RISMEDIA, March 17, 2010—In this lean economic climate, Wall Street-sized bonuses and pay raises for a job well done are a thing of the past. How can you boost employee morale without breaking the bank? A recent study done by Jonathan Rapoport, founder of www.greatworkperks.com with 500 companies and their employees found that the answer to that question is simpler than you think. Employees are looking for the simple niceties that bring fun, energy and respect into the workplace. Here are the top 10 frequently suggested ideas:
1. Potluck lunches once a quarter or even once a month are a great way to bring work teams together in a casual environment. An easy way to accomplish this is to have different departments organize the luncheons or assign each department certain food items to contribute.
2. Incorporate a free online employee perk program to provide employees with valuable discounts to local restaurants, spas, amusement parks, sporting events and shows.
3. Arrange a monthly lunchtime “board game Olympics” where employees can bring in their favorite board games and play tournament-style games. In word games like Scrabble and Bananagrams, offer bonus points to those employees that spell words relevant to your industry or business.
4. Emailing a trivia question once a week can break up the monotony of the work week especially if you offer the winners inexpensive prizes like gift cards for coffee or movie tickets.
5. Have an optional charitable service day once a year where employees can volunteer for different causes as a team. You might also consider offering a certain amount of hours a month that employees can use toward volunteering at the organization of their choice.
6. Reward an employee for a project well done with an extra day or half-day off. Recognition like this could also be extended to a peer reward program where employees that receive a certain number of kudos from their colleagues can be eligible for additional vacation time or other rewards.
7. Give staff creative forums to share brainstorming ideas in order to improve company performance and reward them if they can bring the idea to fruition. A forum might be a “town hall” type meeting where members of different departments meet with senior level management or the CEO to discuss what works, what doesn’t work and how things could work better. Organizing these each month can be effective in keeping open lines of communication.
8. Choose one month each year and give employees 1/2 day Fridays for the whole month or let employees go home an hour early if their work is done. Summer is the favored time for this practice due to summer vacation schedules.
9. Bring in a chair massage therapist, nutritionist, or yoga instructor to help reduce stress and promote overall health. Many health insurance providers are promoting workplace walking programs and other health initiatives at no cost to their members in an effort to reduce health care premiums. Events like health fairs and health screenings will not only improve your employees’ health but can reduce sick days and improve productivity.
10. Respect, Respect, Respect. Incorporating various employee perks and programs like those outlined above can be easy. But the most effective and desirable morale booster just might be the simplest: expressing your respect and appreciation for your employees often and with sincerity can make a big difference. Employees who feel appreciated will strive to be worthy of recognition, making a happier workplace for all.
For more information, visit www.greatworkperks.com.