Ways to improve team morale and motivation

Did you know that productivity in the workplace improves by at least 25% when you and your employees feel “connected?” So what can you do, you ask, to improve team morale and motivation?

Walt Disney once said, ‘Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group, a tribute to our combined effort’. If a business has a motivated, engaged team, they can achieve great things. The question is how do you keep them motivated and engaged?

Here’s some ideas, that do not have to cost the earth.

Incentive programs

This can work 2-fold; in encouraging employees to pursue careers as well as working towards great rewards. The secret is tapping into the right reward.

  • Consider providing access to training materials and other resources for career progression.
  • When having a 1-2-1 with your team, listen out for what their outside interests are and maybe tailor the reward (for example, cooking classes, learning a language). A Gallup poll indicates that employees work 20% better when motivated.

Promote a healthy work-life balance:

Overworked employees can quickly become exhausted and overwhelmed with their work. If you want to avoid losing employees to burnout, promote a company culture that values a healthy work-life balance.

Get the balance right

It is one thing to ‘tell’ your team they need to have a strong work-life balance.  However, for this to be accepted, managers need to lead by example.

Consider, does that e-mail have to be replied to at 10pm (or later?)  Will you be rewarded for logging on at 6am?  Take a proper coffee and lunch break and leave your desk/office.

In the world of devices with screen time at an optimum, the HSE recommend a break of 5 to 10 minutes every hour.[1]

There is a lot more focus now on mental health, as well as physical.  Given the recent 18 months of working (and living) with a pandemic, switching off and taking time for yourself is vital now more than ever.

The Mental Health Foundation have got some recommendations as to how to achieve this [2].  Put measures in place to ensure your employees achieve the right balance.

Keep an eye on each other.  If you do feel that a fellow colleague is struggling/overwhelmed, do not be afraid to ask, ‘how can I help?’

There is life outside the office

We all spend a lot of time with our co-workers, but how well do we really know them?  Suggest a BBQ/picnic or something more based around team building – bowling or an escape room?  Depending upon budget, extend the invite to family members.

If there are new starters, invite them along – imagine how included will that make them feel?

Highly engaged teams increase profitability by 25%

Give employees the chance to bond and create good team relationships by organizing fun events outside of work. This could be company picnics, drinks after work, bowling and holiday parties. You could even encourage employees to invite their family members or friends to these events.

Remember that it’s never too early to get employees involved. Invite new hires to these events so they feel like part of the family before they even step foot in the office. Forming these personal connections can make employees feel more comfortable at work and cultivate company loyalty.

Share ideas and listen to your employees:

Enhance your company’s work culture and success by keeping open communication with employees. There should be a comfortable environment for sharing ideas and listening to constructive feedback.

Let go of any pressure you may put on yourself as the head of a team or leader and accept that you won’t always have all the answers. Two brains are better than one right?

If you put an employees idea into practice, show appreciation and thank them for their valuable contributions to the company. Doing so will demonstrate how much their opinions matter.

When you are sharing ideas with your team some useful questions to have in mind to get the conversation flowing are:

  • How is your team’s energy, and how are you feeling personally?
  • What’s one thing that’s going well and one thing that could be better?
  • How can I or the team support and help so that today goes smoothly?

Engage in team building activities:

Team-building activities are a great way to establish mutual trust and friendship among co-workers and raise their spirits. These interactions can lead to improved communication once everyone’s back in work mode.

Get the most out of your team-building activities by making them enjoyable as well as educational.

Some fun team-building activity ideas include:

  • Business Simulations
  • Escape Rooms
  • Board game tournaments
  • Shark Tank - "find out if your ideas really have teeth"
  • Field day or sports day fun
  • Build something together for a 'cause'

Team-building activities are more of a ‘quick fix’ and probably won’t solve long-term issues. But they may serve to lift employee morale in the short-term whilst you develop more long-term and lasting solutions.

Provide small gestures of kindness:

Don’t underestimate the little acts of kindness. Giving small gifts is a simple way to make employees smile and feel valued. They don’t have to cost money, often it’s the thought that counts.


Be open and honest

For some companies, this can be seen by their values. Senior management freely share information to the benefit of all.  Admittedly, this does not necessarily mean anything relating to company performance.

Encourage an environment where employees are encouraged to offer feedback, both upwards and to their peer group.  It will also encourage a more relaxed working environment, with a more human touch.

Display humility by listening to your employees and have open channels for communication.  Instigate a Suggestions Box and reward the best ideas that are implemented.  They do not necessarily have to be geared towards cost saving; let the team come up with their own engagement ideas.

  • Encourage professional development: Knowledge is power!
  • Find opportunities for your employees to attend conferences, take courses, host meet-ups and more.

Encourage frequent 1-2-2s and check-ins:

Research shows that continuous performance management opens the door for more coaching, builds trust, and helps employees see managers as a positive resource rather than a creator of looming to-do lists.

So be encouraged  to meet your employees often to help reduce the signs of burnout: coach employees on time management, help remove ‘blockers and stressor’s, and take a genuine interest in employees’ personal lives. It’s not just for the employees – it’s also good for business.

Invite employees to share skills:

It feels good to be an expert! Help your employees shine by creating opportunities for them to show-off their skills and knowledge.

Run a Birthday or Special Occasion Club

Ask for a volunteer to administer this, (there is a born organiser in every office). For those who wish to be included, when it is someone’s birthday, every ‘member’ puts in a nominal amount (£5) and a gift is bought.

Secret Santa is another idea to bring some fun into the workplace!

Above all, saying thank you can be priceless.

And that’s a wrap! If you could implement just 3 of these things in your work place to make a small difference then what’s stopping you?

For more information how we can support you, your team by saving you time and money contact us today.