Despite the fact that we are a blog about cleaning, it’s important to realize that a clean office is all part of a larger ecosystem. This includes a happy and healthy office, where employees look forward to coming in.
Low morale can lead to poor cooperation, low productivity and increased turnover, and can ultimately result in preventing a business from reaching its goals.
The feelings of your employees can quickly build or break a company’s success, which is why it’s important for leaders to enlist simple and creative methods to strengthen it. Here are seven ways to boost morale in the office:
1.Their work is more than just a job.
It’s hard to feel motivated when all you’re thinking about is when the clock strikes 5pm and you can go home. Employers need to make their workforce feel like they are truly contributing. This can be in the form of incentives or contests, where people want to do better in order to “succeed.” Another method is for employers to become more transparent about the day-to day. Showing your workforce how much their performance has helped the company can be a real asset to morale. Which brings us to the next method…
2. Creatively celebrate accomplishments.
It’s natural to focus on what’s ahead rather than reflect on how much has been achieved. Taking time to reflect, though, helps employees appreciate how much they have done. Minor rewards ceremonies or even company-wide emails commemorating specific employees for going above and beyond can be very helpful in creating a bit of competition as well as make people excited to come to work.
3. Grant time off to employees to pursue projects they are passionate about.
Personal projects can provide an energizing break from regular responsibilities and can serve as a source of innovation for a company. Atlassian, a developer of collaboration software based in Sydney, encourages creativity during its “FedEx Day.” During this event, all 62 employees can work on anything that excites them — as long as it is somewhat related to Atlassian products or processes, can be completed in the allotted time, and is fun. Employees have from 2 p.m. on a Thursday until 4 p.m. Friday, giving them roughly 24 hours to deliver a project (thus the name, FedEx Day). Then at a presentation, participants show off the results of their projects. From these ideas, Atlassian has adopted more than a dozen projects, ranging from product upgrades to process improvements.
4. Mix up the company’s usual way of doing things.
Punch in, punch out, go home. Rinse and repeat. That’s sounds pretty boring. Departing from the customary routine of meetings and cubicle life can go a long way toward building morale. We’ve all heard of “Casual Fridays” and “Hawaiian Shirt Day,” but how about mixing it up a little. The accounting firm Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman, based in Denver, uses the concept of neighborhoods to shake things up. All 387 employees are organized into neighborhoods, based on the floors or sections of floors in each office. These groups have regular get-togethers and shape the contours of meetings. For example, during an all-employee meeting day, as the firm staged a neighborhood basketball tournament, each group came up with team names, homemade jerseys, mascots, and cheerleaders.
5. Don’t forget to have fun.
It’s important to let off a little steam every now and then, to loosen up. For the online discounter FatWallet, based in Rockton, Ill., fun is a regular part of the schedule. Its 55 employees are invited to play in a monthly Game Day, an in-house competition with activities ranging from Trivial Pursuit to Wii bowling matches. The company also offers quarterly “fun” rewards when staffers achieve certain goals, such as hockey games, casino nights, or playdays at at amusement parks. Team-building events have included a city scavenger hunt in Chicago and a rooftop Cubs game.
6. Train employees to develop positive attitudes.
You can’t just expect your employees to be happy, no questions asked. During the height of the recession in 2009, employee morale became a big issue for 4Imprint, a maker of customized promotional products, based in Oshkosh, Wis. The company’s training team decided to try to boost morale by setting up classes for the 419 employees to watch and discuss videos with inspiring themes like Lance Armstrong’s comeback from cancer and the friendly culture at Southwest Airlines.
7. Offer time away from the office to do some good.
Another way to build employee morale and camaraderie is through community service. Studer Group, a Gulf Breeze, Fla.-based management consulting firm, gives its 114 employees four paid hours a month to volunteer for a charitable initiative or organization of their choice. Departments also take on volunteer projects as a group. This leads to a general moral boost because people feel like they are doing good for society.
As mentioned before, an office ecosystem has several parts. Keeping a well maintained and germ-free workplace is only one facet. You also have to make sure your worker bees have a good and positive attitude. This way productivity will run smoothly and continue to produce results.