With employers striving to make their companies more appealing to current and future employees, it’s become increasingly important to promote company morale by creating value for their team. It’s no longer, and perhaps never really was, about the fleeting satisfaction of ping pong in the office, beer on tap, or “unlimited” vacation days (which oftentimes is not what it seems).
Great managers must look beyond the superficial and towards promoting personal and professional growth. Here’s how:
1. Create Opportunities for Self-Expression
There are many ways that you can make your employees understand their value, and one fun way is giving them opportunities to express themselves in the workplace. Give your team the chance to share aspects of their most authentic self in ways that might not normally present themselves in an office setting. Here are just a few examples:
- Create a shared playlist on Spotify and ask your employees to add their favorite songs within a weekly theme. When it’s ready, everyone can tune in at the office to discover new music from their colleagues and show off their individual music taste.
- Plan a photoshoot at the office to snap headshots of your team members for the company website. Take a team photo – one serious and one silly – while you’re at it.
- Show that you understand the importance of mental health breaks by providing simple arts and crafts supplies or another DIY activity. Perhaps you can invite a plant expert into the office to help employees make their own succulent arrangements for their offices.
2. Show Your Appreciation Publicly
It’s one thing to tell an employee they’re doing a great job, and it’s another to e-mail to the whole team or make a public announcement praising their work. Displaying your appreciation publicly helps employees feel valued (and can even increase serotonin levels). Additionally, you’re able to set a precedent for other teammates to follow the employee’s good example. Just make sure you spread the wealth, and don’t play favorites!
3. Check In Regularly
Even if you think there isn’t anything pressing to discuss, make time to check in with your employees. Your team might give off the impression that they’re comfortable and confident on their own, but this doesn’t mean presenting the opportunity for an open discussion won’t be beneficial. It might prompt them to bring up challenges that they’ve been evaluating independently, or they could simply value having a chat without any expectations.
4. Follow Up On Requests And Promises
Even if you’re not able to meet your employee’s needs immediately, it’s important to show them that you’re putting in the effort to work towards a solution. Make sure your team feels heard by providing them with concrete updates as well as simple reminders that you have an end goal in mind. And if you’re able to meet them part way for the time being, do it.
5. Reward Your Team for Their Work
In addition to the obvious bonuses and raises, there are so many ways that you can reward your team for their great work. Surprise them with a day off or with a Summer Friday. Treat them to a lunch, or surprise them with a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Spontaneity is great, as long as the timing permits them to take full advantage of the prize!
6. Host Fun Team Outings
Set aside some budget to treat the whole team to a special outing. Take a trip on a Lobster Boat in NYC, race Go-Karts in Philadelphia, take a cooking class in D.C., go sailing in Boston, and so on. Rather than make the outing about alcohol, give your team some memorable experiences to help them bond, boost mental health, and promote personal fulfillment.
We love finding new ways to celebrate our team and help them grow. Ensuring that your employees feel happy and fulfilled is not only a win for them but also a win for the company. Positive company morale can benefit your business in the short-term and long-term, so it’s essential to not only drive value for your entire team but to make it a top priority!