These days, there is a much greater emphasis on a work/life balance within the average workplace. The old company culture of grinding your employees down to the bone has started to vanish, being replaced instead by a mentality of ‘invest in your staff, and they will invest time and effort in you.’ When you think about it, it does make sense. After all, cracking the whip may mean you get a lot of initial effort out of your staff. But as time plods on they will grow weary of this debacle, and they will set off to find employment elsewhere. A company with a high staff turnover doesn’t exactly look reliable to collaborators, investors and indeed, potential new employees. So by putting some time, effort and money into creating a positive working environment for your staff, you can ensure that you will craft a team of people who have your back no matter what. But there is a lot more to this than simply installing a foosball table and some comfy beanbags in your office, like you see at the Google headquarters. In order to create a team who work well together as well as under your instruction, you need to focus on building good team morale. An office will low morale saps the energy out of everyone in there; in order to get the best results, you need to make sure your members of staff are all as motivated and as excited about your product/service as you are. Here are some of the best ways to boost morale in your office, to get your company moving forward in the best way possible.
Set clear company goals
How are your employees supposed to get excited about something if they don’t even know what it is? Take the time to make sure that everyone on your team – from your marketing manager to your IT buff – knows exactly what your business is trying to achieve. Usually, you will have both short term and long term goals for your company, and all these need to be out in the open between you and your staff. There is no room for secrets in business, especially as everyone will be working towards the same goal. Plus, by keeping your staff in the loop, they will know that you value them and trust them collectively – something that is great for their self-esteem. Take the time to explain things in detail to your employees rather than just giving them the ‘brief’ and encourage them to ask questions and offer ideas. You and your team alike will find it affirming to know that you are all on the same page, and your work will be more collective for that reason.
Encourage real lunch breaks/after work socials
You can’t guarantee that everyone in your office is going to like each other – but you CAN set the ball rolling when it comes to forging some strong office relationships. Most people are aware of the risks that can be brought about by getting too close to your colleagues. But if you want to hold onto your current team for many years to come, you may just have to bite the bullet and make an effort to get to know them as people, not just as employees. An upbeat office where people really are friends immediately holds a much more positive atmosphere over an office that is full of the smell of mutual resentment, after all. Encourage your staff to take a break at lunch and to go out together, or to simply sit together in an area away from their desks. It may seem futile, but this time together can help to build good working relationships and can also set them up for a more productive afternoon.
When most CEOs think about the prospect of rewarding their employees, a feeling of dread generally comes about as two words form in their minds: pay rise. As much as you may like to give particularly hard working members of your team a raise, you will know better than anyone that it isn’t always possible. In order to make your business a success, much of the profit that is turned has to be re-invested into the company – not leaving much scope for pay rises every couple of months. As long as you are paying your staff a good amount, however, don’t feel pressured to give in to a raise on every single occasion. There are plenty of other ways you can show your appreciation for certain staff members who you think have excelled themselves. Get them a personalized gift such as some custom coins – getting it personalized shows you have gone the extra mile and have put some thought into it, rather than just grabbing the nearest thing off the shelf on your way into the office. It may be old-school, but consider bringing back ‘Employee of the Month,’ providing you know that it wouldn’t cause too much friction in the office (a little healthy competition is good, but it can easily turn sour).
Know that someone in HR is turning 50 next month? Or that your PA is expecting his or her first baby? Make a point of celebrating life milestones like this as a complete office – not just as individuals. Write events like this in your company calendar and arrange with the other members of staff to get a gift or a card that you can all sign with well-wishes. It’s not just personal milestones that you can celebrate as a team either – company ones are just as important. If you pull off a huge contract, or if your business is turning ten years old, bring everyone together to celebrate. Only celebrating with a select few people gives an ‘us and them’ vibe that is completely detrimental to company morale. By incorporating everyone, you will feel more like a team than ever before, and the work your business produces will start to reflect that.