Three Ways to Increase Employee Morale This Summer
Is the mood at your small business stuck in the summer doldrums? Give office morale a boost by showing your employees how much they mean to you. A strong, motivated team is the lifeblood of any good business, big or small, so it’s important not to let morale slip or suffer. By keeping morale high, you’ll improve productivity, performance and employee retention, all of which will benefit your bottom line. This summer, try out these tips to keep your employees motivated and engaged.
Offer opportunities to develop skills through training
Making your employees better will make the whole business better, which is a great reason to offer opportunities for additional training and certification. Learn about the unique skills your employees have, what they’re most passionate about, and see whether there’s a way to help bolster those skills through training or education. You’re encouraging their strengths, which they’ll appreciate, and you’ll both benefit from the knowledge and experience they gain in the process. Whether you send employees to classes away from the office or bring in experts for specialized sessions, you’ll boost morale by showing you care about offering chances for professional development and growth.
Of course, training doesn’t always have to be about improving existing strengths. It’s also the best way to improve areas of weakness, whether it’s skills, software or some kind of professional certification. And not all training or skill development has to be purely professional, either. Offer your staff the chance to develop their personal interests at the office, with lunchtime sessions on everything from languages to gardening, and workplace morale will be better off for it.
Be understanding about holiday time and creative with scheduling
Summer is peak holiday season, and nearly everyone wants to get away for a while.
Especially for small businesses, whose staffs are often tiny, it can be difficult balancing vacation requests while maintaining efficiency and output levels.
Of course, turning people down for time off doesn’t do much for office morale, especially when the weather outside is wonderful. Consider that a rejuvenating, relaxing vacation will recharge most people’s batteries, meaning your employees are more likely to come back newly inspired to innovate and achieve. Try to be understanding when it comes to granting holiday time, and ask your employees to cooperate and collaborate with work deadlines and vacation schedules in order to help grant more requests.
Another way to let your employees get more out of their time away from the office this summer is to institute some kind of flexible scheduling system. Let staffers bank extra time in the first few days of the week, then send them off early on Friday for a nice long weekend. Maybe you choose to give them the chance to come in late on Monday mornings, or telecommute more often. Many people appreciate occasional paid time off to perform volunteer or charity work, so consider building a few hours each month into your staff’s schedule allowing them to pursue that. Finally, remember that some employees who are parents are probably dealing with different child care concerns while their kids are out of school in the summer months, and may need to adjust their daily departure and arrival times.
Have a daily huddle to hand out praise and tackle problems
Sports teams huddle up at times of stress to talk tactics and create a sense of camaraderie by coming together in a close circle. As a small business owner, you can do the same thing to boost morale in your office. Rather than having your staff sit around a table in a conference room, get them up on their feet and gather them together for a mini-meeting that adds a jolt of energy to the day. Try to keep it light and fast-paced; you don’t want people losing patience or getting bored. Acknowledge achievements and pass on positive feedback from clients and customers. Be genuine with compliments and address everyone by name. Be honest, open and transparent when giving updates on the overall business, so staffers aren’t left wondering where things stand – it’ll keep them from filling in the blanks with rumours and worries. Give your employees a chance to vent about any problems they’re facing with work-related issues and be sure to listen attentively.