10 Creative Ways to Boost Your New Employees' Morale

Bud Wilkinson, the football coach who led the Oklahoma Sooners to three national championships and 14 conference titles, famously stated, “Morale and attitude are the fundamentals of success.” But that statement refers to more than just football. Your team’s ability to succeed largely relies upon how they feel about their jobs. Happy workers are effective workers, and by investing in your employees’ morale, your company can reap the benefits. And perhaps even more important, these people for whom you hold responsibility will be happier and more ready to take on trials as they arise. Here are a few thoughts on just how to keep your workers’ spirits high, even through difficult times for the company.

1. Give prompt, clear feedback, both positive and negative.

When a worker performs a task well, let them know. And don’t always limit this sort of praise to going above and beyond. Sometimes, just meeting the requirements of the job can take a lot of effort, and having that effort recognized makes it worth it. But while you shouldn’t be stingy with praise, you shouldn’t be afraid to criticize to a degree. That doesn’t mean you should be cruel to your employees, but if you spot an area where they could improve, let them know—diplomatically—so that next time, they can do things better.

2. Ask for—and listen to—feedback from employees.

Feedback should go two ways. Ask your employees for feedback on how they believe the company is being run. Ask how things could improve. And just as importantly, once you’ve gotten feedback from the employees, pay attention to it and address what you can. Particularly if more than one worker is voicing the same concern, employee feedback can help you to recognize inefficiencies and improve the work environment.

3. Crowdsource ideas for company activities.

It’s important for the members of your team to get to know each other. If they are collaborating on projects, being able to match a face with an email address or a voice builds a personal connection. Once people make these sorts of connections, it is easier for them to make requests for work and to forgive mistakes. Ask your employees for suggestions on where to go for those retreats as well. Not only do these ideas make it more likely you’ll find an activity that most of your team will enjoy, but it provides them with a connection to the activity.

4. Plan company retreats, where workers can unwind a little together.

Speaking of activities, somewhat longer retreats at an appealing destination can give workers a chance to get to know each other as well. Consider an appealing venue that is near an attraction most people would enjoy—a resort or a theme park, for example. This is one area where smaller businesses have an advantage over large corporations, because a smaller workforce can mean significantly lower expenses. Plus, if you search online, you can find cheap Disneyland tickets, as well as discounted admissions to SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and other popular amusement parks—particularly if you can get a group rate.

5. Give employees flexibility in how, when, and where they work.

Some workers can get into the zone at their desks, working from 9 to 5 every day. Others, however, may struggle being surrounded by people all day. If it’s not necessary for them to actually be in the office to complete their work, consider permitting them to work off-site, whether at home or anywhere else. So long as they’re getting their work done on time, does it really matter exactly where and when they are doing it?

6. Recognize what your employees are work—and pay them competitively.

So this isn’t so much a creative idea as a common sense one, but it still bears repeating: pay your employees a competitive wage. As simple as it sounds, many organizations fall prey to the trap of paying their workers as little as possible. But if you go into a salary negotiation with the mindset of paying your employees as little as possible, it sets you up as an adversary with your worker. It’s much more important to pay your workers fairly. It will show them that you value the work they do and make it feel like you are allies with your workers rather than enemies.

7. Weed out toxic employees.

Simply put, some workers are toxic. Even if they get all their work done, the way they behave in the office can impact how effective your other workers are. If someone is always complaining or badmouthing other workers, take an active role in controlling the situation. If, after you have spoken to the worker, be willing to cut them loose. It’s never fun to fire an employee, but if they’re dragging the rest of your team down, then it’s something you need to do.

8. Be honest and reliable.

When you promise your employees something, follow through on that promise. If you say you are going to do something, then do it. Also be honest when you are dealing with clients and other companies. Your workers will see if you are unfair to those with whom you work. If you are dishonest, it can make them feel uncomfortable and even wonder if you are being completely honest with them. Build a relationship of trust with your workers.

9. Be willing to talk about how things are going—in rain or shine.

Be open with your workers about the status of your company. If the company is doing well, then let them know—and perhaps even consider allowing the workers to share in the profits. At the same time, if the company is struggling, don’t try to hide that fact from your workers. Transparency is one of the most important factors in how well employees engage with their company, with 70 percent of employees claiming that continual updates and communication from senior leadership is an important factor, according to a study from Harvard Business Review.

10. Treat your employees like people, rather than cogs in a machine.

In the end, the best way to keep your workforce feeling good about your company is to just treat them like people. Each worker is an individual with his or her own range of needs. Remember that they are not machines. They have good days and bad days, positive influences and negative ones. Treat them like individuals and attempt to work with your employees when they are having a rough time.

The overarching theme to all of these tips is to just treat your employees well. By giving fair compensation and plenty of opportunities to develop relationships with their coworkers, you can ensure that they are happy, not only working at peak capacity, but living full and enriched lives.

Word count: 1,122


Views: 138

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on September 22, 2017 at 9:37pm

As before, how many of these 10 do companies typically do?


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