If you want a more productive workplace that’s enthusiastic and ready to take on new challenges, then you need to start building the morale of your workforce. But what is the best way to do it?
What employee morale ideas actually work?
Low morale shows through in many forms. You might notice abrupt changes in attitude, lack of overall initiative or generally poor performance from employees suffering from low morale.
When a company is impacted with low employee morale, it’s going to suffer.
What employee morale ideas create a high-morale environment that employees look forward to going to? While it may sound like a pipe-dream, it’s not.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at 10 employee morale ideas you can start incorporating today.
Give them a try and see what they do for your business operations.
1. Start Volunteering as a Team
Volunteering makes most everybody feel good. It also helps people connect with their community.
When your employees volunteer together, they’ll often see other sides to each other that aren’t as obvious in the workplace.
Maybe Beth had no idea that the super-serious Chuck in accounting enjoys working with underprivileged kids just as much as she does. When Beth sees they have this in common, her happiness levels rise a bit when she sees him at work.
This makes volunteering one of the top employee morale ideas.
Consider partnering with a nonprofit that ties directly into the philanthropy your company engages in.
Volunteering is a way to get your team working together and feeling good while doing good at the same time.
As an added bonus, it won’t cost you a dime.
2. Fitness Improves Health, Happiness and Productivity
As a business owner or manager, you want your employees active. Not only on their own but as a team.
Fit, healthy employees are more productive than those who are in poor physical shape. If you’re all doing it together it makes for one of the best employee moral ideas.
There are loads of possibilities you can consider when it comes to improving the fitness of your employees.
Think about joining a sports league that’ll include the whole office. Attend athletic events as a team. Join corporate challenges or do a 5K fun run.
You can even combine this idea with volunteer work. Consider doing a Relay for Life or participating in a charity dance-a-thon.
Any of these activities are extremely affordable and will help bring employees together.
3. Have Themed Potlucks
This is an awesome tool for morale building.
Take advantage of those long, serious meetings and turn them into something everybody in the office will look forward to: themed potlucks.
This idea takes meetings that everybody dreads and turns them into meetings they actually look forward to.
Have a brainstorming session with some members of your team on different themes you can have for these potlucks.
Some ideas to consider include:
- Summer foods
- Cereal bars with various types of milk
- Huge cheese plates
- Rainbow potlucks where everyone picks a color
- Chinese foods
- A nautical theme featuring goldfish crackers, tuna rolls and nautically decorated cupcakes
Food will help your team get excited about upcoming snooze-fest meetings. They’ll also have more energy and bring better ideas to the table.
That’s why it makes our list of employee morale ideas.
If you don’t want to have these during meetings, think about hosting a makeshift tailgate party or BBQ.
When you do this, your employees will socialize more and have more fun at work. More fun means happier, more productive employees.
The best part? Since everyone is bringing their own dishes, it won’t cost you much money at all.
4. Plan Team Dinners and Happy Hours
Who do you know that doesn’t love food and drinks? If you know someone that doesn’t send them this way. We’ll get them set straight!
Team dinners and happy hours are events that almost everyone will want to show up for. If you can’t afford footing the entire bill, consider organizing a monthly event where everyone pays for their own food and drinks.
This is one of the employee morale ideas that give employees something to look forward to and helps them build rapport outside of work.
Often, this rapport translates directly to the work environment and new friendships are made.
Welcome morale boost.
5. Watch Television Together. Yes, Really!
Does your city have a huge college or professional football following? Maybe your hometown baseball team is in the playoffs and Game 3 of the series starts at 1 pm.
Perhaps your office isn’t that into sports but you keep hearing them talk about last week’s episode of Game of Thrones.
Watching television with your team at the office is a great way to get people’s burned-out minds off tedious work. They’ll also start having fun together.
Combine this idea with dinner or a happy hour and you’ve got an instant boost in office morale.
6. The Team That Plays Games Together Stays Together
We’re not talking about “Ice-breaker” here. Throw that idea out to the team and you’re bound to see a bunch of annoyed eye-rolls.
Why not plan a real game-centered team building day at the office, featuring games that people actually enjoy playing?
If you can’t see spending an entire day on it, plan a half-day on a Friday afternoon or even middle of the work week when morale is often the lowest.
Some ideas include a scavenger hunt around your town or trivia contests. You might want to invest a few hundred dollars in a used ping pong table and have a bracketed tournament that goes on for weeks.
Your workers need (and deserve!) an occasional break from being productive. Maybe having the game Operation or Connect Four on a break room table is exactly what they need to blow off some steam.
7. Competitive Decorating Contests
A bit of healthy competition is good for almost everyone.
Decorating contests can be held once a year, seasonally or for specific holidays throughout the year.
For each one, make sure an overall theme is set and everyone involved gets time during the workday to decorate their office doors, entire office or cubicles.
You could even make the contests a team event, where residents of each row of cubicles have to collaborate together to decorate the entire row.
Have prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd that go along with the theme of the contest.
You could also consider giving a prize for the absolute worst of the worst. You know, for that one guy who just doesn’t have a decorator’s eye.
8. Give Away Team Swag
Everyone loves free swag. This makes it one of the more fun employee moral ideas.
Create original, fun and affordable company tees and knock-around sunglasses in the colors of your company.
Order some frisbees and incorporate them into your game days. Get some company-branded water bottles and use them at the charity 5K you signed the team up for.
Get a bunch of can koozies and give them away at your annual BBQ cookout.
Another fun idea is to give away swag to employees when they celebrate work anniversaries.
Give employees some awesome custom shoes for their 1 year anniversary with the company. For 5 years, how about a quality timepiece that’ll help keep them motivated to stay with your company through thick and thin.
As a bonus to you, all of this swag gives your company constant branding around the community.
9. Include Employee’s Families In Certain Events
This is one of the most important employee morale ideas.
Of course, you can always opt for the “bring your kids to work day” which is a great way for employees to show their kids what they spend all day doing.
But you can also do simple things like giving open invitations for significant others to come to your next team dinner or happy hour.
When you include family members into your employee morale ideas, your employees will see a more human side of each other.
10. Change How You Operate
Employee morale ideas need to be team-oriented, even if it’s small ways.
When you change everyday verbiage it helps employees feel included and more essential to the success of the company.
Instead of talking about people that work “for you”, start talking in terms of “with you”.
Replace the words “boss” or “supervisor” with a term like “team leader”. Instead of using the word “department”, use the word “team”.
On top of that, allow employees to get active in areas of your company that isn’t technically classified as “their job”. The more heads you have on any given project, the more ideas will be shared.
This doubles to increase an employee’s self-worth within the organization.
Finally, reward accomplishments both big and small.
These Employee Morale Ideas Actually Work
So there you have it, 10 employee morale ideas that can’t miss.
Remember to mix things up and keep things interesting. Of course, what’s realistic for your company depends on your culture and atmosphere. But no matter what, you can find great options that are fun and affordable.
Do you want to discuss other ideas to build morale? Find me on Twitter and let’s talk.
Remember, the higher the morale you create the better your company as a whole will perform.