As the holiday season quickly approaches employee morale can significantly wane. Combine daylight–saving time, dreary weather and long-hours leaves commuters to endure grey skies in the morning and darkness when they return home. Combine this with company stressors like deadlines, increased responsibility due to staff reductions, and impending salary reviews and you could have a significant portion of your employees suffering from the winter-holiday blues. The good news is, this is the perfect time of year to perk up your employees. We will feature some bright ideas after a few disturbing statistics about employee appreciation.
First, the alarming statistics
According to a recent Globoforce (a leading employee recognition survey service) study, nearly 40 percent of employees report that they don’t feel appreciated at work. This number is steadily climbing in the past 5 years. Even more eye opening, 69 percent say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized – and 78 percent said being recognized motivates them in their job. Lastly, and perhaps the most alarming is that over one-third of the study respondents are actively looking for a new job.
So, how do you keep your workforce from slipping through your fingers?
Start with a little praise
Never be afraid to pass out the compliments for positive behaviors and top-notch work. It’s vital to show you care and you’re paying attention to their work habits. If this doesn’t come naturally to you try to institute a measurable holiday recognition program where managers and supervisors can inform you about jobs well done. Also, be sure to keep an eye on your management staff for exceptional work that you can praise.
Break room facelift
A fridge, a table, some chairs, a few whiteboards, and maybe some flyers – if that sounds like your break room in a nutshell maybe it’s time for a revamp. Take some time and surprise employees with a fresh coat of paint (bold colors), some softer lighting (ditch the fluorescents) and a flatscreen TV. Experiment and try to gauge your employee’s desire for a space that’s relaxing but also won’t put anyone to sleep.
Time to party
Build camaraderie and morale in one fell swoop with an office party. Be it as simple as a potluck style extended lunch gathering or a swanky black-tie affair – these are great times to relax and connect with coworkers outside of the daily stress of the office. If you’re throwing an off-hours party it’s fun to have a surprise element or two for your employees – think: live band, photo-booth, martini bar, arcade games, trivia, karaoke, the list goes on.
Be receptive to requests
While personal needs for employees pop up throughout the year, folks may be more inclined to ask for special consideration and flexibility this time of year. Leaning on the side of compassion will demonstrate to your workforce that you’re sensitive to their personal lives and appreciate the work they do. Take this with a grain of salt however, since an abundance of kindness can negatively affect the bottom-line.