They don’t call it the daily grind for nothing. On any given day, employees handle dozens of different tasks to keep the business running at optimum speed. They look forward to lunch, breaks, and, of course, the end of the day. At the busiest of times, the end of the day becomes much later, and work can even follow you home. No matter if employees are on salary or paid hourly, work can be downright exhausting. That’s why it’s a great idea to regularly show employees a bit of appreciation for their hard work and continued dedication to getting the job done.
You can find effective team building and morale-boosting activities and rewards at just about any budget. Here are a few ideas on how you can boost employee morale and keep teams working hard all year long.
- Contests – Offer top-performing employees the opportunity to compete for a set prize. It could be a monetary bonus, a free PTO day, or some other enticing reward. Set the parameters and any details ahead of time and check in with your teams for continued encouragement toward the goals. If your company’s budget allows, a “President’s Club” trip or other substantial reward can truly motivate employees to perform year after year.
- Potlucks and Mealtime Events – Seasonal or quarterly events where employees can socialize over lunch can have a great impact on morale. Offer a bit of relaxation to the day with a chance to sit down and catch up with coworkers they may not have seen as much lately. For lower budget teambuilding activities, potlucks are a great option. Each employee can bring his or her own appetizer, side, entrée, or dessert. Everyone shares and the event can be planned over lunchtime with flexibility to come back for more. A team lunch or dinner outside of the office also shows employees some appreciation within a reasonable budget and time allotment. An annual company picnic or carnival can also be a lot of fun.
- Formal Recognition – Certificates printed in the office with ink cost very little more than time. Use these to recognize employees’ anniversaries with the company and other important milestones. Company-branded apparel, office supplies, and other swag go a long way to showing appreciation as well. Umbrellas, jackets, mugs, and a variety of other items give employees a bit of pride as they celebrate a job well done.
- Team Builders – Sharing in an experience builds up morale in a big way. If you’d rather plan a team outing to a ballgame or another venue, this can be a truly memorable experience for everyone involved. Consider exciting activities like go-kart driving, glassblowing, paintball, trampoline parks, and more.
- Vouchers or Gift Cards – Something as simple as a gift card or voucher goes a long way in saying thank you. Hook up key employees with a voucher to the company cafeteria or a gift card to a local eatery or coffee hotspot. Alternatively, the ever-popular box of donuts rarely fails.
Consider scheduling team building activities as well as rewards and recognition at least once per quarter to keep your employees on an even keel. Plan a seasonal potluck or a team outing every so often to reward your teams for their hard work, keeping everyone motivated for continued performance. If possible, consider including other teams or departments in your plans. A multi-team activity or event can encourage stronger relationships between different business partners who may work together on projects in the pipeline.