Not Just Ducklings and Cake
University can be a tough time for any student. Countless deadlines, piles of revision, accumulating debt and, of course, the dreaded end of year exams. For one week there was, however, an element that made each of us forget these struggles and, for a moment, relax. From ducklings to piglets, during exam season, every form of baby animal was brought to us. With the vast amount of pressure placed on us exhausted third years, the university realised that our morale needed a boost, and although the act of cuddling a small animal may seem minor, the benefits were immense. Even after a short time of nuzzling and cooing, we went back to our work with a greater sense of ‘I can do this’.
Although Julius Caesar never, to our knowledge, brought ducklings or piglets to battle, techniques used to boost morale have been implemented by those with power and influence for thousands of years, and for a good reason. Renowned for his leadership skills, Caesar ensured that his men would not only follow him, but would work, fight, and die for him. He endeavoured to build a relationship with his men and tried to understand his soldiers on a personal level by talking with them, training with them, and inspiring them via motivational speeches. By identifying his fighters as his ‘comrades’, rather than labelling them as simply his ‘men’ or his ‘soldiers’, he positioned himself on an equal footing with them. And by recognising victories and personal successes and rewarding individuals, as well as whole armies, for their bravery, he ensured the men’s fidelity.
In fact, if we look at any efficacious leader throughout history, their ability to boost morale is noteworthy. Napoleon the “God of War”, for instance, rewarded valiant soldiers by promoting them through the military ranks. Because of the sense of achievement and individuality Napoleon bestowed on his soldiers, he developed a cult-like admiration from the men. Barack Obama has used his motivational speaking and desire to speak frankly on issues his public wished to debate (i.e. racism, civil rights) to build a rapport. Even Adolf Hitler enhanced the morale of his soldiers via fuelling and ardent speeches to create a sense of camaraderie and unity between the soldiers.
The ability to boost morale, however, should not be reserved as a tool for solely soldiers and world rulers to implement. The workplace is full of employees who yearn for support and recognition and you, the manager/ boss/leader, must provide this. Not only is it important for employees to feel confident, listened to, rewarded and happy in their working environment, but employees will produce better work if they feel appreciated. In fact, according to the Engagement Institute, disengaged employees cost organisations in the U.S. between $450 and $550 billion annually. Thus, if employees felt encouraged and supported in their work, companies would see a far greater profit.
Nevertheless, with information provided by GALLUP attesting that only 13% of employees confirm that they love their jobs worldwide, what can we do to ensure a better level of morale in the workplace?
Well, many innovative and inspiring methods have been favoured to liven up the workplace and crush negativity. According to FORBES, 70% of American companies now offer employee wellness programmes to boost morale by ensuring that the work/relaxation balance is fair. These packages include regular breaks for activities including massages and ballroom dancing. It also embraces team building exercises such a group trust falls, which are used to form a connection with fellow colleagues. Free health and fitness classes are encouraged and with perks, such as free lunches, the incentives to come into and leave work happy are high.
Google has taken the ‘fun’ element further by incorporating a multitude of slides within its offices to up the level of endorphins and reduce stress. The travel company known as Invasion turned its office into one giant ball pit, and in London, eight beehives have been placed on office roofs around the city for colleagues to assist professional beekeepers with their care.
We work to live, not live to work. But if you can incorporate these aspects of ‘living’ into the workplace, then staff have more of an incentive to work harder, especially if they know that after the early morning starts and long commutes that a massage or dance class is waiting.
Nonetheless, despite the positive effects and appeal of slides and massages, not all companies can afford such luxuries. There are, however, other ways to boost morale without breaking the bank. Organise a Secret Santa, for instance, let Mark’s dog in the office, celebrate birthdays, do team-building exercises, have a prosecco Friday, allow time for naps, play games together and decorate the workplace. It’s the little things that make the greatest difference.
But most importantly you must reward people for their work, even if this reward is simply a verbal one. Since babies, we have developed and grown with the expectation that when we do something right, or well, we are rewarded for it. If you take away that reward, and with it its sense of achievement, we feel lost, unappreciated, and even angry. So, if you can’t afford the fancy tech, the expensive classes or you are allergic to bees, a simple ‘I really appreciate what you do’, may go further than you think.
Here at Pansenic, we not only identify the level of morale within your workplace but highlight what exactly is causing a lack of it and, therefore, can determine how to improve staff experience, boost productivity, and turn a greater profit.
We work with organisations from all over the world in a wide range of sectors. What they have in common is the understanding that the experiences of their customers, staff and stakeholders can provide game-changing insights. We don’t just simply summarise data but provide a real depth of insight that is more granular, more accurate and more actionable.
And with only 13% of employees saying they are happy in their work, we can guarantee that, in some way, morale can be boosted within your organisation! Contact the team today to see how Pansensic can create a happier, more productive, and more profitable business for you through qualitative data analysis.