Creating a positive company atmosphere for your employees to thrive in is not an easy task. But keeping morale high is imperative because a company is only as successful as its employees. After all, as the boss, you can only do so much.
To help you, here are some more ways you can boost employee morale in your start-up.
1. Remember to have fun
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. A company culture that promotes fun instead of mere hard work not only makes for a happier workforce, it is also great for attracting energetic new employees. People will fight to work for you.
Flickr employees, for example, relieve stress with finger darts and in-house DJ dance sessions. They even have the leeway to create their own fun. They are known for inventing their own game to distract themselves – faceball (a sort of dodgeball involving throwing balls at each other’s faces).
A culture of fun aside, these moments of frivolity can help to foster work chemistry, making it easier for your team to collaborate.
2. Allow positive mental attitudes to bloom
When the going gets tough, the tough need to stand firm. As a start-up, there will be many times when things will go wrong. This may not only shake your confidence, but that of your employees as well. It’s during those tough times that a positive mental attitude – yours and theirs –becomes all the more important.
A third of the companies on Forbes' America’s Most Promising List were molded during the 2008 financial crisis, with reasons ranging from having to be disciplined about capital to purchasing cheap equipment from companies going out of business.
There really is a silver lining behind every dark cloud. Only those with a positive attitude can last long enough to find it.
3. Play with a purpose
Annual leave is something every worker looks forward to. After all, it’s a sanctioned fun. But, increasingly, there are people looking for more meaningful ways to holiday. In a 2011 PriceWaterhouseCoopers study, 86 per cent of the Gen Y workers surveyed said they would leave a company if the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes didn’t match their expectations. Volunteerism can impact recruitment and retention.
So, companies have been offering paid leave for employees to do good in the community, such as volunteering for a charitable organisation. Singapore based real estate giant, CapitaLand, for example, gives its employees three extra days of leave to do volunteer work.
4. Listen to your employees
Of course, not every strategy in this list will work for your start-up. The only way to truly know what your employees want is to talk to them and to listen. Your employees who are on the ground and have to work the ground are the best people to tell you what works for them. Regular feedback can help guide your decision to weed out bad practices and bad apples.
And be creative about it. Marketing agency, Quirk, created a flow chart on its office walls that lets people suggest ideas and gather support through signatures. Unlike suggestion boxes, this makes the ideas transparent and empowers employees to voice their opinions.
Employees with higher morale work more efficiently and effectively, miss fewer days at work, are more productive and tend to stay with the company longer. All this will not only help the work atmosphere of your start-up, it will add to its bottom line as well. Talk about a win-win situation for all.