ExecutiveChronicles | 3 Ideas for Office Morale and Motivation | In these uncertain times, it’s easy to fall into a slump at the workplace. With the pressure mounting on businesses to perform at high levels, maybe with smaller numbers of employees, less hours, or higher work requirements, it can sometimes feel as though for every job completed, there are three more behind it and they’re all overdue.
As you would expect, this has a knock-on effect on staff morale; the more stressed the office is, the worse the efficiency will become. In the worst-case scenario, employees may become ill, or require holidays/sick days to recover if things become too much.
As a manager (team, department or general!), it’s critical to make sure this doesn’t happen, from a business perspective, but much more importantly for the health and wellbeing of the employees. When stress begins to mount up, there are a number of things that can be done to alleviate the tension.
Breaks from Work
During particularly busy periods in the office, some employees may not feel that they can take an adequate break from their desk due to their workload or task lists. It goes without saying that this isn’t good for the employees, the managers, or the work quality itself. Without adequate time away from workspaces and workloads, stress and tension in the office environment can build up quickly, and can be very difficult to solve if left unchecked for too long.
One method to keep this at bay is to encourage staff to engage in games or events hosted within the workplace. For example, you might want to think about having an office chess tournament, playing cards, or even just getting a group together to go for a short walk. It doesn’t sound like much, and it doesn’t take much setup, but having that break away from your desk really can make a difference; it can bring people together from different departments and project groups, and everyone can take the time to get a bit of breathing space when workloads begin to become overbearing.
Upgrading your Toolkit
Have you ever tried to boil a pot of water with a match? No? I can’t say as I blame you; it would be highly inefficient, there are a lot of better ways to boil water, and it would take a really, really long time. Having the incorrect tools for the job is not only a massive pain to deal with, but also increasingly stressful the more it has to be utilised.
Let’s take software, for example. There are billions of different kinds of software out in the world; however, only a small fraction of them will be useful for you’re the needs of your business and selecting the right one is highly important. You wouldn’t use Excel to design a website, nor would you use Publisher to record a client database, so why stay stuck behind? Modern-day software integrations are getting quicker and more straightforward all the time; even finance and accountancy software such as Sage has become cloud-based, making usability simpler, less stressful, and overall an easier experience for users, employers, and employees alike.
When you’ve put a lot of effort into a project, spent days, weeks, or even months working with the project team, obtaining information, implementing a plan, working through it stage-by-stage, completing all noted tasks ahead of you, and you can finally call it complete, a little bit of appreciation shouldn’t be too much to ask for. Going through all of that work to simply be brushed off or unappreciated can be hugely demoralising, and in some cases, have cost businesses some of their most valued and skilled workers.
Obviously, a parade isn’t necessary after every task has been completed but showing appreciation for your staff working hard through tough workloads will resonate well: bringing in doughnuts or sweet treats for the office, ordering lunch for the team, or even something small like an email group to congratulate the project. While these don’t take much effort, if it’s represented that the hard work has been noted and appreciated, then office morale shouldn’t be as negatively impacted while workloads and pressures are high.
Keeping employees motivated and encouraged during difficult times shouldn’t have to be impactful on the business and working hour requirements, especially when working remotely or from home. Keeping stress and tension levels down will help to keep everyone motivated, encouraged, and strive to do their best work, even during peak seasons. Make sure your teams get their rest, their hard work is recognised, and they are encouraged to come forward to a manager or their team leader if they are stressed or feeling overworked. A happy, motivated office is a productive one!