Looking for Ways to Boost Staff Morale?

Looking for Ways to Boost Staff Morale?

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Trying to boost staff morale may seem like trying to bike up a mountain in first gear.  Sure, you can do it – with lots of time and effort, and maybe some frustration.  This is especially true if you’re inheriting a company or department with a case of low morale from the start.

With the right tools, building morale in your staff can be like tackling that same mountain trail, only this time with a fully kitted-up mountain bike:  requiring effort, of course, but a fun and rewarding experience that’s well worth the journey.

Is there a magic morale-building pill?  No, not really.  And while there are some shortcuts you can take to ease the way a bit, there’s going to be some work on your part.

And that work starts right now.

Plan Today for Spontaneity Tomorrow

You don’t just grab the nearest bike and start up the mountain.  This is a particularly true if your exercise routine currently involves sofas, televisions, and potato chip arm-curls.  Your first move would be to plan a fitness routine, starting small and choosing the times and routines that work for you.

This applies to your efforts to boost staff morale.  First, have a plan.  Look at your department’s (or company’s) yearly reports.  What is your busiest time?  Scheduling a time-out for fun activities here might be a wise move.  When are your slow times? (And yes, we all have them.  No shame in that.)  This might be when you can plan more complex activities, especially events which involve multiple departments.

Now you know when to plan your morale-inspiring endeavors, you need to know what to plan.  But there’s something that stands in your way.

Roadblocks to Boosting Staff Morale – And How to Solve Them

And that’s the fact that misguided morale-boosting games, outings, and events can leave employees even less engaged than they were before.  There are several factors for this, but here are the Big Three:

  • The activities aren’t enjoyable for your staff.  They’re too hard, too easy, or boring.
  • The activities repel relationships instead of building them. 
  • The activities scream ‘We’re too cheap to do something cool!’ or ‘We’re so disconnected from our workers, we don’t care if you like this or not!’

Unenviable actions, all of these.  So how can you avoid them?

  1. Get to know your staff.  What they like.  What they don’t like.  Who can’t eat wheat, and who’s allergic to dairy.  (Remember the episode in The Office where the boss got an ice cream cake for a lactose-intolerant employee?  Avoid that.)  That’s right; acknowledge them as human beings, not machine cogs.  This in itself will boost staff morale.
  2. Ask them.  If you’re uncomfortable asking them directly, or if it’s not feasible to do so, fire off an email asking for ideas. And – here’s the important bit – incorporate their ideas! At the very least, be inspired by them.

Making it Up the Mountain

Staff engagement is really your ultimate goal, because without it you’re not going to get sustained productivity and performance.  Like any goal, from biking up a mountain to making a successful product launch, it’s going to take planning and work on your part.  But it can be done, especially when you engage with the very people you’re trying to motivate.

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mikesymondsroundMike Symonds is the owner of Interactive Events and Creator of Funergizers. Known as the Chief Funergizer, Mike specialises in helping business leaders create energized, connected and engaging team cultures.

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