Enhance Business By Boosting Employee Morale

September 22, 2016

Unless you're a "one man shop," you must depend on employees to help run the business, make sales, service customers, and generally be committed to the long-term success of the business. While the perfect team might fall into place and all operations run smoothly and efficiently, this is normally not the case without work and forethought on the part of the owner or managers.

Expensive incentive programs can be established but many small businesses do not have the luxury of excessive cash flow for these purposes. Instead, try these five inexpensive morale boosters:

1. Recognize and Appreciate 

Employees love to be rewarded for their work and effort. While a boost in pay or a financial bonus is always willingly accepted, words of praise and appreciation can have an even longer lasting effect. Recognition and gratitude when expressed privately in person or at company meetings or publicly in newsletters or websites let employees know that management appreciates their dedication and hard work. A hand written note from the owner or manager is another meaningful way to say, "Thanks for your great work." 

2. Train and Mentor

Training should not stop as soon as an employee learns the job. In fact, training and mentoring should be ongoing. This is a perfect way for employees to continue to learn and grow in their jobs. The end result is improved performance, happy employees, and increased profits. While in-house training is direct and specifically appropriate and on target for the business, outside training can be extremely beneficial. Employees not only learn from another perspective but when they attend outside training, employees gain a sense of satisfaction and achievement. They know the company is spending resources to help them grow professionally. Employees will remember these development opportunities long after the training ends.

3. Assign and Delegate 

A sense of pride develops when employees are assigned tasks and the responsibility to complete a particular job delegated to them. When employees are given a "free hand" on how to accomplish certain tasks, inefficiencies that normally plague a business can be highlighted and corrected. Employees feel good when trust is placed in them, and the business benefits from improved morale and performance.

4. Communicate and Listen

It's one thing to communicate with employees by talking to them but it's another thing when the communication is two way – talking and listening. Employees don't want to always be given orders or talked down to. They want to be engaged and heard. When management listens, employees derive a sense of satisfaction knowing that they are more than just employees. They are, in fact, people and want to be treated as such.

5. Provide Unexpected Perks

Unexpected and inexpensive perks have an amazing effect on employee attitudes. An afternoon off after a major accomplishment, a day working from home, flexible work hours, a gift card, a dinner certificate, or a day off to celebrate a birthday or work anniversary are just some examples of how a small perk can pay big rewards. These are unwritten words that all say, "Thank you for being such a great employee."

Motivation Is More Than Just A Word

Motivation is action on the part of management. It's letting employees know they are appreciated, making the business a fun place to work, keeping employees "in the know," and being genuine, sincere, and truthful. It is a combination of many different elements that mesh together to motivate employees both individually and as a group. It is often not an easy task for management but a necessary one that produces long-term beneficial results.