Conducting business and keeping your company afloat is a serious affair, and it’s well worth it to instill in your employees a sense of gravity about the operations that you’re managing. The last thing you want is to create a workplace so lax in its environment that it starts losing you money, which could eventually spell disaster for you. However, you also don’t want your office to have an oppressive air about it, as this could also be detrimental by undermining employee morale. You don’t want to be seen as a boss that has no sense of humor or concept about how hard your employees work. To that end, there are a number of things you can try implementing in your workplace to inject a little more fun into your operations without compromising the integrity of your business. You might even find that your productivity increases when your employees are more excited to come to work!
1. Surprise Your Teams With Small Rewards For Meeting Their Goals
This is a great tactic to try out if you have weekly, monthly, or even quarterly goals that your employees are striving to make. Positive reinforcement isn’t just something that works on children who have completed their schoolwork; showing your teams of employees that you appreciate their dedication to the tasks at hand will ensure that they work harder each time to meet or exceed the goals you set for them. Don’t announce beforehand that you’re going to rewarding great work; watch your workers and see what teams are really going the extra mile to represent your business well and drive more sales. When your goal deadline has passed, assess everyone’s results and select an appropriate reward for the team that performed the best. This could be anything from a small box of gourmet chocolates for each employee to an extra vacation day. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should make your team members feel appreciated. Don’t repeat the gesture at the end of every sales period, but do make a habit out of rewarding great success.
2. Mark Birthdays With More Than Just a Card
At some point in everyone’s career, they’ve had to spend their birthday in the office, and most everyone is familiar with the birthday card that everyone in the office has signed and delivered to your desk at the end of the day. Instead of just following this boring old tradition, try to be proactive and take note of which birthdays are coming up. You don’t have to go out and buy personalized gifts for your employees, but you should carve some time out of the workday to allow everyone to relax and celebrate the birthday of their colleague. You could bring in donuts or cupcakes in the morning and allow your employees a few minutes to enjoy them. Even making a point to stop by and wish them a happy birthday on your own can make you seem like less of a faceless manager and more like someone who cares about and is in touch with the lives of your workers. Simple gestures like this go a long way toward creating goodwill towards management.
3. Celebrate Holidays With Themed Attire
We’re all familiar with the idea of casual Fridays, where the workplace dress code is relaxed for a day, but you might consider taking it a step farther and encouraging less business-like clothing for a day or two near major holidays. Allow employees the leeway to dress up for Halloween and maybe even hold a costume contest at the end of the day where everyone can vote on their favorite get-up. Encourage the wearing of seasonal colors like red and green around the winter holidays, or pastels around springtime. Simple changes like this can break up the monotony of wearing a suit and tie to work day in and day out, and greatly improve employee morale.
4. Spring for a Catered Lunch During Crunch Times
When your employees have their heads down and are working as hard as they can to meet a goal with a rapidly approaching deadline, the general mood of the workplace can plummet quickly. Show your appreciation for how hard they’re working to make your business succeed by catering a lunch, or dinner if the whole office is working late. Your colleagues will all appreciate the chance to step away from their desks for a few minutes to grab some delicious hot food and socialize with the pressure turned off. Afterwards, they’ll be more energized and ready to return to the tasks in front of them without the distracting thoughts of where they’ll go for lunch.