Let’s talk about employee morale… over the last year and a half, it’s probably been a challenge to remember to check in with employees whilst trying to run a business under very unfamiliar and unusual times. But morale is integral to your company because it’s a direct reflection of how healthy your company culture is. This in turn is the answer to retaining quality staff members and helping grow your company, as well as strengthening it over time.

When employees feel as though they are being taken care of, they are most likely to provide their best work. And this is the same of all of us, even in our personal lives. Feeling valued rather than taken for granted, is an emotion all employees feel no matter their experience, age or career journey.

Here are 5 ways you can boost your team’s morale and provide praise:

Having regular 1-1’s

Your time is precious and that is why giving some of it to each of your team members will be well received and appreciated. Taking some time out to have a one on one with an employee keeps the lines of communication open, makes them feel as though they have a place to speak about any issues they might have and can assist in increasing morale. 

These 1-1’s don’t have to be overly formal, they can be in a breakout area within the office, they can be at the local cafe, they can be had whilst on a walk around the block… it’s up to you! These conversations can lead to higher levels of trust and engagement which can lead to increased levels of innovation and productivity.

Providing a platform for feedback

It works both ways. Employees need a place to provide feedback about things they feel are working well or things that aren’t working so well. Constructive criticism should be received in a way that makes employees feel listened to and heard.

It’s a win-win scenario because you may be provided with some excellent ideas that you can implement in the office environment, or it may draw things to your attention that you were otherwise unaware of. 

Asking for feedback also makes employees feel as though what they’ve got to say is important and that their thoughts, feelings and opinions are considered (and valued) when it comes to the workplace.

Develop your staff personally and professionally

It shouldn’t always have a business objective behind it when it comes to helping your employees. That’s not to say there shouldn’t be boundaries, but helping your employees reach their true potential can be done in multiple ways. 

For example, making sure they have all the tools they need to do their job well – including equipment, training and/or mentoring. These will all help them personally – whilst honing and developing skills – but it also benefits the business in the long run.

Wanting the best for your employees is part and parcel of being a boss. Providing a flexible working solution for a new mum, assisting with office equipment for a member of the team who has moved to a fully remote role or providing compassionate leave to an employee who has recently lost a family member… these are all things that should be happening within businesses to help their employees in their personal lives. 

Show your appreciation

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on gifts or tokens of your appreciation for your team members, a handwritten thank you note or a shout out in a team meeting is enough to have a team member beaming with pride. Highlighting peoples successes and wins is a small way to really boost the morale of a team and to make them feel as though their hard work is valued.

Having a staff party in the summer and at Christmas can be a way to thank your team for everything they do – providing them with an opportunity to kick back and relax will be much appreciated.

Having fun

Sometimes bosses forget that it’s okay to have fun with their employees. As mentioned before, there is a professional line that can’t be crossed – but organising team building days, fun days out and opportunities to socialise away from the office can all help boost team morale and make a group of employees feel like they are part of something worthwhile.

At the end of the day, you need to do what feels right for your business, but showing your appreciation and praising your employees often will have huge benefits all around.