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Q: What are some ways I can increase my employee morale?

A: Take a look around. Are your employees smiling? Do they enjoy coming to work and feel they are making a significant contribution to the business? If not, you may want to try one of these suggestions to build up morale, which can do wonders for boosting overall business!

Suggestions:

1. Talk to employees about business goals and how the company is doing currently. This is especially important if the company is in a downward cycle. Employees can sense the tension and may feel overly anxious about the stability of their positions. You may want to have a briefing on what steps the business is planning to take, and if cuts are necessary, how they will help the business to grow.

2. Offer training for employees and allow opportunities for their suggestions. I once heard about a man who was trying to encourage his wife’s interest in football. He was unsuccessful until he started telling her stories about the players on the team. The next time they watched the game she was excited to point out the players that she knew something about! Likewise, businesses can boost employee’s interest in the company by training them in new skills and allowing them to take additional responsibility. As employees become more familiar with how the company is run they may have insightful and, yes, even helpful suggestions about things that may help the company increase productivity.

3. Compliments, smiles, and jokes are inexpensive to share and can make all the difference in employee morale. I remember a time working at a company who had been hit very hard by the economy. The owner took the time, daily, to notice things that I was working on and compliment me on them. On occasion he would take me in for a one on one meeting to tell me in depth the appreciation he had for the work I was doing. Even though there wasn’t room in the budget for a raise, I came away feeling somehow like I had received one!

4. Allow for flexibility in work schedule. This is also an inexpensive way to help boost morale for employees. Sometimes adjusting schedules by an hour can make a big difference if an employee is juggling school, children’s activities, or other responsibilities. When my General Manager allowed me to adjust my schedule at work it made it possible for me to tackle a life changing goal.

5. Recognition is critical, you can implement this by recognizing individuals, groups, and goals reached as a company. When people know they are making a difference they may feel inspired to find other areas that they can contribute. At our company we celebrate the work anniversary for each employee. It is a time of fun stories, remembrances, and achievements, and best of all, free lunch! Who doesn’t love a free lunch?