Morale is a very important aspect in any office. High morale means happy and productive employees that look forward to work each day. Low morale means a disgruntled workforce that will not reflect positively on the company. Following are several tips to help keep office morale high.
One effective way to improve morale especially during the busiest and most stressful times of the year is to surprise everyone with something fun. This could mean passing out ice cream sundaes, putting on a silly show before the day starts or having a masseuse in the building to provide shoulder massages during breaks. Other surprises could include a holiday lunch buffet for the staff or a valet in the parking lot to bring cars around as people leave. These surprises increase morale and relieve stress.
Incentive programs increase morale in nearly any business. Employees are rewarded for hard work and exceptional performance. Rewards programs give everyone tangible goals to work towards throughout the day beyond basic job duties. They foster healthy competition between co-workers. The programs also increase morale because they show that each person is contributing towards the larger goals and success of the company. These programs could be based on sales, handle times, customer comments or even ideas to improve the business.
Improving morale often means providing individual recognition to employees. This shows that the business is aware each employee is a person and not just a statistic. Individual recognition could occur each week or at monthly staff meetings. Acknowledging anniversaries, birthdays and even training or performance milestones will all improve morale. Consulting with companies like O.C. Tanner can help businesses to develop different channels for recognition. This recognition could even come with rewards such as gift certificates, paid time off or branded company gear like an umbrella.
Part of maintaining high morale has to be the style of management employed. Managers and team leaders need to be consistent when dealing with employees. Perceptions of favoritism or unfair targeting will create an distrusting and negative environment. The office has to operate transparently. Each person from the newest employee to the top supervisor must be subject to the same rules. Each qualified person should have the same opportunities for advancement. This consistency and transparency will allow every employee to trust the company. This keeps morale high even if something negative occurs.
Morale in any office will fluctuate based on many factors. The key to maintaining high morale is to notice when employees are becoming unhappy and to react appropriately. This attention to the state of the office will let everyone know that the concerns of the employees matter.