No matter how well things might be going, it’s important for an employer to be tuned with the morale and happiness of an office.

Like many things in life, the best way of tackling poor office morale is prevention.

Here are some of the best ways to get more out of your office without having to pay big:

Change the routine

It can be hard to be a successful salesperson or otherwise if they’re stuck in a routine that they’ve been following for years.

Not only will such a situation stagnate results, but it could also hinder new opportunities that might otherwise be worth following.

By offering small perks such as office lunches, pizza days, or, more permanently, flexible working hours one or two days a week, a company is more likely to improve productivity as a result.

Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Peter Grainger, co-founder of coffee capsule brand, CaféPod, says that flexible work hours worked well for his team – but that identity had to be maintained.

“We believe that people don’t necessarily need to be in the office or working set hours to deliver their best work and there’s clearly a loss of productivity from commuting, particularly at peak times.

“So we encourage whatever working styles our people need to reach their goals.

“The downside is communication can be more difficult and there are added coordination complexities around getting people into the same room.

We rectify this with immovable weekly meetings to get the whole team together to report what’s going on in the business.”

Celebrate personal milestones

Keeping your staff interested in what they – and you – are trying to achieve is key for a happy and successful office.

From the very first interview, candidates need to understand and share the vision that an organisation offers – right down to its most junior members.

This needs to be more than just words on paper however, so getting that vision pushed through multiple channels is key.

Many believe that it is the CEO’s job to push this agenda, and that can sometimes be the case, but in the best companies it is clear that every leader should see this as their personal responsibility to own and communicate that vision.

With that in mind, nothing can be more demoralising than actionless words, so it’s integral that the promises of leaders become realities that are delivered on time.

Crowd-source ideas for company outings

Company outings are great opportunities for getting your team together outside of the office (or bar), but how many have you been to that, despite all good intentions, have just missed the mark completely?

If you want to embark on honest change, it’s not a bad idea to get the HR team on the case to request anonymous tips and ideas for an outing.

After sorting through the most relevant ideas – it’s definitely worth letting staff vote on the best ones to ensure that the activity shall be worth its cost.

A study conducted by the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick found that happiness actually made people 12 per cent more productive.

At the same time however, research conducted by Citrix has shown that 31 per cent of office workers can’t stand team-building exercises.

While this is not a majority, it is nonetheless a large percentage of a workforce – so getting it right is important,

Recognise work anniversaries

Whether personal or professional, people respond a lot better to the working environment when they are treated as people first and then employees.

Of course, there needs to be a distinct barrier between an employer and a friend, but according to a survey from Globoforce, no less than 82 per cent of people said that they would feel good if people noticed and recognised their work anniversary.

Talk to staff to see if you can work out a way to celebrate work anniversaries, whether it’s an extra holiday day, a meal out, or a gift token, there’s always something nice and relatively inexpensive that can be done for some of the longest serving members of staff.

Understand the signs of low office morale

Sometimes low office morale can be hard to identify, as not only will people not want to admit it to managers, but also, there can be many underlying reasons for office unhappiness – not all of which might be the fault of business owners.

Things to look for:

  • Few personal conversations between staff. Although this isn’t always a requirement for a successful business, employees who do not communicate will be less likely to work together or help each other out during tough or important tasks.
  • A sudden increase in turnover. If a company suddenly has an explosion of departures, this is an important red flag for low morale. Conduct exit interviews to try and figure out why this might be the case.
  • People conducting their own initiatives. This might rarely happen, but if you discover that people have started their own initiatives to keep the company going forward, this is clear sign that there might not be enough to begin with – something that is sure to affect morale. If you discover this happening, ask the employee why they’ve enacted their own incentives and kindly take over if you feel that it is appropriate.

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