Your workforce is the foundation of your business. Every business owner should know that regardless of market demand for your products or the value propositions of your services, neither will be worth much without the full support and effort of your employees. While the onus is on your employees to fulfill their job responsibilities, it’s up to you as an employer to provide a positive work environment in which they can do so.
It's vital that you make concerted efforts toward promoting employee morale. As online job board Monster points out on its blog, summer is a prominent season for worker turnover especially among seasonal hires (in sectors like retail, hospitality and dining). But in a more general sense, late spring and early summer bring pleasant weather and a sense of new beginnings, and dissatisfied workers could take that as a chance to find a new opportunity and leave your company. Let's look at some ways you can boost employee morale (and, in the process, combat burnout and turnover):
Celebrate achievements with enthusiasm
Just about everyone wants to be appreciated for their good work. But this requires more than a pat on the back or the periodic office pizza party. Entrepreneur magazine recommended employing more creative and interactive methods, such as creating awards for achievements given out in a workplace ceremony or published in a company newsletter or blog. Awards might include prizes such as gift cards or extra time off.
Promote work-life balance
As the jovial (and fictional) illustrator Stan Rizzo said in the "Mad Men" TV series finale, "There's more to life than work." To help ensure employee engagement and mitigate the likelihood of burnout, employees and employers must value the importance of a work-life balance.
Financial industry publication Forbes recommended managers and owners recognize milestones in employees' personal lives , including birthdays, children's graduations and so on. Staffers who believe their supervisors care for them as human beings and not merely as “assets’ likely will work harder and maintain a more positive approach to their tasks.
Additionally, Entrepreneur noted that company leaders should encourage outside-the-box innovation, be it work-related or not. If a worker has a project idea that goes outside their usual purview but could help the business, let him or her pursue it. Or if they play a sport or have an artistic pursuit in their spare time, encourage fellow employees to support it, whether that means cheering them on in a marathon or going to one of their band's gigs.
Plan employee events
According to Entrepreneur, your company should consider participating in community service. That’s because charitable efforts can provide a lot of good. You help an organization that does positive work in your community and, on a broader level, you motivate your employees to promote a greater good. Whether it's a regional chapter of the American Cancer Society or a children's writing and tutoring program, your community is bound to have a nonprofit worth assisting.
Finally, don't forget to have fun, too. Whether your workers want to compete at bowling, go paintballing or simply have a ballroom-style party, the possibilities are endless.