Working at a startup can be an exhilarating experience, but like any business trying to get off the ground and make a name for itself, there can be a handful of difficult days. While there will always be better days than others, it’s important that employee morale remains high. Remember, without your loyal employees, you’d be nothing and a sad and unmotivated group of employees will halt productivity. Here are 5 ways to boost employee morale and keep things running smoothly and successfully:
Give Kudos to Individual Employees
Everybody likes a little praise from time to time, right? While the “Employee of the Month” conjures up a few less than positive images, why not recognize individuals for his or her hard work? If done right, this can strengthen the morale within the office rather than cause rivalry. Take the time to point out the good work that everyone is doing. Bring it up in meetings, send an e-mail, or put a note in the employee’s mailbox. A few good words can go a long way.
Be Open to Feedback
If you take the time to offer your employees feedback, you should also be willingly to receiving some as well. If employees have something on their minds, most of them would love the opportunity to speak their minds. When employees don’t have that opportunity or don’t feel like their voice matters, that’s when morale starts to take a dive. Encourage feedback and let your employees know that you are available to talk about anything, good or bad.
As an employer, authenticity goes a long way. If your startup’s morale needs a boost and you suddenly take interest with sugar coated words and a false sense of happiness, your employees will notice right away. Be engaging all the time, not just when you want things from someone (think of the boss in Office Space). Acknowledge happy events like birthdays and work anniversaries and offer condolence during hard times. All you need to do is show compassion and mean it.
Offer Time Off to Do Good
If you want to boost morale, let your employees do something that makes them feel good about themselves, such as volunteering. Volunteerism is beneficial and not only can it help your employees feel good about what they do, it can boost your company’s image as well. Just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Who says you can’t have a little fun at work? Have costume contests around the holidays or check out a gambling blog to get ideas for a Game and Gambling Night in the office after hours. You may even want to include a suggestion box in the break room and choose one activity a month and let the employee, who made the suggestion, help you plan.
A great way to look at boosting employee morale is by examining your own past work experience. What made you feel good about working for a company? What inspired you to start your own? What things made you feel valued? Consider your experience when creating a positive work environment.