Seeing as we spend a good portion of our waking lives at work, keeping employees engaged and motivated can be somewhat of a challenge. Repeating the same routine day after day is redundant and can quickly lead to burnout. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep things fresh in the workplace and keep your staff on track.
Implement an open-door policy
Literally AND figuratively. Creating an open floor plan instils a sense of accessibility to all members of your staff. Skip the cubicles and go for communal tables, comfy couches, and limited walls. And don’t just walk the walk! Be sure that your staff knows that the management team is always available for questions, concerns, ideas, and feedback.
Encourage work friendships
Too many companies have a “no fraternisation” policy, prohibiting employees from socialising outside the workplace. While this is usually meant to deter inter-office romances, it also puts a dampener on friendships between people who spend almost every day together. Encouraging platonic relationships among team members can be a valuable move in keeping workers motivated and excited about their job.
Have a multi-purpose common area
Rather than having a dull break room with fluorescent lighting and an old, sad kettle, designate a multi-purpose area that can truly be used for multiple purposes. Board games, yoga mats, and an entertainment system allow employees to truly unwind during breaks. A more relaxed atmosphere encourages better communication and collaboration amongst your staff, which carries over into work projects.
Value employee input
When it comes to office design, get the whole team involved. Fun colours and funky office furniture help to stimulate creativity, while natural lighting is a proven mood booster. Let employees personalise the space as a team (this is a great collaboration exercise) with a bulletin board or dedicated wall. One fun activity to keep your group engaged is to hang baby pictures of the team and let people guess which employee they belong to. Encourage pictures of kids and pets, too!
Speaking of pets…
This idea is a bit unconventional and may not be right for every workplace. Consider allowing employees to bring their furry (or scaly) friends to the office. This typically works best for smaller companies, since the whole team can more easily agree on restrictions, but corporate giants Google and Amazon are among some of the companies making the shift to a pet-friendly workplace, proving that larger companies can also make it work. Of course, all pets should be potty-trained, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on all vaccinations. Pets reduce stress and depression, two factors that contribute to employees taking excessive sick days, and encourage interaction among employees who may not otherwise get to know one another –after all, isn’t it worth a walk to the accounting department to check out Barbara’s golden doodle even though you work in sales?
Having engaged, motivated team members who enjoy coming to work is the holy grail of business models. With improved employee morale, projects get completed more efficiently, communication is better across the board, and everyone is happier for it. Got any other methods for boosting team spirit? Let us know in the comments!