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Have you ever worked for a company where the overall morale was low, awful, depressed, toxic, etc.? In my career I’ve had the experience of working for some great people and companies, as well as working for a few companies that really sucked the soul out of me. You know the companies, where you walk through the doors and you can just feel the negativity in the building. Eventually, that negativity starts to wear on you. Working for a company like that makes it harder and harder to drag yourself to the office every morning. Luckily for me, I am currently with an AE firm where I am excited to go to work every morning.
That said, here are my 4 ways to keep company morale high without breaking the bank:
1. Friday Barbeque
Living and working in Cleveland, Ohio, we only get about four and a half months of great weather. However, when those months come around, we make them count. Every Friday we barbeque for lunch. We’ll designate someone in the office (usually one of the interns) to go to the nearest grocery store and pick up burgers, brats, bacon (yes, grilled bacon is amazing), and all of the fixings. We designate a grill master, and the rest is history. There is something about grilling out, tossing the football around, being outdoors, and listening to some great music with your colleagues on a Friday afternoon that is just perfect. If you work for a company, and have the surroundings to make this happen, I highly recommend it!
2. After hours company events
Through my career I have learned that even though you spend 8 or so hours with your colleagues during the work day, it is outside of work that you truly get to know them. That’s why I believe having events after work or on the weekends is important. These events could range anywhere from going to a sporting event, bowling, golf, softball, volleyball, to going to a local bar for happy hour. It’s through events like these that people learn about each other as individuals, outside the confines of the office.
3. Celebrating milestones
It may seem like a small one, but everybody likes to be acknowledged, and everybody likes to celebrate. Now it doesn’t have to be some big party, but a simple “happy birthday” or “congratulations” can go a long way. To celebrate milestones at my firm, we usually go out to lunch where the person prefers, or there could be a company card that gets passed around, maybe some decorating, anything that lets the person know that they are just not a “number.”
Celebrating professional accomplishments is also very important. I worked for a company where the leaders would always focus on the negatives. We could have performed perfectly on 99% of our projects, and the boss wouldn’t say a peep. Instead, at our company’s morning meeting he would spend the whole time scolding us on the 1% of projects that weren’t perfect. This was definitely demoralizing, and employees started not to care or try as hard, because there was no pleasing the person above. To be acknowledged for performing well, instead of always being put down, will make everybody try harder and do their best. This is because it all comes back to what I mentioned above:
4. Company Breakfast
I know it’s going to be a great day when I walk into the office and I see a breakfast spread better than at a 5 star resort. I’m talking eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy, fruit, the works. Even on days when there’s donuts or bagels, I know it’s going to be an amazing day. Just the gesture of someone bringing in breakfast for everybody puts a smile on everyone’s face and lifts the overall mood and atmosphere in the office. Again, it comes back to feeling like you’re appreciated.
I truly hope you get to experience some of these activities, or are able to implement them in your office. Also, I would like to hear about ways your company boosts morale or ideas you may have – please share in the comments below!
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments. And remember: sharing is caring!
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