April 08, 2019

Workplace Happiness: How to Keep Morale High at Work

Aaron Vick

Aaron Vick
CSO/cicayda

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Did you know that 68% of the country's employees are not engaged while at work?

That's a huge number.

Are you running a small business? Are you trying to operate a thriving, positive, successful workplace? Then you need to start at the heart: your employees.

Disengagement could be happening because of low workplace morale. If an employee isn't proud of your mission, they won't boast about it to friends, family, and strangers.

And trust me - you can't afford to lose out on this bragging. No small business can.

Everyone suffers from a case of the Mondays sometimes. Or personal lives get hectic. Or clients become angry. That's going to happen.

But there are some factors you can control to keep employee morale high. Feel like spending 21% of your annual salary on employee turnover rates? I think not.

Let's get started!

 

Something Extra to Strive For

 

This can mean anything from special treats and benefits to monthly bonuses.

I'm not talking about putting your place out of business. But I'm talking about giving your employees' objectives more depth. If there's a monthly leaderboard to strive for, they may put in more time and effort to get into that top percentile.

Another example could be something like this.

Consider a new restaurant that needs reviews to attract the locals. You could start a friendly month-long competition among the employees. Whoever gets the most positive reviews on Yelp per week gets a free meal.

In this scenario, your employees are striving to provide better service for reviews. They're reminding your customers about them. In effect, your restaurant's name gets out there, resulting in more business, too.

This allows your employees to have a little fun at the same time as they're growing your business. This makes them ambassadors of your brand!

 

Open Lines of Communication

 

Communication is key to avoiding misunderstandings and assumptions gone wrong. You know what they say about making assumptions, right?

Make sure your employees feel comfortable communicating with you all the time. Of course, this doesn't mean you have to respond within a specific frame. But it does mean that you'll respond as soon as you get to it.

An employee that fears to come to you may make more mistakes. The fear of bothering you, or embarrassing themselves, needs to be nonexistent. Make sure that every employee is comfortable coming to you with questions and concerns.

This could also mean using software programs like Slack. Slack is a cloud-based app that allows your employees to collaborate. Forget the delays of email. Slack is quick and convenient, eliminating all the fluff of an email.

 

An Understanding Attitude

 

Being a great leader is about more than giving direction. It's about empathy, understanding, and cultivating a healthy work-life balance in your business.

Respect is good. Fear is not. Make sure your employees know that they can come to you in a time of need.

If a deadline isn't met. If road conditions prevent them from coming in. If their child is sick.

We are all human and sometimes we need a little slack. One personal day is better than a disengaged but present employee.

 

Acknowledge Awesome Behavior

 

Remember that tip I wrote about earlier: encouraging friendly competition through Yelp reviews?

If your employees start getting rave reviews, make sure you acknowledge it. You could do this is many ways.

For the Yelp reviews. Consider placing a corkboard and tacking up reviews, highlighting employee names. No one ever got upset when they came into work and saw their name wrapped in yellow highlighter!

This will only encourage the motivation for positivity.

 

Pay for Personal Development

 

Do your employees want to improve their skill or knowledge level? Don't make them pay for it themselves.

Offer to pay for any relevant training or courses that teach them more about the industry. And offer incentives to those who complete these trainings. That way, even those uninterested employees become curious.

Here's an example.

Let's say you own or operate a microbrewery. You don't want just another bartender. You want people who can describe beer aroma and flavor in an adequate way. People who are comfortable moving and changing kegs.

Tell your beer-tenders to study for the Cicerone. Offer to pay for their test if they pass - and maybe even a day off to compensate for the studying! Then they'll come back rested and more knowledgeable.

And that's good for them and for business!

 

A Healthy Environment

 

Is your work environment ripe with unhealthy snacks and Coke-only vending machines?

Then you're promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. Those who work with the rise and fall of their sugar intake are those doomed to fail.

Abolish the availability of unhealthy snacks and sodas. Some things you could consider? A filtered water system in the office. A fridge stocked with fruits. Bananas on the countertops.

Is this not plausible in your space? Consider other ways you can make the environment healthier.

Adding plants is good for aesthetic and the air. One indoor plant improves air quality in drastic ways, removing toxins and giving oxygen. Natural light filtered in through open windows. Contemporary artwork on the walls.

Make your space a sacred one that people feel good coming into and leaving.

 

Your Employee Morale Is Gonna Soar

 

If you start implementing these tried-and-trued techniques of successful entrepreneurs. Or at the very least - they're a good place to start. I can safely say they will do more good than harm to your startup's chances of success.

Have you ever dreamed of loving the place where you worked? Coming into the office, restaurant, storefront, with a smile on your face? Feeling the impact you were making?

One more question. Why can't you make that place come into existence now? For yourself and for others.

The benefits of high employee morale are obvious: higher retention rates, increased productivity, and a healthier environment.

Comments? You can contact me directly via my AdvisoryCloud profile.

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