What’s your company culture? Are you a high-pressure, relentless machine, always on and always hunting the next big thing? Or are you a positive, creative and open network, with employees who genuinely love coming to work every day? If you’re the first type, you may need to boost employee morale. And if you don’t think it matters, think again.
There’s tons of research proving that happy employees are more productive. One study found that a company’s customers became more loyal when its employees were happy. Another found that happy employees were 20 percent more productive than their less happy counterparts. Happy employees take fewer sick days and leave their companies less often.
The bottom line is that morale isn’t just about your employees’ feelings. It affects the bottom line of your business in very real ways. So what is a manager or executive to do? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five easy ways to boost company morale.
1. Give Out Employee Recognition Awards
Fifty percent of employees want employee recognition programs – but only 35 percent of employers offer them. They’re a cost-effective way to improve morale and create meaningful traditions that inspire loyalty and dedication in your team. These are the must-have employee recognition awards for any office:
- Years of service: Award employees at their 5-, 10- and 20-year anniversaries. If you’re a young company or have a lot of new hires, you can even award 2-year anniversaries!
- Employee of the month: Implementing an employee of the month program gives your team something to strive for. It’s also an easy way to appreciate your best sales and customer service representatives on a regular basis.
- Promotions: Always recognize big promotions with an employee recognition award that your new regional manager, sales manager or top executive can display in their office.
Monthly and on-the-spot awards are essential to any employee recognition program. An annual awards ceremony takes your program even further, creating an entertaining event that employees can look forward to. Add even more employee recognition awards, like teamwork, outstanding achievements and humorous categories. Have fun with it – this is your chance to really boost employee morale!
2. Host a Work Event
An annual employee recognition awards ceremony shouldn’t be the only time your company or team gets together. Company- or team-wide events are an important bonding experience where employees can build relationships outside of work. Employees with friends are less likely to quit and more likely to love their companies – that’s a great morale booster.
For the biggest boost in company morale, “crowd-source” your company outing. Take nominations from your employees and then set up a survey where everyone can vote on their favorite. Letting your employees choose their own event gives them a sense of agency – and they’ll have even more fun at the outing.
3. Write a Note
Use written praise for more immediate outstanding achievements. It’s similar to employee recognition awards, but with an on-the-spot feeling. Did one of your account managers take care of a client demand quickly and professionally? Is your customer service team handling more complaints than usual? Did someone on your team jump onto a task or project to help out others? These are all occasions for written recognition.
Written employee recognition can take a few different forms. Hand-written notes left on someone’s desk, along with a small gift, are always appreciated. Passing around a card to your whole team is even more meaningful because it involves everyone – and peer recognition makes people feel even more valued. You can also write an email and CC the entire office. Letting other departments – and executives – know about how amazing your team is looks good for both them and you, and boosts morale company-wide.
4. Use Social Media
Taking employee recognition awards online doesn’t just benefit the recipient; it benefits your company, too. An active social media presence improves your customer service and ability to network, increases your Google ranking, helps your company branding and can bring more traffic to your website – all factors that ultimately make you more money.
Write a quick blog post about all of your team’s incredible accomplishments for the month, then share it on social media. Alternatively, write an article on LinkedIn and tag your outstanding employees. You’re giving your team recognition they can be proud to share – and you’re giving your company great publicity.
5. Create a Wall of Fame
Creating a public place where employees are recognized for all to see has a great impact on morale – and the more people who can see it, the better. Hang your employee recognition awards in your entryway or near your common area. For something less traditional, create a sticky-note wall of fame: employees at any time can write recognition on a sticky note and put it up for all to see. Another great idea is to hang clipboards and switch out the people and achievements that are featured on them weekly or monthly.
A wall of fame has another bonus: it lets your clients and other office visitors know that you value your employees. And a positive company culture isn’t just important to you – it’s important to many of them, as well. There are tons of imaginative ways to make a wall of fame, so be original!
Whether you’ve noticed signs of unhappy employees or think you’ve got a great company culture, there is always room to boost employee morale. Start with employee recognition awards and our other easy ideas and grow your program from there. The sky is the limit!