Employees are important. They are the important people who ensure that the company and business meets its collective goals. If your team are lacking in morale, spirit and engagement in your company goals, then reaching targets and objective can be sluggish.

Giving your employees a boost is important BUT, unlike other programmes of wellbeing, you need activities and tasks that are long term and effective. Here are a few ideas of how morale and employee engagement can be improved and maintained…

Create a wellness and wellbeing programme that is valued and coveted

And we don’t just mean taking an afternoon off every few months to go to the pub! Why not take a look at things such as desk massage or chair based massage in the office, on a regular basis? There are many companies who offer this service and the benefits are known to be huge, especially when compared to the cost of the office massage.

Revamp the office…

… but rather than the interior design approach, we are thinking more of the pieces of equipment and things that do not work or malfunction in a regular basis. If the printer is not reliable, look at investing in a new one etc. A common source of constant stress is malfunctioning equipment that makes the ability of employees to complete tasks quickly and effectively a nightmare!Office employees

Flexible hours

There are instances where flexible hours can be a bonus for many employees, and not just for those with children. Don’t forget that many people are carers for relatives and other dependents; working an office day of 9 to 5 may be more difficult for them. However, this is not a decision to be taken lightly as you will have to look at your core business and decide which hours you will need people in the office. Many local authorities for example, stipulate that works must be at their desk between 8.3o and 12.30; when or how they choose the remaining time of their day is down to their judgement. Not all small business could sustain this, however.

Value their ideas and opinions

In business, we can sometimes become so focused on our opinion and ideas that we rarely hear or see the ideas that our employees also come up with. All too often, people at the ‘coal face’ feel ignored and yet, they are the very people who can see the glitches and the improvements needed. Value these ideas and feedback.

Have a social morning or break

All too often, we all become embroiled in the day-to-day running of the business that we can all feel bogged down. Lighten the mood and create a buzz about the office by having a coffee morning or cake morning. Any kind of social break where people can not only mix and mingle, but also share ideas. Many small businesses find this is a great way of harnessing the contributions of staff regarding issues that need resolving.

Encourage people to talk… and not email!

Improving employee engagement and morale can actually be about the simplest of things. We all know and love the clipped efficiency of email but, sending an email to the person at the end of the office? Really?! Encourage people to talk to each other – maybe by reminding them that 40% of emails are not given any value so their one line email may actually not be given the credence it deserves.

Invest in professional development

The more skills and abilities your employees have, the more skills and abilities your business will have at its finger tips. Studies have shown that companies who invest in the professional development of their employees tend to have a more stable workforce, as well as a more ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ business.

Award schemes

Some companies also use award schemes as a way of boosting employee morale. In many cases, they are linked to meeting or surpassing monthly targets. Again, with this kind of strategy it depends on the sector your company operates in.

A social budget

And finally, with budgets tight during recessions or tough trading times, the budget that takes the hit first is usually the social budget and is also usually the last budget to be re-instated. Social engagements or parties for staff do not have to be lavish or expensive; perhaps just dipping in to subsidise an activity if the company cannot afford the whole cost.

There are many more ways of boosting and maintaining employee morale and engagement but the important success factor in any scheme is that feeling of being valued, and an engagement programme that includes massage is a sure fire winner.