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How to improve staff morale

How to improve staff morale

Strong morale in the workplace is a difficult thing to achieve – and yet it’s worth every ounce of effort you put into boosting it. A team with high morale will work independently, innovate together, and elevate your business to the next level. Your employees will stay longer, and will enthusiastically engage with training schemes. 

Plus, clients will sense the motivated, upbeat atmosphere of your staff, which in turn will lead to better client satisfaction and, fingers crossed, more business opportunities.

A team lacking morale… won’t do any of that. Low morale can lead to uninspired team meetings, missed deadlines, a stifling work culture, and high staff turnover. It’s plain to see why keeping staff morale strong is so desirable. But how do you achieve it? 

Using employee rewards to boost company morale

Employee rewards don’t always have to mean financial incentives. Beyond simply upping the pay checks of your team, you can add simple benefits to their working day to improve their working day, and their life outside the office. With the average working day spanning over half of our waking hours, it’s not hard to see how even small changes in the workplace can raise the quality of life of your employees. 

Offer financial incentives

Of course, you may not always be able to offer bountiful monetary incentives, particularly if business has been slow (but if you can, great!). However, you can still offer gift cards, discounts, and prepaid cards as incentives for great work. Vouchers for fun activities always go down well! 

Help with your employees’ work/life balance

Burnout can affect the work of even the most driven employees. In order to boost morale in your team, offer incentives such as the ability to work from home, extra days off, and early finishes if targets are met ahead of time. Doing so will allow your team to find a healthy, fun balance between their working life and their home life. 

Set annual rewards for growth

After a long year of hard work, what could be better for the morale of your company than a whole-company treat? This could be anything: a lavish dinner in a restaurant together, an action-packed day out at a sporting event, a bonding experience such as a hike or team event, or the tried-and-tested staff party. Having a large, company-wide event to look forward to besides the obligatory Christmas party is a great incentive, and will help keep your employees excited, while also keeping them mindful of hitting any targets set. 

Create an ‘aspiration’ fund

Many trendy modern companies are already doing it: offering their entire staff a small amount of funding towards any hobby they desire. Development and learning outside of work can lead to increased fulfilment, which in turn leads to better performance in the workplace. Even if the fund offered is reasonably small – say, $150 per employee per year – it still gives off an aura of care and support, which naturally will lead to a boost in team morale.

Hobbies funded this way could include language lessons, music lessons, running gear, or educational books; all fantastic for helping your team find those lightning bolts of motivation and inspiration. 

Remember key occasions

There’s nothing quite so de-motivating as having your birthday forgotten. Encourage your HR team to keep their eye on the ball when it comes to acknowledging important milestones for your employees. This might be their birthday, their wedding anniversary, their work anniversary, or other important milestones.

You don’t need to go above and beyond when acknowledging these landmarks; a simple card or a company email and a cup of coffee will be enough to show you care, and value your team beyond their work output. Plus, what goes around comes around. It’s always nice to have your team remember your birthday!

Invest in your team’s development

Nobody wants to feel as though they’re not progressing within their role. Even if work is coming in thick and fast, make sure to endeavour to set aside time for training sessions. This might be weekly or bi-weekly meetings in which various team members teach new skills to others, or it might be entire days devoted to upskilling your staff. 

The feeling of making progress in this manner is a powerful motivator and has the added benefit of helping you nurture an increasingly competent, confident workforce.

Offer praise whenever possible

It goes without saying that when your team hits their targets, praise is crucial for making them feel valued and helping to reinforce desirable behaviour. But praise shouldn’t only be reserved for big milestones. If it’s been a hectic week, or there have been a couple of tough encounters with clients, a quick email to let your staff know you’re proud of the work they’re doing can really help to sow a good atmosphere.

In fact, praise can be one of the best employee rewards of all: it doesn’t cost you a penny, and yet it can give your staff members the boost they need to go home happy and fulfilled at the end of the day.

By using a performance management tool like Note It, you can track your targets and behaviour across your whole company with ease. What may otherwise be a lengthy and difficult job can become something done automatically, allowing you to dish out praise whenever needed with ease. 

There will always be factors beyond your control

An important step in maximising staff morale is to understand that no matter what you do, there will always be factors outside your control that can have an effect on the team. People’s lives outside the office are complex, and anything from a recent election result, to a sporting loss, to simple bad weather can sink the spirits of an office. 

However, if you’ve put one or several of the above employee rewards in place, you can negate these factors and keep your team happy, productive, and inspired throughout even the toughest working days.