Happy workers are productive workers. Someone who wakes up in the morning dreading to go to work is the last person you want on your team. Do you really believe that someone who hates their job is going to be an integral part of the team? Apart from being less creative, productive, and efficient, their negative energy will likely rub off on their co-workers, leaving your workplace far from the positive creative-zone you imagined when launching your startup.
Boosting workplace morale is an often overlooked strategy, a simple and engaging method to leave your workers happy and your startup more efficient. So how do you make sure your workers are engaged? What are the best ways to boost workplace morale?
Friendship and Respect are Vital
Caring about your workers goes an incredibly long way. Acknowledging when they do something great, sympathizing when something goes wrong, and always encouraging them to be their best are small steps that make a huge difference. Acknowledgement doesn't specifically have to be related to the job. Is it a worker's birthday? Buy them a cake and have a small party. Did one of their kids land the lead in their high school play? Be there to congratulate them and talk about the time you had your heart set on landing the role of Romeo, only to be cast as a tree in the background. Showing workers that you care has the highest return on an investment that doesn't cost a penny.
Fewer Cubicles, More Open Space
Making the workplace a less mundane and more social environment will lead to higher engagement and stronger retention among workers. You want workers to be able to see each other. If people are buried for eight hours on end in a cubicle closed off to the rest of the team they will feel isolated. The notion of teamwork doesn't exist if workers don't feel like they are part of the team. Scott Birnbaum, vice president of Samsung Semiconductor, told the Harvard Business Review that "the most creative ideas aren't going to come while sitting in front of your monitor." In regards to Samsung's new headquarters, designed as an open-concept workplace, Birnbaum said that the building "is really designed to spark not just collaboration but that innovation you see when people collide."
Collaboration is the Backbone of Success
Everybody knows that two minds are better than one. Now factor in the rest of your co-workers and you will see immediately why collaboration is so important. When workers brainstorm together, ideas blossom into game-changing strategies. Teamwork brings about many positive changes in the workplace; greater productivity, more effective use of available resources, and improvements in problem-solving -- to name a few. Collaboration fosters a creative environment. When workers are allowed to be creative and share ideas with others, they feel a greater sense of inclusion and community. They feel like they are part of something bigger than just simply punching in and receiving a paycheck.
Boosting workplace morale doesn't have to be a costly, time-consuming effort. The idea is to get workers excited to get up in the morning and go to work. This won't happen if the workplace is drab, quiet, and the same every day. Doing the same exact thing in the same exact chair day in and day out will leave workers feeling jaded.
Paulo Coelho, the great Brazilian writer, said it best. "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.