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Jan 11 2013

Better Your Business By Boosting Office Morale

make employees happy

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The best businesses are built on a solid foundation of happy employees. High quality products are important, but unmotivated employees won’t work hard to sell them. Marketing campaigns are essential, but unhappy and rude employees will turn away new clients that those marketing campaigns bring in. A unique business brand is a pillar of business building, but if your employees don’t embrace and demonstrate the values of the brand it will do nothing to advance the company. Successful businesses are made up of successful employees.

If you feel negative office morale is hindering business growth, it’s time to take action. Improving office morale doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or even take a lot of effort. Below are 5 simple and cheap things business owners can do to increase office morale and grow their business.

Spice up inter office communication. Pick a slow part of the day and set aside 10-20 minutes. During that time, change the rules for the way coworkers talk to each other. You can send notes to each other via paper airplane, act out your messages or have everyone sing their verbal communications. It might not be the most productive 20 minutes ever, but the inevitable laughter will lift everyone’s spirits.

Feed the people. The quickest way to an employee’s heart is through the stomach. If there is extra money in the company budget, bring in lunch for the employees one day, or do something a little more simple like bagels or doughnuts. If the company can’t pay, offer employees the opportunity to bring in treats. We’ve done this all year at the One Step Office. We pick a theme, like Pumpkin or Summer time, and then everyone signs up to bring a treat. Every Friday we get to try a different culinary creation from one of our coworkers. Everyone is always super excited to share new recipes and the delicious treats help speed up the Friday afternoons that seem to go on forever.

A joke a day keeps the doctor away. Appoint someone in the office to find and share jokes, inspirational stories and motivational quotes. These can be share via email, read at a weekly office meeting, tacked up on a community message board or passed around via paper airplane (can you tell I’m on a paper airplane kick?) These little anecdotes are a great way to break up a particularly difficult or monotonous day.

Simply say “Thank You.” When I worked for In N Out, I had a manager who thanked every employee after their shift. It wasn’t a big deal, just a simple “See you later. Thanks for working hard.” But after a shift where customers had yelled at me, thrown food at me or asked to have their food recooked 3 times, it was nice to know that someone appreciated me. As an employer, sometimes all you need to do is simply thank your employees and their morale, and productivity, will improve greatly.

Dress in drag. One of our clients, a real estate office manager, challenged his agents to sell 100 homes in 1 month. He promised that if they met that goal, he would show up to work in a full woman’s clothing. His agents sold 102 homes and he showed up in full drag and let his agents photograph and video to their hearts content. Of course, you don’t have to dress in drag to get results. But setting a goal that employees can work together to achieve, and then rewarding them with something that is of value to them, will increase productivity, encourage teamwork and keep employees smiling for weeks afterwards.

As you look for ways to grow your business, start with the employees. If you are an employee and you feel morale needs to improve, talk to your managers and ask to take on the responsibility. Implement simple and consistent practices that motivate people to work with each other to increase sales, give exceptional service and build brand recognition.

What sorts of things to you do to boost morale in your office? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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