Posted by Dave • March 9, 2018 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 4 min read
Morale and productivity go hand in hand. People do their best work when they enjoy what they do for a living.
Fair compensation and a positive work environment are naturally the main requirements for maintaining a happy and productive workforce. Employees who are content with their compensation and get along with their colleagues are able to focus on what really matters. Producing quality work.
That being said, work can be a grind and even the most positive employee can fall into a rut from time to time. Companies can help their team members avoid hitting a wall by offering some of the low-cost incentives covered in this article.
Like favorable pay and a positive work environment, acknowledging hard work is one of the best ways to keep your team engaged. And it doesn’t cost the company a dime.
Employees devote a lot of time and energy to their work and want to know their efforts don’t go unnoticed. Simply pointing out when someone has done a good job pays off far more than many employers realize.
Giving an “Employee of the Month” award or similar recognition might come to mind as a way to acknowledge a standout team member. However, individual awards overlook everyone else who is making a positive impact on the company.
A better approach is to celebrate an employee whenever they accomplish a goal or complete a project. Every manager should be aware of what their team is working on and give credit when major milestones are met. It can be as simple as sending a company-wide email recognizing achievements or pointing out someone’s hard work during a meeting.
It’s common knowledge that eating has a direct impact on our mood and cognitive ability. A hungry employee can easily get tired or upset, preventing them from working at full capacity for an entire workday.
A growing number of companies are doing away with the traditional half hour or so lunch break and choosing to provide their staff with lunch in the office. Employees sharing a meal together fosters a communal atmosphere where everyone has the opportunity to converse outside of the formal working setting. They also save money and don’t have to rush to order, eat, and return to the workplace in the allotted time for a lunch break.
However, office lunches are often not low-cost, especially if it’s provided every day. If it’s not within your company’s budget, a kitchen or break area stocked with healthy snacks and drinks is a nice alternative. Most people appreciate being able to grab a cup of coffee or tea when they arrive in the morning, and a small bite to eat when they need to step away from their desk during the workday.
Work doesn’t need to be so serious all the time. Allowing your employees to take a short break every once in a while to have a good time together is a great way for everyone to recharge their batteries and develop a greater appreciation for their job.
There are a number of different ways to create a fun environment in the workplace. For example, getting everyone together on a Friday afternoon for a team building game is an excellent way to wrap up the work week. You can even give the winners a small prize, like a gift card, further boosting the morale of a few employees.
We should also mention that fun activities among coworkers don’t always need to happen during regular working hours. Your company can encourage employees to form groups that get together outside the office after work. Sports teams and exercise groups, to name a couple examples, lead to employees bonding and forming strong relationships with each other.
Recognition, providing food and drinks, and having fun with coworkers are all great ways to boost engagement in the workplace. But sometimes an employee just needs to take some time off in order to prevent burn out.
Every company should have a favorable time off policy and encourage employees to take a vacation a week or two every year. They’ll come back refreshed and ready to get back to doing great work.
However, many people often start planning vacations when they hit a lull at work so it’s a good idea to also allow taking personal days or the opportunity to work from home when needed. Your company can even provide half days for the entire staff on a sunny Friday, or the day before a holiday so everyone can relax a little longer before returning to work.
There is a lot you can do to keep employee spirits high. Figure out what low-cost incentives your team appreciates so everyone stays motivated to do outstanding work.