The Productive Workplace: Small Steps for Raising Employee Morale in a Big Way
It doesn’t take much to make your employees feel valued. Believe it or not, money is only one incentive you have to offer. And, it might not be the most important. Here’s what savvy business owners do to reward their employees and boost morale in a big way.
Crowd-Source Company Outing Ideas
How many times have you been to a company picnic or outing where something was a bit “off.” You can tell the company was trying their best, but they fell short. Instead of putting your HR team in charge of everything, ask for anonymous donations and nominations for a company event. Then, let your team vote their favorites. Giving employees the opportunity to shape rewarding activities will make sure that everyone at the event has a good time and gets something out of it.
For example, if someone wants The Coffee Cart, you should put it up for a vote. They may not be the only one who wants it.
Get Rid Of Email
Email not only hurts an employee’s productivity, it wears on them throughout the day. The stress of having to respond to each and every incoming message is daunting. And, it can dramatically reduce productivity. The employee ends up spending most of their day reacting to things instead of being proactive.
Some experts believe that upwards of 92% of employees experience a spike in blood pressure and heart rate after reading their emails in the office. Instead of using email for all your communication, you should use software like Trello, Asana, and Slack to reduce your reliance on it.
Use memos or, better yet, go press the flesh and speak with employees in person.
Let Go of Bad Personalities
Some people are jerks. There’s just no nice way to say it. Executive coach, Rodger Dean Duncan describes these people as employees who “intimidate, condescend, or demean, swear, behave rudely, belittle people in front of others, give only negative feedback, lie, act sexist or racist, withhold critical information, blow up in meetings, refuse to accept blame or accountability, gossip, and spread rumors, use fear as a motivator, etc.”
Not really a great model employee, is it? What’s the easiest way to boost your morale? Let go of these people in your organization. Weeding out this behavior among upper management especially is going to have a huge impact on employee morale — much more so than a raise or promotion.
Ask For Employee Feedback
When you’re open, you give employees permission to contribute to positive change from within your organization. Google, for example, uses a survey inhouse called a “Googleist” to get feedback from their employees. They solicit feedback on a wide range of issues. They then recruit volunteer groups to tackle various issues and solve the company’s most pressing issues.
Develop Strong And Transparent Advancement Paths
Employees like it when they see a clear path for advancement in your company. They do not like it when they don’t know how they will “get ahead” in your company. Most businesses do have a “track” for employees to follow. So, they might start as an employee, then after 3 or 6 months, they may be eligible for a promotion or a raise.
Usually, the probation period is a “test period” where employees are monitored. And, if they do a good job during this time period, they are usually put on as a permanent employee, offered health insurance and benefits, and are sometimes offered a raise.
Encourage Legitimate Lunch Breaks
Research suggests that only one in five employees take real lunch breaks. White-collar workers are least likely to take a real break for lunch. Management professor Kimberly Elsbach once told NPR that “staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking.” Management needs to be on board to take a coffee break or go for a walk. They need to have a real lunch break to clear their head.
Working, nonstop, for hours on end, is largely unproductive. First of all, the brain can’t function like this optimally. Secondly, it adds stress to what may already be a high-stress job.
Increase Your Vacation Days
Just as employees are hesitant to get away from their desks to take a lunch break, they’re also hesitant to take vacations. Most employees are “workaholics” in the worst sense. And, it’s not good for company or employee morale. You do not want to work your employees to the bone. Some companies try to break the mold by giving unlimited vacation days, but that’s not always a great solution to the problem.
Having too much choice can be confusing. Give employees more vacation time than the norm, but spread it out. For example, you might give employees a whole week off for Christmas. Or, if that’s not feasible, give them an extra day at least. Or, you could offer flexible holiday scheduling if you need to stay open on Christmas and other holidays.
A wise man once said, You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy coffee, and that’s pretty close. Impelled by this statement and his passion for good coffee, self-taught barista Joel created The Coffee Cart, dedicated to this mission. With inspiration from the mobile coffee carts delivering happiness through coffee to the people of London and New York, Joel wanted to bring a similar experience to Singaporeans, without them having to leave the island! To that end, Joel has also recently participated in the Singapore Latte Art Championship!