Boosting employee morale when the going gets tough

Boosting employee morale when the going gets tough

As an employer, you must have learnt to expect the unexpected. The WiFi can go down for indefinite periods of time. There can be rumours about layoffs or budget cuts. The extent of these situations cannot be predicted but all this can get very taxing for the employees. Sometimes, an extra smile or hug to boost their morale can go a long way. After all, they spend a major part of their day at work and you cannot afford to have demotivated or stressed employees as it will lead to a decline in the productivity of your company.

So, how do you keep them motivated and committed? When you find yourself faced with an unexpected morale dip, try these inexpensive tips to turn the situation in your favour:

  • Get therapy dogs

Dogs are adorable and most people love them. Use that to your advantage! The motivation levels are low in your team today because they unexpectedly lost a client? Check if one of the resident dog owners can bring a pup to your office for the day. There’s nothing quite as therapeutic as the company of a pup while you update your daily reports.

  • Think outside the office

Sometimes, a little sunshine and fresh air can work wonders. Take your team out for a quick lunch to the Chinese restaurant downstairs, or simply head for a quick coffee break in the evening. It’s a win-win situation, as employees would take these breaks anyway. A small effort on your part can make a regular break special for them, increase their morale and, in turn, the productivity.

  • Have fun team activities

Have a fun ritual that everyone likes and will look forward to each week. Whether it’s a certain kind of music on Fridays, or a pizza party, or a team building game, there are things that might seem like they’re costing you in the short run but will make everything lighter in the long run.

  • Doughn’t doubt the power of cookies!

The most universal cure for the blues is freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or cakes, or doughnuts. You will have your team smiling faster than you can restart your laptop! So, go ahead and make your team happy with these sweet treats.

  • Flexible deadlines and work from home

If an employee is facing some personal problem and is unable to cope with the work pressure, be empathetic to their situation. This does not mean giving them infinite time to complete their tasks. Rather, consider their efforts, keep a gentle check on their everyday inputs and keep some buffer time in the last date of submission. If necessary, allow them to work from the comfort of their home.

  • Small gifts to appreciate their efforts 

Bonuses and salary hikes may not be possible all the time. Gift your employees dinner vouchers and couple movie tickets. This is an inexpensive way to show you are happy to have them, and want them to relax and unwind, away from all the work stress.

  • Take suggestions and use them

Ask your employees for feedback. Whether it’s anonymous or in a one on one setting, just ask them what needs improvement and what you could do to make things better for them. They are sure to have some great suggestions, which means that you can start improving in ways that make them feel valuable.

When the going gets tough, and it will, you may need to reassess your company, reflect on your own cost base and profit margins. But, don’t let employee needs slip down the agenda. You can always be ready to bring some love to your work family and hopefully it will involve dogs and cookies! If you reward their dedication, your business will prosper.

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