If you’re tired of seeing dreary faces around your office, it may be time to implement changes that will boost employee morale and skyrocket productivity. Many small business owners assume boosting employee morale requires costly increases to benefits or expensive incentive packages, but this simply isn’t true. There are things you can do today that will cost virtually nothing and will show your employees that you care about them and want them to be happy.
Get Out of the Office
An excursion out of the office is the easiest way to give employees a break and let them appreciate their working environment, according to the Baltimore Sun. By taking your staff to lunch or even out for a picnic in the park, you can reach and connect with them on a different level. This allows you to engage with them on the things that matter, and find out what, if anything, is holding them back in the office environment or what improvements need to be made. It’s also a great way to blow off steam during busy times, and it’s a wonderful reward for staff accomplishments.
Let Them Eat Cake
Celebrating employee birthdays shows you care about your employees on a personal (not just a business) level. It’s a great opportunity to help your employees connect with each other and to reward them for a job well done. Take some time out of the day to acknowledge an employee’s birthday and you’ll have given him or her a renewed sense of purpose and belonging within the company.
Try a Telecommute
With savings of $11,000 per person per year, according to Global Workplace Analytics, many companies are getting excellent results with telecommuting structures. If you want to boost employee morale quickly, you could try starting a telecommuting system. Check with your IT department first to ensure that telecommuting won’t compromise your system, and institute a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy with a management system such as BlackBerry’s MDM to make sure user devices don’t cause any security issues. IT security, from basic levels to high security, can be put in place, even for places that need control, such as government offices and regulated industries, according to BlackBerry.com. Studies have shown that employees who telecommute can be happier and more productive, as long as the telecommuting opportunities are handled correctly.
It’s not difficult to see how giving praise for a job well done can improve employee morale. Select a day out of the year, or out of the month, to give praise to noteworthy employees and their accomplishments. A simple inexpensive award can go a long way towards telling your employees you care about them and respect and understand what they have done to better the company and increase revenue. Many issues with productivity crop up because employees simply don’t feel they are valued or believe their work goes unnoticed. The International Association of Administrative Professionals says a single, kind note can have a measurable impact on staff.
Send in the Hounds
According to “CNN Money” many successful enterprises find allowing employees to bring their canine companions into the office is an excellent way to encourage both productivity and teamwork without lifting a managerial finger. It’s been proven that animals provide stress relief in a multitude of environments, including the cubicle. Even better, this type of policy change requires virtually no time, effort or financial investment.
Lauren Rose is a writer and stay at home mother of three. She plans to earn her MBA at the University o f Minnesota school of business when her children are older.