6 ways to boost employee morale without breaking the bank

6 ways to boost employee morale without breaking the bank

Most businesses would celebrate success and incentivize their employees every day if they could. But finding the budget to do so can be challenging, whether you're dreaming of extravagant parties or generous cash gifts. Luckily, you don't need to throw money at morale to make a positive difference in your employees' lives. To help you reward and recognize your employees without breaking the bank, here are a few ways to boost morale at work for free or at little cost.

Implement an Employee of the Month award

One of the most popular staff morale boosters is offering an Employee of the Month award. This type of employee recognition program identifies one person who went above and beyond during the month and exceeded the expectations for their role. While some companies provide a monetary reward along with this recognition, there are also ways to implement this at no cost. For example, interviewing each winner and posting their answers in a profile that showcases them in a public forum, such as on team-management software or a bulletin board in the workplace, can foster a positive, confident spirit in employees.

Add some green to your workplace

Perhaps one of the easiest employee morale ideas is to add some plants to your workspace. Purchasing a few potted plants can contribute to office creativity, air cleanliness, productivity, and more. Exeter University found employees were 15% more productive when plants were introduced into the office, while The University of Technology, Sydney found offices adorned with plants saw a decrease in office anxiety by 37%, fatigue by 38%, and depression by 58%. Encourage employees to add friendly ferns and give $5 gift cards to those who participate.

Give anniversary shout-outs

Giving shout-outs to employees on their work anniversary is another of the many staff morale boosters that don't cost anything. Posting colorful notices on the office bulletin board, sending an email alert to the entire team, or publishing a message on a communication platform if your team works remotely are all ways to recognize employees. Showing your team members that you value them and their contributions to your company by publicly recognizing how long they've been with you boosts morale. 

If you want to add a little extra flair to this announcement, you can give a small gift to each employee on their anniversary. Whether it's a piece of company memorabilia, a gift card, or a small cash bonus, your employees will thank you for your generosity and carry their positivity into the coming weeks.

"Considering how to improve your employees' daily experiences can bring numerous benefits, including increased productivity and long-term morale boosts."

Make a wall of praise

Almost everyone loves admiring colorful art pieces, so why not make room for one in your workplace that makes your employees a part of the presentation? As one of the most creative morale boosters you'll find, creating a wall of praise, or "wow wall," is a fantastic way to increase daily morale and invite everyone in your office to participate. 

Designate a bulletin board or another open space on a wall in your workplace for public accolades. Then, provide materials, such as colorful paper, stickers, and markers, that employees can use to write words of praise and recognition about each other on note cards. Give them push pins or tape so they can add their cards to the wall where everyone can admire them and share in praising each other for their wins, big or small.

Open an idea box

An idea box is another morale-boosting activity to show your employees you value what they say. It can be as simple as placing a cardboard box in a public space and telling everyone in the workplace to drop ideas into it. Aside from potentially providing you with even more ideas for raising morale, it can also increase the trust and loyalty your employees feel for your company, as they'll see you value and consider what they have to say. 

Plan a spirit week

You may remember spirit week from your school days, but that doesn't mean it's only for children and young adults. Creating a schedule of fun-filled activities, such as themed lunches, dress-up days, and party games, can boost morale in your workplace and give everyone a chance to blow off some steam. While you'll likely see increased morale throughout that week, you can expect it to stay high for weeks afterward, as employees will have fun stories to share as they reflect on it.

If you want to add a flair of competition to the mix, you can organize a company-wide game that lets departments compete against each other. You can use classic playground games, mind puzzles, or trivia about the office and everyone there.

These are just a few of the countless ideas you can use to increase morale in your workplace. Try creating a new employee recognition program, putting up a wall of accolades, or adding an idea box to see how your employees appreciate the recent efforts. Considering how to improve your employees' daily experiences can bring numerous benefits, including increased productivity and long-term morale boosts.

More tips about effectively supporting your employees:

To keep morale high, avoid these 10 phrases that kill employee morale.

Are you thinking about how to help your team grow? Find out how to support and nurture your employees' careers.

If you're looking to support your employees, it's vital to understand how their mental health is directly affected by managers.

For insight on how to appeal to great new hires, explore how to attract the next generation of workers.

To keep your team feeling confident and fulfilled in their careers, knowing how to prevent employee burnout and improve job satisfaction is essential.

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