By Kayla Matthews
Workplace morale boosters are valuable to any company. They show your employees you care. If you have high employee morale in your office, you’ll have better performers. There’s less stress, which decreases turnover and increases productivity.
Engaging your employees is always a win-win, but you don’t have to break the bank to do it. The funds and effort you do put toward it will pay off in the end, so why aren’t you participating? Check out the following six simple and affordable ideas for boosting morale in your office.
Provide Healthy Snacks for Employees
Healthy office snacks and meals have the power to raise productivity levels and your employees’ overall spirit. Staff members often feel they don’t even have the time to stop and feed themselves. They may have too many back-to-back meetings and just too much work to do.
Make it convenient for your employees to be healthy and well-fed, and keep your office stocked with easy-to-grab snacks like granola bars, nuts and individual popcorn bags. If you have the means, order a healthy lunch spread for your office. Employees appreciate these kinds of gestures more than you realize — especially since they’re able to keep working and still eat.
Have an Office Dog Day
This one is a bit tricky if your building has rules against pets, but many office buildings now allow them, with restrictions that pertain to certain breeds. Check with your landlord or building owner, then consider one day per week, like Fridays, or even just one day a month, to allow employees the option to bring their furry friends to work for the day.
Of course, employees will be held liable for any potential issues that may arise, but with good judgment, this strategy could be a great way to reward your employees. Dogs can also strengthen bonds between colleagues and improve mental health. They can motivate employees to go outside, decrease stress and promote mental breaks — as well as a load of other positive results.
If you have employees who are allergic to dogs or are not particularly fond of their presence, there are plenty of ways to get around it. Try planning an office picnic where employees can bring their dogs. This way, those employees who are allergic won’t be confined to a closed-in office with pet dander.
Throw an Office Party
Yes, every office usually throws a holiday party once per year, but you shouldn’t wait 12 months to get all of your team members together on a more casual and comfortable level. Plan fun events for employees, like a chili cook-off, lunch potluck or holiday party to celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving or another occasion that’s coming up. Have fun and set up an ugly sweater contest. The options are endless.
This time gives employees a chance to mingle with one another, enjoy great food and bond more with colleagues and as a team. If you decide to have a party or gathering after hours, give employees the opportunity to invite their spouses or significant others.
Set up an Office Happy Hour
Happy hour doesn’t always have to entail alcoholic beverages. You can hold a happy hour once a month. Try a Thursday or Friday at 4 p.m., before employees leave for the day, in the office lounge area or break room.
Serve an array of wine and beer, or opt for soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages. Order or pick up some tasty snacks, like nachos and queso from your favorite Mexican restaurant nearby or pizza for everyone to munch on. You can even go off-site to someplace fun so that you’re away from your typical work environment. This plan is yet another great way to encourage employees to get to know each other more outside of meetings and other projects.
Provide a Food Truck Lunch
Everyone loves a good food truck, and the great thing about them is that they’re mobile. Many offices have been trying out food trucks during employees’ lunch hours. This move is easy and convenient because people don’t have to go off-site, but if they didn’t bring their lunch, they still have the option to eat something different.
Book a taco truck for taco Tuesday or a BBQ truck during the summertime months. You can even book an ice-cream sandwich food truck or perhaps a coffee truck. If it’s in the budget, this option is also a great way to give thanks to your employees and let them choose a treat without having to pay.
Do Fun Team-Building Activities
Having a strong team vibe in your environment is essential to success. If employees aren’t connecting, their performance won’t be as great as it could be. Send out an email to everyone to ask if they want to go to a football game together or maybe lunch off-site. Escape rooms and Top Golf are also great team activities that everyone can enjoy. Consider an activity where employees can volunteer together.
Whatever you decide to do, bringing the team together will definitely make employees feel engaged and connected. Help to make your staff feel like work is more than just a job. If they feel they have a higher purpose, they’re more likely to perform better in their day-to-day duties. Empower your employees, and make them feel respected, appreciated and valued.
Boost Morale for a Better Work Life
Show that you care with necessary actions like rewarding good work and granting time off, but also take it a step further. The above six ideas are not only affordable, but they’re also sure to make your employees feel good.
Whether you choose to add healthy snacks to your break rooms, launch an employee dog day or plan a team activity at a local shelter, you won’t regret making the extra effort to boost morale in your office.
About the Author: Kayla Matthews writes about communication and workplace productivity on her blog, Productivity Theory. Her work has also appeared on Talent Culture, MakeUseOf, The Muse and Fast Company.