Improve employee morale this year, and reap the benefits for your business.
By: Tracy Bracy
This time of year, many of us focus on self-improvement. We want to lose weight, get more exercise or stop smoking. How about a resolution to improve morale in the workplace? It might be more important than you think.
Studies by the Gallup organization show that “actively disengaged” employees – that is, workers who are fundamentally disconnected from their jobs – cost the U.S. economy up to $400 billion a year. The researchers calculate that nearly 25 million U.S. workers are actively disengaged each year, resulting in about 86 million days absent from work. It also found employees had less productivity, more stress and poorer health.
Fortunately, improving employee morale doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some suggestions on ways to keep your workforce happy and productive:
◆ Empower your people: Give your employees the tools to succeed with short-term and long-term goals. When working on projects, allow your employees to be part of the brainstorming process. It will leave your team feeling invested in the project and in your business.
◆ Encourage creativity: Looking for ways to solve a thorny problem or achieve a goal? Your employees might have the solution. Try holding a lunchtime challenge over several days, bring in a ping-pong table and challenge different departments.
◆ Give employees “boss time”: Consider giving your employees more face time. Listen to them, and let them know you care about their work, their concerns and their dreams. If your business has a hierarchy, that also applies to your managers. Spend time with your whole management team or individual managers to let them know they are appreciated.
◆ Give unexpected thank-yous: Did an employee or team achieve something great? Show them they are appreciated. Encourage employees to send details to their supervisor when they see or hear a coworker solve a difficult problem or go the extra mile. The supervisor should then let the employee in question know the efforts were appreciated.
◆ Have “lunch and learns”: Hold informal brown-bag lunch sessions to give employees a chance to learn about your business and the market. You can present quarterly business highlights and plans for the future. You can bring in a guest speaker with something interesting to say or let an employee, partner or team share something they’ve learned or accomplished. Better Business Bureau (BBB) holds lunch and learns for its employees on a variety of topics.
◆ Let your people grow: Strengthen staff loyalty by offering them chances to grow through training and development. Not only will that increase motivation and drive, it will add value to your company.
◆ Create a fun environment: Lighten the mood, and make it fun to come to work. Your BBB produces an internal newsletter, giving employees a chance to share their jokes, experiences and interests. Our offices also hold dress up days and office parties, making for a fun and inviting workplace.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. For the latest news, visit our blog at www.watchyourbuck.com. And for more information, please contact Tracy Bracy, regional director for BBB, at 361-852-4949.