How to boost employee morale without breaking the bank

The simplest way to guarantee happy workers is to give everyone a pay rise, right? Wrong. Not only is this too simplistic a way to approach employee morale, a complex and multi-faceted issue, but it can also obviously have an impact on your bottom line. The key therefore is to carefully balance your own business needs with those of your employees.

The hardest task you’ll arguably face in this respect is getting employees as passionate about your business as you are. Key to this is making them an integral part of the company’s strategy and vision; convincing them that it is their input which is contributing positively towards your overall business goals. It’s worth seeking out an HR management software provider that integrates tasks and goals into their platform (thankfully, there are a number of companies that do this), so all parties can get an overview of progress.


To these ends, make sure your employees aren’t being overworked. Set realistic timescales for the completion of tasks and don’t expect huge jobs to be done all in one go. Don’t overload your employee HR systems with work, work and more work. Ensure time is allocated for things such as ‘personal development’, a period every month in which workers can crack on with tasks of their choosing. This way, they will feel as if they have breathing space to research new ideas, find out a bit more about industry trends and strike a good balance whilst they are in the office. You could also allow a set number of ‘work from home’ days per month, especially for workers with children.


On the topic of balance, it’s important that the team get together for fun out-of-office events. We aren’t just talking about a night in the pub here, but enjoyable and constructive events which will bring team members closer together in a relaxed environment and allow people to interact on a personal as well as professional level. After all, the key to successful businesses are its people and the relationships between those people.


Allocate a day or two in your HR management software’s annual leave section for a big event, such as the company summer party. This needn’t cost the earth; for example, you can invite employees round for a BBQ in your garden, have a day out together at a cricket match or simply go for a big picnic in the countryside. The addition of live music, funfair stalls and other interactive entertainment will always go down a treat.

When you’re busy running a business it can sometimes be easy to forget to give employees credit for a job well done. You needn’t merely be recognising results, but credit can be given for passion, hard work or a good idea. Encourage employees to give weekly feedback in the form of a delivery report, detailing how they think their ideas and work have benefited the company. Along with this, send out monthly emails round the team highlighting individual and group contributions. If your employees are aware that their hard work is being recognised then they’ll be much happier and likelier to keep up the good work.

It is even feasible to build a ‘kudos’ section into your HR system where members of the team can publicly give kudos to each other, thereby creating a space where employees are able to give feedback openly. The last thing you want is for your employees’ efforts to be tucked away in the private domain, so get everyone talking in a positive way about each other and singing from the same hymn sheet. An ‘open forum’ company culture is certainly a more profitable and happy one.


Photo courtesy of Glen Wright.

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