A happy workforce is a more productive one. In the long term, keeping your workforce feeling happy and valued prevents high staff turnover, which can be damaging. Although boosting workplace morale might occasionally seem like something of a dark art, there are a few simple tips you can follow to immediately lift the mood.
#1 Involve everyone in decision making
Most employers try to make their staff feel engaged and valued, but this will seem superficial if you still make all the important decisions behind closed doors. Consolidating power amongst a few high-profile individuals is a surefire way to undermine morale. It makes employees feel less valued and also lowers their sense of stake in the business. Over time, this might mean that they’re less committed or even that they seek out work elsewhere, somewhere that their ideas are valued.
Instead, try to involve as many people in the decision-making process as possible. This might mean round-the-table discussions or establishing leadership groups, but there’s an even simpler way. Installing a suggestion box where employees can offer their thoughts anonymously makes a huge difference. Suddenly ideas seem valued, and you might even come across a suggestion that’s truly innovative.
#2 Offer benefits
Nearly all businesses offer some kind of benefits system, so if you aren’t one of them, you risk being left behind. Benefits take many forms, from the big (like healthcare) to the small (like snacks and free drinks). Surveys suggest that workers value healthcare (vision and dental included) the most, so this is the best place to start. Although offering health insurance might sound daunting and expensive, many businesses now use marketplaces to compare health insurance quotes between providers. This allows you to easily compare price, benefit, and suitability, finding the best deal for your staff.
Aside from health, flexitime and the option to work from home are popular benefits, as is student loan assistance. Smaller options, including activity days and discount/reward programs, also score highly with employees. Whatever you choose, it’s important to tailor your benefits system to your workforce. Find what works for your business model, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
#3 Feedback and recognition
All too many employers reserve feedback for when something has gone wrong. They identify a fault and then tell their employees how to fix it, along with what to do differently next time. While this is important, it doesn’t do much for morale. Only hearing from their employer when they’ve done something wrong can be demoralizing for staff. Instead, focus on delivering praise when something has gone well and implement a feedback system that reinforces positivity.
Congratulating employees on day-to-day successes or emphasizing progress and “a job well done” during team meetings makes a massive difference. Don’t wait for monthly reviews to deliver praise, either. If someone has done their job well, let them know straight away. Establishing workplace positivity is an ongoing process, but it pays dividends in the long term.