10 Fun Ways to Improve Employee Morale

improve employee morale

10 Fun Ways to Improve Employee Morale

As a manager or a business owner, you should always be looking for ways to improve employee morale. It is important that your team works well together and enjoys what they do. If you are passionate about your business, that passion should spread to your employees and your company culture should motivate them to success.

Enjoying what you do and the people you do it with can make all the difference in the company. Below are are some ideas for making the workplace more fun.

1. Picnic O’Potluck

There are many different and fun ways to turn a regular work day into something special.  Celebrate your team’s diversity with everyone bringing in their favorite family dish. If your team likes to heat things up with competitions, host a chili cook-off luncheon, or something as simple as a holiday cookie exchange. A little goes a long way in improving employee morale, and can spice up an office afternoon. You could even host a themed potluck once a month: January Healthy Recipes, February Dessert Samplings, and May Memorial Barbeque, just to name a few. Once you get them started, your team can design the themes to fit their style.

2. Heart Healthy Team Building

It might seem small, but little steps can make a big difference. Get your team to go for a walk around the office park or even walk to the lunch place down the street instead of driving. A chance to get out of the office and get some fresh air is a great way to build some healthy minds and bodies. Researchers at the University of Birmingham, in conjunction with some other universities, looked at office workers who took lunchtime strolls. They found that on the afternoons when the office workers took lunch time strolls, they were “considerably more enthusiastic, less tense and generally more relaxed” for the rest of their work day. See who can get the most steps in a day with a workplace step challenge. All you would need are simple pedometers to get started.

3. Change of Scene

A quick look around the office and you might see everyone seated at their desks, typing away at their computers, not really taking time away from those glowing screens. Jazz up the workplace with things that might spark some new ideas. Consider investing in a convertible desk that allows your team members stand while working. Some offices even have treadmill desks to encourage walking. Adding greenery to the office space can also go a long way. A little potted plant, water, and a sunlight is all you need. Greenery in the office can help make the office feel less sterile and more welcoming, and some plants even are proven to help purify the air. Check out these hard to kill plants that will improve your office scenery.

4. Office Olympics

Any game can be turned into an office-friendly competition to boost employee morale. This would be great to break up the daily routine and create a moment of fun and excitement. In addition to boosting teamwork and morale, mini breaks in the work day can help get those creative juices flowing. Check out some easy ideas from Pinterest to get some great minute-to-win-it challenges that will boost employee morale. You can use simple items you find around the office or maybe set aside a few minutes out at the park for a quick round of hoops.

5. A Simple Note

Acknowledgement of good deeds goes a long way to build confidence, increase productivity, inspire creativity, and improve employee morale. You don’t have to wait until staff reviews! Let your employees know that going the extra mile made a difference. A simple note or verbal appreciation can make a tremendous difference in office morale.

6. Volunteer Days

Doing good and helping others is a great way for a team to strengthen and feel positive about why they are working hard. According to the 2011 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey of employed adults ages 21-35, millennials who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are nearly twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career.

This can be an office outing, or it can even be expanded to include family and friends where all hands are needed to make a difference. Is there a local organization your company can volunteer at, a program you can start up, or a local race your company can participate in?

If planning just the right day or event is challenging, try looking at Make A Difference Day.  Make A Difference Day is a national day of service. Join teams all across the country on October 28, 2018 to volunteer together. Remember that your employees are pulled in many directions, so having something charitable that the whole company can do creates strong bonds.

7. Blue Plate Specials

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. If it’s hot outside, consider bringing in ice cream in the afternoon. Who wouldn’t want to grab a creamsicle before heading back to their laptop? If your group likes things spicy, cater lunch from a local Indian restaurant to add a little spice to their day. Any special treat makes an average day that much more extraordinary and any employee would feel appreciated by having a catered lunch provided for them. It does not have to be a fancy meal, but the opportunity to have lunch on the boss can brighten up the afternoon.

8. Free Days

Perhaps you don’t have a big budget for some of these fun ideas. What else can you do? Give your employees a free day off on their birthday! Why not let them celebrate with their friends and family? Or, give everyone a free day to shop for the holidays. Everyone is stressed during the holidays, so giving your employees that extra day off to get their shopping done can go a long way and show that you care about their well being.

9. Relax and Unwind

Plan an in-office yoga session. More than ⅔ of US employers offer wellness programs as a part of their benefit packages, according to a 2015 Society for Human Resource Management survey. This survey shows that employers notice positive employee morale and retention when successful wellness programs are part of their company benefits.

So, get up and stretch. Let the stressers from a long work week melt away as you complete the sun salutation. Or perhaps take ten minutes to play some peaceful music and have the group work on some simple reflections. Even planning a lunch hour stretch to get away from your desk and get some fresh air can relax and refresh your employees.

10. Invest in the Future

Provide scholarships or education funds to your employees and allow them to continue their education. By investing in your employees, they will want to give back to the company who believed in them. Open up opportunities for internships for future employees. Mentorships also allow your employees to learn from others within the company and increase the coworker bond.

The International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans’ conducted a 2015 survey that showed 83% of organizations surveyed offer some type of tuition reimbursement or educational assistance plan. Investing in the future of your employees is a vital element for any forward looking company. Your company will reap the benefit of this investment through strong employee loyalty and positive workforce morale.

The best way to ensure employee participation and enjoyment in the planned events is to make them a part of the process. Create a morale committee made up of a diverse cross-section of employees. These employees can become your best source of ideas to create a positive spirit within your workplace. An employee-led committee should have a clear budget that allows them to develop and grow their ideas. The employer should only step in to ensure employee safety, encourage committee effort, and facilitate funding conversations. Let your employees develop new ideas and see how their imagination sparks excitement and motivation within your team.

Improving employee morale is more than just making people happy – you want to have a place where your team is excited to be there. By making employees happy to be at work, you are motivating them to succeed for the company overall. If your employees are happy, your customers will recognize that and know that they are working with a strong and loyal team.

Contact Karen Curione for more ideas to improve your team’s morale.