A company is as good as its employees, and employees are good when they're happy. Low morale not only leads to grumbling, dissatisfaction, and a high turnover rate, it can also put people at risk on the job site if the workers are not thoroughly engaged with and committed to the task at hand.
Boosting employee morale comes down to one basic concept: people want to feel appreciated. No matter what job we're doing, we all want to know our work matters and we're valued as a part of the company. Not only that, it's important to be seen as a human being, not just a cog in the machine, a way for the company to make a lot of money.
With that in mind, here are a few affordable ideas for boosting staff morale:
Respect Their Work-Life Balance
Honor who your employees are as individuals with families and outside interests. If possible, implement a policy that makes it easier for employees to leave to handle family emergencies or even to make sure they don't miss a child's dance recital. Of course, you have to make sure the privilege isn't abused, but often employees are grateful for this sort of flexibility and will police themselves.
Acknowledging birthdays with a card and maybe a cake is another simple way to show you notice and care.
You don't have to give away the company secrets, but your employees are on your team. Keep them updated about what's happening with the business, and ask them for feedback on issues that concern them.
Encourage Professional Development
If conventions and workshops aren't in your budget, consider other ways to help each employee reach his or her full potential. That could mean a mentoring program within your company, a company library full of industry-specific books, or subscriptions to trade journals.
Hard work should pay off, and having something to work toward is fun and motivating. Of course, not everyone can become the vice president, but there should be a path to allow for advancement, or at least an understanding of what might be possible so people know what they're working toward. As this Business Insider article points out, "This doesn't have to be a new job title or more money. It could mean more responsibility, leadership, access to new resources and industry events."
Reward for a job well done could also come in the form of an extra day off, a free massage, or even lunch on the boss. Since constructions workers use their bodies and may be worried about on-the-job injuries or pain, rewards that encourage relaxation and recovery may help them work happier and healthier. Check out our post on unconventional benefits for more ideas.
Little surprises break up the monotony of the day-to-day. This might mean a catered lunch, a holiday party, or a financial bonus.
You could also forge partnerships with nearby businesses. The restaurant next door, for example, would probably be happy to see your employees stop by for lunch, and maybe the owner would be willing to offer a 15 percent discount for your workers. The restaurant gets new customers, and your employees get an extra perk for working for you that you don't have to pay for. Explore the possibility of this type of program with other services your employees need and want: dry cleaning, pet grooming, barbershop and salon services, and more.
Hire people you trust, and then let them do their jobs. Micromanaging is a sure way to deflate an employee. If he is lacking in some regard, take him aside and explain how he could improve, offering a way to get him back on track.
Boosting employee morale doesn't have to cost a lot. Where there is respect and appreciation, you'll find happy workers. However you choose to boost morale, focus on showing your thanks and acknowledging the hard work your employees do to make your entire company a success. For more tips and to learn about how a PEO can help you streamline your HR processes and get hours back each week, visit the Harbor America website.