7 Cost-Effective Ways To Boost Staff Morale

cost effective ways boost staff morale

When your business does not have much cash to spare, you feel stressed — and your employees feel stressed, too. During difficult times, you need to be able to rely on high morale to keep staff motivated and productive, but if you don’t have the space in your budget for pay raises, better benefits or expensive recognition programs, you might be at a loss for how to boost employees’ mood. 

Fortunately, morale isn’t directly tied to how much money you are spending on your staff. Here are a few low- and no-cost ways to build happiness and loyalty within your workforce: 

1. Treat Staff Like People 

It is trendy to throw around terms like “human capital” in reference to your employees, but some business jargon for the workforce is dehumanizing. You need to recognize that the people who work for you are, in fact, people, and it is necessary to treat them as individuals who have wants and needs of their own. You should try to make human connections with your employees, getting to know their names, the names of their loved ones, their interests and other important aspects of their lives. 

2. Be Available 

An employee should be able to reach you when they want to talk to you, whether they have ideas for improving business processes, concerns about troublesome challenges, conflicts with other workers or feedback regarding your management style. Some business leaders practice “management by walking around,” which involves spending time on the office floor engaging directly with employees. At the very least, you should keep your office door open and your employee emails read to stay hands on. 

3. Focus Your Recognition 

Your workforce needs you to recognize the hard work they are putting into your business, but general praise is not enough to inspire engagement and increase morale. You should focus your recognition on specific workers who are delivering something extra in their performance to achieve individual and organizational goals. You can take advantage of a recognition program to help you track the employees who consistently go above and beyond, and you can speak directly with those workers to understand what will motivate them to continue providing such notable results. 

4. Demonstrate Results 

Few positions nowadays provide workers with an immediate understanding of what they have achieved. More often, employees contribute small tasks and skills to a project, and they might never see or understand the final product. One of the easiest ways to boost morale is to show your staff the effects of their contributions. Visual displays are the most effective at communicating results of hard work. 

5. Offer Greater Responsibility 

A sizable chunk of your workforce is bored by their current tasks, and many will relish the opportunity to take on new challenges. Awarding additional responsibility to high-performing workers shows that you have trust in their knowledge and skill, which builds their respect and loyalty to you and your company. However, before you add another assignment to a worker’s plate, you should talk to them about whether they are interested in additional responsibility and what type of responsibility would be interesting to them. Then, they can train the skills that will help them advance their career. 

affordable ways increase employee morale

6. Provide Training 

Investing in your staff’s knowledge and skill is one of the best ways to boost their commitment, confidence and contentment with your company. If you have the budget, you can offer lucrative training opportunities, like tuition coverage for certification or degree programs. However, valuable training does not have to break the bank. Here are some ideas for affordable training that your employees will take advantage of: 

Mentorship - Members of your leadership team can provide one-on-one coaching to guide promising and ambitious lower-level employees up the career ladder. 

Shadowing - Employees can get a sense for what higher-ups do during the day by shadowing different leaders. 

Department Swap - More and more workers want the opportunity to explore lateral and diagonal career moves, so exploring the daily duties of other departments can be valuable. 

7. Make Small Changes 

Often, a workplace does not need a revolution to become friendlier to its staff. You might set up a feedback box that allows employees to submit suggestions for how your company could improve morale. Likely, you will receive plenty of exceedingly affordable options that you can enact without much effort. For example, you might offer free bagels once per week or paint the office a more enjoyable color. Though seemingly small, these changes can have a big impact on morale. 

The Bottom Line On Boosting Staff Morale

You have the power to keep your staff happy and motivated — and it is not because you hold your business’s purse strings. With a few key changes to how you run your operation, you should see smiling employee faces without spending any undue cash.

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