According to sociologist Alexander Leighton, “Morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.” Everyone wants this for their company. After all, good morale means employees collaborate better, miss fewer workdays, and are more productive and more satisfied with their work.
For the employer, this will decrease turnover rates, create a team working towards a common goal and can provide a much more happy and healthy work environment.
Clearly, this is a win-win.
The best approach to tackling low morale is to embrace positive change before any negativity begins to spread in the form of eye rolls, decreased collaboration, fewer conversations and weak performances.
With summer in the air, low morale may be in effect already as employees look longingly out the window at the sunshine or have to juggle work related obstacles with their children out of school.
Here are some ideas to increase employee morale as a team and as individuals.
1. Company Outing
Everyone likes getting out of the office from time to time, especially now that the weather is warm. Instead of letting the higher-ups definitively decide your next company-wide outing, split the office into teams and put it to a vote. Giving employees the opportunity to shape rewarding activities ensures that your effort serves everyone.
2. Volunteer Together
Volunteering always feels good. As a team building exercise, you can get the employees out of the office while allowing them to feel connected to their community and see a different side of one another.
This dose of positivity can raise the happiness factor within your team and can even supplement as a company-wide outing. (It’s free!)
You can also look for nonprofits to partner with that tie into your corporate charity.
3. Switch Up Traditional Emails
According to a study, “92 percent of employees experience a spike in blood pressure and heart rate after reading an email in the office.” These types of stresses weigh heavily on the morale in the office. Try utilizing other forms of communication, such as integrating software like Trello, Asana, and Slack to lessen its impact and provide a fresh form of connection.
4. Increase Vacation Days
Some employees may be hesitant about actually utilizing their vacation time. Even companies that offer unlimited vacation days, find that employees aren’t using them. Too much choice can be restrictive and confusing. However, employees need a break if they are going to continue to be productive.
Try adding a bonus for employees who truly take a timeout without work emails and phone calls on their vacations. This will absolutely boost morale and allow employees to feel appreciated for their time and time off.
5. Encourage Lunch Breaks
Much like vacation time, a lot of employees don’t take proper lunch breaks either. Management professor Kimberly Elsbach told NPR that “staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking.”
As the employer, encouraging your staff to step away from their desk, go for a walk or eat lunch outside from time to time, is a great way to increase morale as well as teach your employees how to utilize this healthy habit more frequently.
6. Themed Potlucks
Let’s face it, food is motivating. It is also a great way to get your team engaged with one another.
Plan a themed potluck for your next big meeting. Your team will have fun brainstorming ideas, like rainbow food, where everyone picks a color, Chinese food day or even a cereal day. Food will help your employees get excited about their work day and your next meeting.
Active employees equal happy employees. We are all aware of the dangers of sitting in an office chair day in and day out with little to no movement. Encourage your staff to get healthy and fit together. Create weekly or monthly challenges, encourage daily walks or think of ways to combine fitness activities when you are volunteering or during the company outing.
Activities such as these will bring employees together and are affordable for the entire company.