Do you need ideas to add a morale boost to your employees’ days? Work is something we all have to do. Many people feel that their jobs are tedious, tiresome, and full of drudgery. However, those who work in a place with high morale not only enjoy work—they look forward to it.

How are you supposed to give your employees a morale boost? It’s not as difficult as it might seem. You aren’t in control of their entire emotional wellbeing. You’re simply in charge of creating a corporate culture that gives people:

  • Respect
  • Appreciation
  • Feelings of value
  • Purpose
  • Flexibility and freedom

Imagine working in an environment that holds all these values as foundational. Sounds dreamy, right? Here’s the good news. People who work in a place that gives all of the above work with more motivation and drive.

On the other hand, those who are micromanaged and criticized are frustrated. They often entertain ideas of heading elsewhere. Nothing good comes of a workplace in which day in and day out are filled with the same annoying, menial tasks and negative feedback from leadership.

Employees who receive regular doses of morale boosts produce high-performing work. Here, learn some of the tried-and-true ways that managers keep people happy in their professions.

Morale Boost

Prioritize Connection

Studies show that when people have others at work whom they connect with, they are more likely to stay in their position. When you look forward to seeing people at work, it makes getting out of bed to go there much easier!

Connection at work takes varied forms, such as:

  • Friendly conversation
  • Smiles, greetings, and eye contact
  • Shared breaks and lunches
  • Laughter as a common practice
  • Collaboration that energizes instead of drains
  • Fun activities outside of employment-related tasks

As a boss, one of your jobs is to connect with your employees one-on-one. This doesn’t have to be every day. However, employees respond well when they know that you are always available when they need you.

How do you do this? There are plenty of ways—pick a few that stick out to you and add them to your leadership routine.

  • Schedule time with your employees to sit down together once a week or a couple of times a month. Whether it’s for five minutes, 15, or 30, structured time that is just for them shows you value them. Prepare a couple of thoughtful questions that apply to the person you’re meeting with. Alternatively, offer up the opportunity for them to ask questions of you or to talk about what they need.
  • Come in early and take your coffee in the breakroom. Adopt a casual, easy stance that allows people to approach you and talk on an even level. Start conversations with people that have nothing to do with work. This shows them that you want to relate to them as a person, not just a boss.
  • Make it a priority to step into people’s workspaces here and there. Only talking to the boss in the boss’ office often feels intimidating. Pop your head in here and there and ask about current projects or if there is anything that you can assist with.
  • Teach your mid-level managers to check in with their teams. Leaders who know their team members have the skills to alter tasks and projects so that everyone is fulfilled and working efficiently.

These connections with your employees don’t simply improve their emotional well-being. They improve people’s work, too! Those who feel connected to their colleagues have high levels of:

  • Trust
  • Engagement
  • Efficiency
  • Productivity

Normalize Feedback

Feedback is a good thing! As a manager, you oversee the entire workings of the office. If you don’t affirm excellent work and drive development, then why are you there?

Many employees dread receiving feedback, though. Many managers dread doling it out. However, when the feedback is constructive and given with sensitivity and thoughtfulness, even the toughest words are handled well.

One of the best ways for feedback to act as a morale boost is to encourage people to seek it out themselves. This allows them to own their growth and development. People who see themselves as a partner in their improvement often enjoy the process.

Before projects or tasks, meet with people and ask them about their vision for the plan. What are they looking forward to completing? Where do they need more direction or guidance? Is there anything about the project goals that they think needs to change?

Then, follow up as the project moves along. Check in each week or at regular intervals. Encourage your team members to ask for feedback even before they complete work so that they know they’re on the right track. This boosts morale and gives them positive energy to move forward.

Check in with people and discuss goals, successes, and struggles at the end of projects, too. What would they do differently next time? Why were certain aspects difficult? What went well and are they looking forward to doing a similar project in the future?

When feedback is a regular part of the leader-employee interaction, it opens up the door for questions and advice when times get hard. Employees who don’t know what to expect from their boss are less likely to reach out when they struggle. Show that you care about helping them improve.

A morale boost is inevitable when people see their progress and success. Even if they had to navigate some obstacles, it feels good to overcome them and make it to the other side. Assure your employees that you are in their corner, no matter what.

Help Your Managers Help Their Teams

Especially for managers who run large companies, it’s difficult to connect with and oversee everyone every day. This is why you have department and division heads that lead smaller teams.

Your mid-level managers look to you for guidance on how to lead and help the people they’re responsible for. Your first step here is to connect with them and give them feedback. Tell them that your leadership is a model for the best way to lead others.

Encourage and make time for your managers to coach their teams. Show them how to recognize people’s strengths and passions and how to delegate tasks accordingly. Employees who have work that brings purpose and who are guided in their growth are more flexible and motivated.

Managers don’t do well to simply focus on high performance, profits, and competition in the industry. Instead, managers who run thriving companies invest in people and their purposes.

Create job descriptions that align with your company’s mission, vision, and values. Ask your team members where their purposes and passions align. Offer flexibility in work so that people connect with their tasks.

Managers who seek out this personal information show that intrinsic motivation is valued. This makes people more capable, energized, and enjoyable to be around.

Embrace Appreciation

You appreciate your employees, right? We sure hope so. They work hard for you every day. Without them, your business would cease to exist. It’s important, then, to show every person on your team that you value their effort and work.

What are the benefits of showing appreciation and how is it a morale boost? The bottom line is that people who are valued, respected, and appreciated perform at higher levels than those who don’t. Those who work in a positive, appreciative environment feel good about themselves; therefore, they are more likely to take pride in their work.

Appreciation is also contagious. When people receive acknowledgment, compliments, and recognition, they overflow and send it out to others. This goes round and round, which creates a culture of sharing positivity.

It’s difficult to dislike people or an environment when you’re constantly hearing positive things about yourself and your work. Employment and all the related politics and relationships often bring tension and unease. Make your workplace an environment in which people regularly say good things to each other to help relieve some of that negativity.

Bring on the Fun

Work is a reality, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring and tiresome. Companies that implement enjoyable activities as part of people’s regular jobs show that they value people’s emotional and social wellbeing.

Humans aren’t machines. They come as whole packages whose different elements interact. This means that when people enjoy themselves and have fun at work, that positivity carries over into their responsibilities.

A great way to show that you value fun and enjoyment in the workplace is to show it yourself. Connect with employees on a personal level. Laugh and relax when appropriate. Offer parts of your true self so that people see you as a unique individual, then acknowledge others’ enjoyable qualities, too.

A Morale Boost Is Worth Your Time

All these ideas bring good to your office or business. The best part is that all of these are free and easy to implement, so there’s no reason not to! Embrace a company culture of respectful communication, development, appreciation, and fun. People thrive when morale boosts are commonplace; high-performing teams and quality work thus become commonplace, too.