to continue being productive and comfortable. Being in the dark, without heat, or without power can have a significant effect on employee performance.
If you are puzzled about how to boost company morale, do not overthink it. Simple adjustments around the office, like finally taking care of long-overdue repairs, can lift employees’ spirits and ultimately increase productivity.
Give the Office A Makeover
When it comes to learning how to boost company morale, take one thing to heart: the appearance of the office can absolutely have a direct impact on employee engagement, employees’ mood, and employees’ energy.
“Temperature, air quality, lighting and noise conditions in the office affect the work concentration and productivity,” Science Direct reveals. “Numerous studies have consistently demonstrated that characteristics of the physical office environment can have a significant effect on behavior, perceptions, and productivity of employees.”
It may seem like drab cubicles and a rug stained a permanent gray-brownish color from heavy foot traffic has little, if any, bearing on workers’ productivity. That simply is not true. These things, along with glaringly bright white florescent lighting, put more than a damper on employees’ spirits. In fact, these things can slow productivity and ultimately affect your bottom line.
To make the work environment more amenable to your employees, replace that decades-old carpet with chic, natural granite slabs. Switch to an open office layout with fewer cubicle walls (although keep in mind that most employees still prefer their own designated workspace). Take advantage of natural lighting whenever and wherever possible, and bring in some large plants to improve the air quality around the office.
Stop losing productive hours by investing in your company’s work environment.
Remember things that you cannot see still contribute to the work environment and, thus, employees’ well-being. For example, a quality coffee machine and a source of unlimited clean water go a long way toward boosting employee morale. Talk to a water filtration company about your options for crisp, clean water.
Listen To Employee Feedback
Chances are, your employees have opinions. Listen to them! Consider putting out a suggestion box or circulating semi-regular surveys to get feedback about what is and what isn’t working around the office. While some constructive criticisms may be unwelcome, others may give you valuable insight into how to boost company morale. Plus, the act of opening these things up for discussion is a great start. Employees appreciate open communication and these discussions begin to pave the way toward greater employee satisfaction.
What things are you likely to hear? Oftentimes, employee feedback runs the gamut. You may receive feedback about updating office equipment, providing more accommodations for employees, or even feedback about keeping essential medical supplies on-hand.
If your computers are so slow they slow down employees as they work, you are probably going to hear about it. Employees may suggest healthy or modern solutions to improve the office. They may ask for communal working spaces or even standing desks to curb health risks. “Those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking,” The Mayo Clinic writes. Others may request a first aid kit. A fully stocked first aid kit is not generally required for a standard office environment without extenuating circumstances or particular safety hazards. However, your employees may feel more comfortable knowing that you have one if they need it.
Chances are, you will find out your employees have a lot to say if you stop to listen to them. Reviewing feedback is a critical part of learning how to boost company morale.
Host Company-Sponsored Team Building Events
Do not overlook one of the most important aspects of the work environment: the people sitting at their desks or grabbing something off the printer. In order to grasp how to boost company morale, learn ways to improve employee relations. One strategy to nurture strong relationships between your employees is to host company team building events.
Choose any event that brings people together and makes sense in the context of your workplace culture. For example, if your workplace has a culture of high-achieving, stressed-out employees, a visit to indoor shooting ranges can be a great way to blow off some steam while still tapping into workers’ competitive spirits. If you wish to smooth the rough edges of an especially tense team of workers, try to avoid competitive activities. Instead, talk to snowmobile dealers about renting or purchasing snowmobiles and spend a day out on the trails, encouraging employees to bond over getting out of the office and being out in nature.
For a low-key team-building event, consider taking your employees out to a restaurant, catering a meal, throwing a happy hour, or bringing in breakfast for your employees to enjoy together.
Team building improves relationships. Those improved relationships ultimately lend themselves to better communication, greater problem-solving, and more creativity in the workplace.
Build A Healthy Employee Culture
Piggybacking off of team building events, you may also want to take a closer look at your workplace or employee culture. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), a study by the Karolinska Institute revealed “a strong link between leadership behavior and heart disease in employees. Stress-producing bosses are literally bad for the heart.” Take proactive steps to make certain that management and employees are working together to form a healthy work culture. Here are some things to consider:
- Demonstrate empathy. One of the most important things for those in management to do is to exhibit kindness. “Leaders who demonstrate compassion toward employees foster individual and collective resilience in challenging times,” the HBR continues.
- Encourage open communication. Your employees should not be afraid to talk to you or their fellow employees. Be open to talking about challenges and problems in a constructive and helpful manner and ask everyone else to do the same. Bouncing challenges off of others improves outcomes. Staying quiet stifles creativity and stymies productivity.
- The exact nature of the work you do. Carefully think about what sort of products or services you sell, and try to establish an employee culture that reflects that. For example, Powersports dealerships may endeavor to create a culture that is fun, edgy, and competitive. A law firm, on the other hand, may aim to create a culture that is detail-oriented and focused on helping others while remaining appropriately professional.
One of the most critical steps when learning how to boost company morale is to pay close attention to your workplace culture. Objectively evaluate your current culture. If it falls short of your expectations, take steps to fix it.
Use A Few, Well-Selected Visual Aids
Another strategy on how to boost company morale and increase productivity involves using a few, well-selected visual aids.
Striking posters, charts, graphs, or print-outs reinforcing critical information breaks up the monotony of the office while also teaching your employees. For example, social media marketing can be a highly effective and highly effective medium. It is also one that comes along with a lot of potential foibles, faux pas, and honest mistakes. Post highly visible reminders about what is and isn’t acceptable. If cussing and posting about divisive politics is against company policy, post eye-catching materials making sure employees know it. If you have strategies for increasing customer engagement (hashtags, keywords, etc.), print visuals about these strategies, too.
Further, visuals can be a great way to keep employees engaged during meetings. Admit it. We could all use some pointers about how to boost company morale during long meetings or meetings that run over their allotted time. Using compelling visuals, like PowerPoint presentations, bulletin boards, graphs, and charts to keep employees’ attention.
Keep It Fun
One of the key ways to master the principles on how to boost company morale is not to take ourselves too seriously. Stress has a trickle-down effect. If bosses and upper management cannot have fun from time to time, chances are that your employees will not be able to either. You want your employees to be able to decompress somewhat at work. Contrary to long-held beliefs, employees are actually more productive when they are happier — when they have more mental space to devote to the project or task at hand.
Keep things around the office relatively lighthearted by decorating the office to reflect the season or to celebrate holidays. Of course (and as always!), use your discretion. During the holiday season, consider putting up decorations to celebrate all timely holidays or ask for employees’ feedback about decorations. If employees dislike certain decorations, ask which ones they would prefer instead.
Another tact is to decorate the office with eye-catching promotional materials leading up to company events, sales, or milestones. If you are having a company-wide contest or fundraiser, for example, use striking visuals to complement these events.
When learning how to boost company morale, keep it simple whenever possible. One of the simplest ways to lift spirits is to have a little fun. Decorate the office, be festive, and increase employee engagement in fundraisers with attractive visuals.
Do what you can to improve employee morale. Buoying spirits and fostering strong employee relationships come with significant rewards as does making the office a more comfortable and pleasant place to be. “People get sick less often, recover twice as fast from surgery, experience less depression, learn faster and remember longer, tolerate pain and discomfort better, display more mental acuity, and perform better on the job,” the HBR writes.
Keep your employees happy now — amid uncertainty and the global pandemic — and for months and years to come. Carefully review the items above and use these suggestions and the resources at your disposal to reduce employees’ stress at work, promote positivity, and, ultimately, to increase productivity.