It has been three months since something remarkable happened at the office, and Jessie is getting worried. She has been the HR Manager for three years, and since her tenure started, the employees have been over-performing. For the past quarter though, things have settled down. In addition to that, there has been a noticeable increase in the rate of employee absences.
Jessie spent some time with the employees to see what the problem might be. She found out that the employees seem to be losing focus and motivation. It was up to her to bring the team morale back up.
The State of Morale in the Workplace
For some employees, motivation is just a matter of getting a salary increase. However, it doesn’t always do the trick.
Management issues can make big dents in a person’s morale. A survey by the Sirota Survey Intelligence proves this. According to the survey, poor management is the main cause of employee de-motivation. Procedures, policies, and relationships cause a dip in morale. This becomes evident after the employee’s first six months.
Another study by Gallup revealed an even more dangerous trend, at least in the US workforce. Their research shows that less than a third of the employees see themselves as “motivated”. Motivation here means being involved and eager about one’s work.
Using Fun Activities At Work To Boost Motivation
One of the easiest ways to boost motivation is by making changes in your management style. Specifically, you can raise morale by giving people an outlet for fun. This does not have to just mean games at the office and doing team-building activities more often. While that can certainly help, here are some other helpful tips in livening up the workplace. Most of them can even be done without putting a hole through the company budget.
- Color your walls. Paint is cheap. It also does wonders to liven up the workspace. Leave the white-and-gray color scheme to the hospitals. No one will be inspired if they stare at those colors all day.
- Encourage healthy competition. Split your crew into team and let them compete for a prize. Making the environment competitive allows it to grow, as more people strive to reach a goal first. Just make sure to keep a tight lid on this, so it won’t result to hard feelings.
- Let employees decorate their work stations. You may give employees a nominal allowance and have them work on a specific theme. This will channel their creativity. It will also ensure their working environment becomes one they like. This exercise will also help employees express their individuality. The recognition and promotion of diversity is an important component of company success. Nothing says that better than a personalized work station.
- Celebrate. There are many reasons to celebrate in the workplace. Instead of calling a day-off for each holiday, you may invite the team to a party to increase camaraderie. Cookouts or a potluck in the pantry can also liven up the mood. Small successes can be highlighted with a cake or other kinds of desert. These investments pay for themselves as people constantly strive for better performance.
- Break up the monotony. Most offices run on routines, but it does not mean that these routines cannot be shaken up. You can assign a different point person for meetings each week. You can also create simple fun activities to loosen up people on a slow day. Shifting around things randomly would keep employee’s minds alive, for as long as they don’t disrupt the workflow too much.
- Encourage the formation of new skills. Learning something new keeps people alive. This can come in many forms. The HR team can organize workshops that employees can attend. Learning can also come in the form of cross-training personnel for new roles. This hits two birds in one stone for the business. First, it breaks the monotony of things and allows employees to try out something new. Second, it gives the business a wider pool of manpower should one department ever need back up.
- Get up close and personal. People do not want to be just another cog in the machine. A good way to motivate them is to make them feel like a part of something bigger. This sense of purpose allows employees to maximize their full potential and perform better. Managers should take time to get to know their people. A little fun chat every now and then will help. This also helps break the ice between management and the front liners. From an HR perspective, this strategy helps in building profiles by helping explore the strengths of employees.
- Explore new methods. Give the competition a run for their money while keeping things fun for your employees at the same time. Give rewards for people who can improve upon the company’s “best practices”. Share this new method to everyone to make their work easier and less tedious. This also helps bring about an innovative atmosphere.
- Bring on the laughter. Internal correspondences do not have to be dead serious all the time. Loosen up on the emails, chats, bulletin boards, and other forms of communication. Jokes and GIFs are okay, so long as they don’t steer away the people from their work too much. This will also encourage others who might have important ideas to join in the conversation.
- Create traditions. It is easier to bear tough times at work when you are looking forward to something big. Create traditions that have special meanings to the employees themselves. They might want to celebrate a momentous achievement, or they might want to create an event for a specific purpose. Make these events into annual traditions that employees can look forward to.
When people don’t have time for fun, they become tense and unable to make important decisions. They also perform their given tasks poorly, as they have nothing to keep them going.
For those in creative work, such a situation becomes even more difficult. Keeping the workplace fun for everyone is an important part of good management. It also helps HR personnel have less headaches. Happier people tend to stay longer and be more productive during their stay.
Jessie’s Big Idea For Fun
After Jessie made the proposals to the company, it didn’t take long before their performance bounced back up. Despite the continuous pressure of the business, employee morale was kept aloft. Thanks to her fun-starting initiatives. All this is a testament to the unending influence of management on the motivation of employees.