This post was updated on March 2, 2020.

Having a high morale at your company is critical if you want a dedicated workforce committed to your company’s goals. Your company’s morale directly impacts employee productivity, and studies show that workplaces with higher morale retain employees better

To understand how to boost workplace morale, we must first dissect what exactly “workplace morale” even means.

Defining Workplace Morale

Employee morale — or workplace morale — is the attitude and satisfaction of employees in a work environment. Workplace morale is proven to have a direct effect on productivity, and when companies face low morale, they are more likely to suffer from high turnover, low productivity, and decreased sales.

Why is workplace morale important?

Workplace morale is one of the major factors that affects the productivity and overall financial stability of any business. Low morale may lead to reduced concentration, which in turn can cause mistakes, poor customer service and missed deadlines. And as turnover increases, absenteeism also increases, resulting in fewer employees on staff and unpredictable workloads for employees.

Workplace morale is a metric that is earned, not automatically given. As an employer, you control many aspects that affect morale every day, from the way employees interact daily to how comfortable they are in their workspace. With this in mind, ask yourself: if you have the power to boost workplace morale, what do you do every day to improve your work environment?

With these challenges in mind, it’s important to consider what morale is like at your company and how you can address it. Here are six creative ways to boost morale at work.

1. Get Employee Insight

Allowing your employees to have a say in what steps you can take to boost morale is important. When your workforce feels like they are heard, management emphasizes that employees are more than just a number or a revenue value.

Surveys are a great way to get employee feedback, especially since certain employees may have valuable insights but may prefer not to voice their opinions in public. The fastest and most efficient way to administer an employee survey is digitally so you can view feedback in real-time and analyze the results quickly. 

Be sure to include questions about how to boost morale and whether your employees feel satisfied at work. We recommend you let employees submit their feedback anonymously so you get honest and direct answers that can help your company grow.

2. Celebrate in the Workplace

Encourage your workforce to look for reasons to celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how small. Try incorporating fun office events into your workplace to boost morale and inspire enthusiasm after teams accomplish milestones or finish big projects. Create opportunities to celebrate and have some fun with your employees, like a company potluck where employees can bond and swap recipes.

Likewise, you can promote smaller and less official holidays to liven up your workplace. Things like Bring Your Dog to Work Day, National High-Five Day, or National Pizza Day are great excuses for a workplace celebration.

3. Coordinate Offsite Team Outings

There’s a big benefit to taking your employees outside of the office to boost workplace morale. This allows people to get better acquainted without the pressure of the roles they’re used to seeing others in at work.

Many venues offer team building activities designed for companies, but there are plenty of other options too. Great places to start: 

  • Scheduling a monthly company golfing day 
  • Taking a biannual trip to a nearby museum
  • Instituting regular casual dinners 

You can also ask for employees to vote on their chosen outing to get them engaged!

4. Encourage Employees to Take Breaks

Low morale is typically caused by burnout. Employees who feel doomed to repeat the same tasks every day are especially prone to burnout, and it’s important that they know they can take time off to recuperate. Adopting a paid time off policy will help prevent burnout for employees so they can relax. 

At least two weeks of paid time off goes a long way to helping employees prevent burnout. With at least two weeks off per year, employees have the ability to recharge, and they even come back to work with more productivity and drive.

5. Build Relationships Between Departments

It’s easy for departments to fall into their own silos, which is why you should encourage them to interact. Studies show that employees with close friends at the office also perform better and maintain better focus.

One way to boost workplace morale and encourage your employees to interact more is by choosing an open office layout. Open offices encourage interdepartmental collaboration and make people more familiar with their peers. IdentityIQ, an identity theft protection service in Temecula, CA can attest. 

After their recent open office renovation, they were excited to report that the open space brings a new spin to the concept of a boutique, forward-thinking office space, and will inspire creativity between team members. 

If a full-on renovation is a long term goal, you can also set up activities and contests that get departments familiar with each other in the short term, especially for larger multi-department projects. 

Additionally, having department ambassadors can help increase communication and cooperation throughout your company. Scheduling group lunches that bring together two or three departments leads to more relationship building.

6. Reward and Recognize Employees

Employee morale is centered around how your employees feel at work. One way to improve this is by implementing a rewards and recognition program.  

From spot bonuses to rewards that reinforce your company core values, there are many options when deciding what kind of rewards and recognition program to set up for your company. We recommend you evaluate what type of rewards and recognition program is the best fit with your company. 

Ask yourself: do your employees respond well to gift cards, trophies, or after-work dinners? Are your employees more interested in redeeming their own items and experiences for a job well-done? And how much automation will your program come with so your HR department doesn’t end up weighed down with the manual process of managing all these gift cards and employee discounts?

Final Thoughts

To find the right ways to boost workplace morale, always remember your people are at the heart of it. These five company culture ideas are a great way to start. Each option allows near infinite customization that you can tailor to enhance your company’s values.

Sam Casteris is a Phoenix-based solopreneur interested in helping her readers learn more about business management, travel, and lifestyle topics. Find more of her work at Content by Casteris.