Posts Tagged ‘Unusual Morale Boosters’

New Ways Employers are Boosting Morale

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

vegetable_garden on employee screening blogAfter layoffs, benefits cuts and asking staff to do without, employers look for ways to boost employees’ spirits. Some buy lunch, while others encourage fun with Halloween costumes. But some inventive employers seek ideas beyond the norm to improve morale and keep employees productive.

Start an employee garden: One Indiana business owner invested $600 in a 1,500 square foot garden on her business property. Four employees shared the workload and the bounty, estimated at $2,400 worth of vegetables and herbs. Free produce is a sure bet for a crowd-pleasing morale booster, helping employees stay healthier by increasing the fresh vegetables in their diets and saving them money, too.

Take an afternoon off to play: Close the doors, turn on the voice mail, and take your crew to the movies, a comedy show, the ball park, or a pottery class. While it’s true that not all businesses can close the doors during regular hours, with proper planning, many can. Give customers plenty of notice, and do what’s necessary to meet their needs. Most customers can tolerate doing without your services for one afternoon a year—and knowing your business invests in your employees creates goodwill.

Throw a party: Thinking of cutting this year’s holiday bash? Think again—it could kill employee morale. (Unless the annual holiday party is lame, in which case it could boost it.) If funds are tight, ask your employees for ideas. They might come up with a celebration that costs less and is more fun than the one you’ve been doing for years. Try a gathering at your home instead of an expensive banquet room or restaurant. Do put out some nice finger foods or a big pot of chili with all the fixings. Do have a silly gift exchange, play some music, and relax. Don’t ask you staff to bring a dish, pitch in for a gift for the boss, or provide their own drinks. They’re likely already strapped for time and money.

Buy the coffee, tea, or hot chocolate this week: Many employers have cut the “free coffee” perk. Bring it back for a week—or one week a month. Anything helps!

Let the dogs in: Allowing employees to bring their dogs to work is a huge morale booster, when it works. First, all must be in favor of having canine companions around. Allergic staff members must be accommodated. Dogs must be well behaved—both on their own and in a group. If your business cannot handle every Molly, Spot, and Chance at once, set up a rotation schedule. Your employees will love having their furry family members close by, and studies show that dogs in the workplace lower stress.