Many people equate good morale to a persistently good office vibe. However, the actual meaning is deeper than that. Mind Tools seeks to define morale as the capacity of individuals to collectively work at achieving a common goal, as paraphrased from sociologist’s Alexander Leighton definition. If you are looking at ways to boost the morale of your employees, then you have to look past just making them happy and finding ways to help them work together. More often than not, this will help bring out the best in them.
If you notice decline in energy and excitement among your employees, hear more sighs than usual or a sloppy approach to simple tasks, your team is likely experiencing low morale. This could likely stem from job dissatisfaction, which could be from several factors including:
- Increased pressure from the management team
- Potential lay-offs
- A particularly miserable client
Low morale leads to poor cooperation, increased turnover and low productivity levels – ultimately hindering your business from achieving set goals, and affecting your bottom line. Considering how quickly employee morale can build or break your company’s success, it is critical that effective leaders keep a close eye on it and deploy simple, creative approaches to fortify it. Here are a few tips you should consider adapting in your business.
Introduce Innovative Tools to the Way You do Business Meetings
Departing from the usual routine of cubicle life and meetings will go a long way towards building staff morale. Instead of having your off-site staff routinely coming in to your headquarters for meetings, consider employing online business video meetings solutions from platforms like BlueJeans. In today’s technological world, video conferencing is available over a variety of devices, from room-based to handheld.
Deploying online meeting solutions in your business has a huge potential to increase employee morale due to:
- Reduced travel time and costs
- Preventing expensive meeting delays
- Shorter meetings
- A larger participation by including your off-site staff
- Optimizes meeting attendance
- The immediate exchange of information no matter how far an employee is
- Faster response time
- Access to resourceful key personnel at the touch of a button
- Time sharing scarce talent
- Faster decision making
Using the Internet, provides you with an easy to-use means of organizing regular meetings without having to worry about wasted time and business-critical resources.
There are still many firms out there where a suit and tie is a requirement. However, when it is not absolutely necessary, you can let employees go casual. This will not hurt your business. In fact, it will do the opposite. Wearing jeans in the office will boost staff morale like you have never seen before. Have your employees in the headquarters and satellite offices dress casually on Fridays during that online meeting session. If you still believe that business casual creates a professional atmosphere, you may have to reconsider. Most of the top performing companies all over the world do not even have a dress code.
You can also introduce theme days. For example, Christmas-themed dressing during the festivities period will introduce that much-needed informality to boost morale. The themes you have can be just about anything. Take casual to another level by getting rid of formal titles. Although titles are a critical component in the professional world, they create an atmosphere that is too stringent and formal.
A stagnant office can be difficult to deal with. It is time you mix things up. Let your employees work from home occasionally and keep tabs with them via video conferencing. If one of your off-shore offices hits an important milestone, have all the other branches join in the celebration via video. The more spontaneous and varied diversions you can throw into your office environment, the more you will realize an increase in employee morale.
Eight hours straight can be dull. You can take advantage of video conferencing to introduce exercises within office in the same time region during the day or week. This will work wonders in enhancing office morale while fostering unity among your employees, no matter the distance between them. The exercises do not have to be big affairs; two minutes of group jumping jacks will do. Take it a step further and stream a video of a yoga instructor once a week to all your branches.
Highlight Company Values
Today’s workforce is undergoing an interesting revolution as baby boomers retire and millennials come to work. The Brookings Institution indicates that 63 percent millenials prefer an employer who contributes to social and ethical cases they care about. That is a big statistic that should not be ignored. Engaging in the community will engage your employees, shooting their morale through the roof.
It does not matter whether you run an accounting firm or manufacturing company, there is always an opportunity for your craft to benefit someone in need, and for free. While unpaid work may seem like a drag, studies indicate that employees prefer working on pro bono projects. This boost morale since your staff feels like their individual tales are used towards a greater good.
Do not forget to enjoy this process. After all, morale boosting ultimately works towards creating a challenging and fulfilling work environment for your team, as well as you.
Georgina is a part time business consultant with a tech company.