Some businesses may not be picking up on this as quickly as others, but the fact remains: workforce morale is a very real concept, with measurable results on productivity. While a few of the high-profile multinationals have gone so far as to bestow perks like chair massages and free cafeterias to their employees, such lengths don’t fit into the budgets of most companies. The good news? There are many ways to reward your employees, show your appreciation, and boost their morale that don’t involve adding it to the budget.
1. Who doesn’t love flex time? This is the free reward that you always hear about, and for good reason. It works! Being flexible with work hours pays off in the long run, although it might seem like a logistical nightmare at first. Make flex time a reward that must be earned and you’ll reduce the chance of employees taking advantage of the privilege.
2. Give them real free days. Sure, your staff already has personal days, but no one likes to call up work pretending to be sick just to go to the beach or spend time with their kids. By giving employees a few “free passes” that can be used without excuses, they’ll feel appreciated and liberated.
3. Create an in-office getaway. We can’t all work in offices with slides and sleep pods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn an unused part of the office into a quiet space where employees can recharge. A nicely-decorated room or corner can go a long way as a place for meditation or relaxation between stressful projects.
4. Embrace the “remote” option. The telecommuting bug is spreading, so why not get involved? Research shows that employees who are permitted to work from home feel more appreciated, more motivated, and even have higher levels of productivity. You can determine the number of days that each employee is allowed to telecommute based on their performance to limit your risk.
5. Ensure top-level recognition. Supervisors and top-level execs should work together to make sure appreciation reaches through the whole organization. When an employee – no matter what level – demonstrates excellence, a handwritten note from the CEO can go a long way.