It is not difficult for bosses and supervisors to pinpoint the symptoms of low office morale: increased eye rolls, fewer conversations with employees, lethargic postures, sweaty shirts, and diluted performances can all suggest that changes are necessary.
In such a scenario, implementing positive changes becomes essential for a company to manage even a hectic work environment and communicate effectively.
Companies can achieve this goal by increasing non-work avenues, acknowledging employees personally, and providing mental health consultation platforms, among other strategies, all of which will be discussed in more depth below.
Mental health concerns can both cause or be the result of a tense, unhappy work environment. Professionals like those at MyTherapist provide private and affordable treatment options that can help manage the stress of everyday life.
How to Improve Office Morale
The first step toward changing an office environment is acknowledging that there is room for improvement. After that, developing specific and thoughtful solutions to adequately address your concerns should be a priority.
Here are eight ways to improve office morale and employee mental health to get your thought-process started:
1. Engage with your employees with “stay interviews.”
It is crucial that the bosses and supervisors at a company are approachable and affable with their employees – such a dynamic helps build trust and transparency between the two parties.
However, “stay interviews” could help take that relationship even further.
Asking the employee simple questions like “What makes you stay here?” or “What is one thing that you would change?” results in honest and constructive feedback that not only makes employees feel heard, but also gives management specific ideas for reform.
For example, a human resources consultant, after holding interviews with 70 employees, was able to boost office morale by hosting fun activities, establishing brainstorming sessions, and creating coaching leaders.
2. Conduct meet-ups outside of the workspace.
For new employees, it is almost always difficult to fit into a company from the get-go. Even existing employees may feel like they struggle to connect with their coworkers.
However, when a company hosts social events before introducing new recruits, they can easily get to know one another and the existing employees on a personal level, which makes it easier for them to interact in the workspace.
Companies should also make sure that they do not compromise on (appropriate) informal get-togethers like random picnics, lunchtime trivia events, and happy hours. These types of events can help both current and new employees to get incorporated into the friendly, inclusive culture of the office.
3. Make recognition loud and public.
Bosses and managers often believe in having one-on-one conversations with employees when appreciating their work/progress or handing out promotions and incentives.
However, if the recognition is displayed in front of others in the office, it not only boosts the morale of the employee in question, but also creates a positive impact on the others (who feel happy for coworkers and inspired to chase the same sort of recognition themselves).
A well-founded, real-time rewards and recognition program can, therefore, do wonders for a company, as it uplifts an employee’s personal mental health as well as the office morale.
4. Redecorate the office.
When a company gets too occupied with achieving goals and making profits, it’s easy to neglect the changes the office space might need from time to time.
Redecorating offices can sometimes prove to be costly and time-consuming; however, it is an excellent way to change the mood and overall energy of an organization.
Redecorations can even become part of team-building exercises.
Even simple changes, like adding more plants or wall decor, could not only beautify the space but also provide much-needed comfort to employees. After all, who wants to consistently work in a space that feels cold, serious, or overly formal?
5. Let your employees bring their furry pals.
It’s not hard to understand why. Few things are as stress-relieving as cuddling up to a furry friend!
This might seem impractical at many offices because of obstacles like cleanliness, hygiene, and vaccination concerns, but for a work-from-home scenario (or more liberal office spaces), it’s almost the perfect tool to keep up the energy.
Another option is to occasionally bring therapy pets into the office, even if only for an hour or so, and allow employees time to visit with them.
6. Conduct fitness classes in the office.
Adding fitness and yoga sessions to your employees’ calendar can not only reduce stress and promote a more productive state of mind, but it can also be an opportunity for workers to get to know one another.
These workshops or classes are generally “opt-in to participate” and not compulsory. They may even happen during lunch breaks or other scheduled time off the clock.
Instead of hiring an instructor or a professional, companies can, at times, even urge their employees to lead or jumpstart these sessions.
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7. Recognize personal milestones, celebrations, and losses.
Employees should be treated as humans first and foremost. They have a life outside of the workspace which needs to be respected whenever necessary.
The fact that employees spend more time with their co-workers and colleagues than their families and friends makes it especially important that companies create a supportive community.
At times of jubilation or grief, simple compassion and communication from bosses to their employees can go a long way.
Get to know employees enough to be aware of what sort of obstacles, whether personal or professional, they may have to encounter.
8. Incorporate fun.
Having a ping-pong table or a football setup inside the workspace goes a long way in channeling the competitive spirit into something fun and recreational.
Diffusing a hectic work environment is important for every company, and as mentioned, it also promotes bonding between coworkers.
The incorporation of fun activities also keeps up the energy of the office and will likely boost productivity and morale significantly.
Improving employee morale, while challenging, is almost always possible through some deliberate effort and care.
Especially in stressful times like these, it’s absolutely vital to ensure that employees not only do their job, but enjoy and see a legitimate future in it.