So how do you go about turning your workforce from sideline watchers to fully engaged cheerleaders? Here are six workplace hacks that you can use to boost your employees’ morale and enhance your company’s success:
The easiest hack of all comes from making your employees feel like their insights and opinions matter. One of the biggest complaints employees lodge is that they feel like their management team doesn’t listen to employees.
To hack this issue, ask your employees for their feedback and concerns in a structured way. For example, hold weekly “office hours” or implement a dedicated email address for suggestions. Engage with each person — regardless of title — and listen to their concerns. And be sure to acknowledge their point of view. You don’t necessarily have to take action on any insights or ideas if you don’t agree with them, but let your employees air what’s on their mind. Plus, you might uncover fantastic insights about your organization or customers, or even a new product idea.
2. Spotlight Employees in a Fun Way
A creative hack to boost morale comes from spotlighting great employees. One of my favorite examples is from cloud communications company, Nextiva, which produces a laid-back, fun weekly video for employees. The “host” (another employee) highlights a few employees in each video, including what each person is working on and their recent accomplishments. It gives everyone something to look forward to collectively, builds up the culture and creates new heroes for the week. This is a win-win hack for all.
3. Share the Credit
One of the biggest employee motivators is getting credit for ideas and work. Hearing they did something well makes employees feel like their hard work is worthwhile and gives them some bragging rights in their personal life too. The best bosses tell everyone — vendors, customers, and other employees — about the strengths of their team. If you want to boost morale and increase productivity, give credit to others generously. It’s free, it’s easy, and it produces significant returns.
4. Arrange Little Rewards
While due credit is a good motivator, sometimes a small physical token of appreciation can really go a long way with staff. For this hack, set a budget aside for rewarding employees. You can attribute rewards to company milestones, such as when you land a certain client or reach a productivity or financial target, or you can do it randomly a couple of times each year just to let your employees know you care. You can throw a pizza party, host a group lunch outing, or get everyone a gift card. Or,you can bring in a group of massage therapists for chair massages a few times a year — or even more regularly if you want an extra-relaxed staff!
Also, in between giving out tangible rewards, send handwritten thank you notes to make your employees feel cared for.
5. Give Them Time
Another big issue for employees everywhere is a lack of time, so hack your way to a happier workforce by giving your staff back some time. How? First, consider allowing your employees to work remotely one or more days a week to cut down on their commute.
Second, consider adding convenient on-site services that allow your employees to cut after-work trips or reduce errands. For example, engage a dry cleaner to come pick up and drop off dry cleaning at the office; have great food trucks stop by for easy-access lunches; or add an on-site daycare. You don’t even have to pick up the tab here, but by offering conveniences in the office, employees can gain back some precious time and will certainly get a needed morale boost.
6. Delegate Responsibility
The last workplace hack will not only boost employee morale, but it will also help you focus on what you do best. Employees often resent micromanagers, so learn to trust your team and empower them to make decisions. This means that you should have basic guidelines for employees to follow, but you should also encourage them to make their own decisions. Teach critical strategic thinking by having employees articulate the potential outcomes of a decision before acting. This will enhance their decision-making skills, make them feel more valued, and have a positive effect on your business.
Plus, you can set your employees up to succeed by playing to their strengths and having them work within their core competencies. But also realize that there will be times when they make bad decisions. Use these as learning opportunities and continue to encourage them.