Employees like to talk, and sometimes that talk turns into complaints. Especially in businesses where people have worked together for a long time, the comfort level among the employee spark conversations that often lead to information sharing. Unfortunately, the information sharing can be negative. The formed friendships and alliances give people a certain amount of comfort to talk about things they know about or see at work. During these personal conversations, the topics and discussions straddle what is appropriate for coworkers to share. The negative conversation often leads to complaints about management, benefits, working conditions, what a company does to its employees or what a company doesn’t do for its employees. Employees generally understand how a company operates but tend to disagree with the vision, strategy or goals that senior management have set. Often employees will complain around the water cooler about not getting business birthday cards from the CEO or president or that the company doesn’t have a summer picnic or a holiday party for its employees. No matter the reaction from senior leadership, it is difficult to please the vast majority of employees.
Companies tend to focus on the segment of the workforce who can be influenced and pleased with minor changes or incremental improvements which are recognized and acknowledged. Shy of enhancing compensation practices or significant management changes, company change agents can only work with what’s in the control of the responsible parties. Companies are typically held accountable to changes that are transparent to their shareholders, board members and senior management leaders therefore implementing significant changes cannot be an option for a strategy to improve employee morale. When asked, employees typically seek simple changes with meaning to their daily work lives. From work life balance programs to improving camaraderie within the work group, people report feeling better about their work world when someone shows a desire to improve their environment.
Morale boosters don’t have to cost a lot of money and soak up valuable budget. Plan a monthly birthday party or provide morning coffee for your workers. Once a month, plan a bagel breakfast to welcome new hires to the company. Plan a potluck for employees and donate the drinks for the meal. Some companies give their employees the day off on their birthday. Senior managers might send a personal note and business birthday cards to each employee on their birthday. Others celebrate their employees’ employment anniversaries. At the holidays, a company might plan to give their workers a gift card to a local grocery store or shop. Small gestures of good will go a long way with employees to improve their morale at work. Employees like to feel valued and thought of. They want to know that the leaders of the organization consider them indispensable and worthy of consideration. It is often the little things that solidify employee loyalty and keep complaints to a minimum.
No matter how your company deals with improving employee morale and neutralizing the complainers, it is important to have a strategy for attempting to keep employees happy at work. Improving retention rates will positively affect productivity and financial resources considering how costly turnover is for a company. Companies can’t please every employee and they don’t have the capability to pay everyone more or give more time off that planned because those types of occurrences are costly, they opt for more simple and meaningful strategies to improve morale. Who wouldn’t enjoy getting business birthday cards from their boss or participate in a potluck every once in a while? If an employee is going to stop for coffee every morning, why not have them stop in the lunch room in your building to have coffee? Simple company provided perks will help solidify employee loyalty and make the workplace a better place to be.
Sandy Winslow is a writer on many topics, including business management. There is no better way for management to improve employee morale than with simple techniques like sending employees business birthday cards and springing for the morning coffee.
Recently it was one of my friends’ birthday, and instead of giving her flowers or a birthday card, I decided to write her a song. As a procrastinator, I had to write this song on the exact day of her birthday! (which is very unproductive so the moral of the story: don’t procrastinate) anyways so it can be sort of messy too. But I think this could be my jazziest piece of all of my originals, and there are some parts in the piece that I feel good about too. I recorded this in three good hours, (separated into two days) and I think I did work a little hard on it. Hope you guys enjoy it.
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