Office morale is one of the biggest factors that directly affect productivity in your office, as well as employee retention. I’ve come up with five different ways that employers can build morale in the office and create a better sense of ownership in the company.
Be innovative. People love working for companies that are innovative and use technologies and ideas unmatched by their competitors. In the war for talent, keeping good employees entertained and happy is directly related to their personal growth within the company. If you’re fostering an environment of innovation and encouraging new ideas and growth, employees will be more loyal to the company because they want to be on the front line of new technologies.
Be fun. Your employees just want to have fun! Foster an environment like those big tech companies that let their employees have fun but still have a strong work ethic. Encourage an attitude of “Work Hard, Play Harder” in your organization, and you’ll see employee morale skyrocket. Take a page from Google, which is known for its perks including ping-pong tables, a video game room, and even a rock-climbing wall. Not all companies can be as cool as Google, but if you take small steps towards creating this kind of ambiance, it will certainly pay off.
Be different. When’s the last time you heard of a company letting their employees having more of a say in how things are run? Employees become engaged in a company when they feel that their opinions matter. No longer does just having an open door policy suffice as a means of communicating problems and ideas. You need to be proactive in your approach to engaging your employees. When problems arise in the workplace, get direct feedback from your employees. They will feel that they’re a real part of the team, morale will be boosted, and you’ll gain lifetime employees.
Be an advocate. Let’s face it, “the customer is always right” couldn’t be further from the truth in today’s world. When issues arise, don’t automatically assume that the customer deserves everything and your employees deserve nothing. Be an advocate for your employees and make sure you’re listening to both sides of the story before making a judgment call. Don’t lose a great employee over a customer who believes he’s entitled to everything. A good employee is usually an even better customer.
Be rewarding. Reward your employees for a job well done. Keep your employees engaged by offering rewards and credit for going above and beyond. This will act as a constant morale booster. It’s worth it to throw company parties for holidays or annual retreats if you can afford them. Think of them as an investment in your staff that lets them know that you care and will reward a job well done.
Building morale in the workplace can be done in simple ways, like the occasional bagel breakfast that doesn’t cost the company an arm and a leg. You can keep things simple, but let your employees know that you see their work and value their input. The more you appreciate your employees, the more productivity you will ultimately receive. Profits will rise—I guarantee it.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.