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 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. Although the act of cuddling a small animal may seem minor, the benefits were immense.
Julius Caesar never, to our knowledge, brought ducklings to battle. But techniques used to boost morale have been implemented by those with power for thousands of years. And for a good reason. Renowned for his leadership skills, Caesar ensured that his men would work, fight, and die for him. He endeavoured to build a relationship with then and tried to understand his soldiers on a personal level. He did this by talking and training with them, and inspiring them via motivational speeches.
By identifying his fighters as his ‘comrades’, rather than labelling them as simply his ‘soldiers’, he positioned himself on an equal footing with them. By recognising victories and successes, and rewarding individuals as well as whole armies, he ensured the men’s fidelity.
Thought leaders through history
In fact, if we look at any efficacious leader throughout history, their ability to boost morale is noteworthy. Napoleon the “God of War”, 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 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 speeches to create a sense of camaraderie and unity.
The ability to boost morale, however, should not be reserved as a tool for solely world rulers to implement. The workplace is full of employees who yearn for support and recognition. You, the manager/ boss/leader, must provide this. It important for employees to feel listened to, rewarded and happy in their working environment. These employees will produce better work if they feel appreciated. In fact, according to the Engagement Institute, disengaged employees cost organisations between $450 and $550 billion annually. Therefore, if employees felt encouraged and supported in their work, companies would see a greater profit.
Only 13% of employees worldwide confirm that they love their jobs (GALLUP). What can we do to ensure a better level of morale in the workplace?
Many innovative and inspiring methods have been favoured to liven up the workplace and crush negativity. According to FORBES, 70% of American companies offer employee wellness programmes to boost morale and ensure a fair work/life balance. These packages include regular breaks for activities including massages and dancing. It also embraces team building exercises such a group trust falls. 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 to 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 for colleagues to assist professional beekeepers with.
We work to live, not live to work. But if you can incorporate 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.
Boost morale without breaking the bank
Despite the positive effects 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 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 grown with the expectation that when we do something well, we are rewarded for it. If you take away that reward, and with it its sense of achievement, we feel unappreciated.
If you can’t afford the fancy tech/ expensive classes or you are allergic to bees, a simple ‘I really appreciate what you do’, may go further than you think.
How can we help?
At Pansensic, we identify the level of morale within your workplace and highlight its cause. 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/ stakeholders can provide game-changing insights. We don’t just summarise data. Weprovide a real depth of insight that is more granular, accurate and actionable.
With only 13% of employees saying they are happy in their work, we can guarantee that morale can be boosted within your organisation.