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Small Business Owner? 4 Ways to Boost Employee Morale

Stress, tensions, or even issues revolving around the coffee machine can drag employees down and create a toxic culture with low morale. This can lead to sub-par work and low productivity. Here are four ways to boost morale in a small business and help the most important part of your company (the people!) thrive.

Team Building: push the boat out

Team building days can really help your team identify strengths and weaknesses, volunteer, delegate, communicate effectively, make decisions, problem-solve, show initiative, learn new skills, have a laugh and get to know each other better. Activities such as team sailing, cooking classes, musical tasks such as drumming, or even creative  tasks like film making or creating animations will help your team come together. Reward loyal staff with a fun team-building morale-boosting day out.

Work Environment: help your staff to thrive

Poor staff performance? Staff off sick again? Employees complaining of headaches, fatigue, coughs and sore throats? It’s official: sick building syndrome caused by indoor pollution and low humidity is now recognized as a major health risk. Invest in some ‘air cleaner’ plants such as the popular ‘zz’ for your workplace and see staff morale improve and absence rates reduce. Several companies provide good value packages including containers and self-watering systems so don’t worry if your expertise with plants is confined to the artificial variety.

Rest Environment: mine’s a cappuccino

If your employees spend their work breaks somewhere that reminds them of the dentist, it’s time to brush up on your motivational skills. Unleash your inner Conran and create a lounge-style staff room that contrasts with the work space. Replace dated furniture with affordable contemporary arm chairs or sofas. Shoji screens provide extra privacy and a break from colleagues without causing offence. Reward good team results with a traditional Italian coffee machine (go to for inspiration) and provide complimentary magazines, daily newspapers, snacks and fresh fruit.

Rewards: everyone loves a goody bag

Posh sweets or biscuits, gift cards, miniature cocktails, taxi vouchers, mugs, luxury toiletries, small useful items for home or garden, a signed ‘voucher’ from the boss granting a late start or an extended lunch break…. Make bags up yourself (they don’t have to be lavish) or go online to find companies that will deliver filled bags to your workplace. Personalise them or theme them. Use them as team prizes for work-based quizzes, for staff birthdays and as rewards for individual achievement or length of service. Giving inspires loyalty so look for opportunities and be generous.