Running a business and managing staff has changed a bit over the last 20 years or so. There was a time when just paying your employees a fair wage, insurance, and a safe environment to do their job was enough to keep everyone happy.
Times have changed and so have employee expectations. We’ve all seen how companies like Google offer all kinds of perks to not only draw in good people but more importantly keep up morale.
Here are a few key ideas to make working for you more fun and rewarding. By following some of these you will improve your morale and teamwork. Most of these will cost you very little out of pocket when compared to how much they can boost your team’s morale.
There is nothing that brings happiness like free food and when done with purpose can be a team-building experience.
- Breakfast – Once a week or month bring in bagels, donuts, or pastries. To make it a team-building experience start exams one hour late and cook waffles.
- Set some easy to reach goals and reward staff with a free lunch weekly if they make goals. IcareLabs has done this for years and most of our employees consistently say it is one of the many things they love about working here.
- Snacks – Go to Sam’s Club or Costco and load up on some healthy snacks for your team. This will not only make them happy but should also provide extra energy late into the day.
- Buy a nice blender and have a weekly or monthly smoothie party. Enjoy this time together and help your staff stay healthy.
- Set up a surprise dinner with staff once or twice a year. This does not have to be done too often. You spend enough hours together throughout the week, but having a nice dinner together will build a true team and allow everyone to be themselves outside of the office.
Show your appreciation with random acts of kindness
- Have some $10 gift cards on hand at all times. When you see someone hit one out of the park with service or go above the call of duty give them a card. Make sure to make a big deal out of it for all to see. This will build some competition and all will be working hard to get “caught” doing a good job.
- Wall of fame – Put up a cork board and hang feedback emails and cards from customers praising your staff. Don’t let a good complement go to waste.
- The only thing employees like more than money is paid time off. Reward your good staff with a paid afternoon off once in a while.
- Plan an off-sight team building event a few times a year. This could be something as simple as bowling or you could kick it up a notch and do painting or cooking group classes.
- In the last 10 years there has been a major change in people wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves. Volunteerism is up across the nation. Find a worthy project that your whole team can be involved in and get busy with it. It could be as simple as put out signage for food donations for the local shelter. Collect items and go as a team to deliver. You might even find time to close the office for a long lunch and go serve the homeless as a team.
- Put together a team-building exercise in-house. Do this once a month or at least once a quarter. There are many low budget ideas available online. You just need to look and plan.
Have some fun
- On one of the days you supply lunch order in some BBQ and make it a fun outdoor hour. Have a bean bag toss tournament or other activity you can do outside.
- Have a spirit week just like we did in school. Have a different theme for each day of the week and give out prizes for the best dressed. This can run hand in hand with your local high school and will bring back great memories for your team.
- Utilize the holidays for fun events. Have a pumpkin carving contest in the fall, put up a couple of Christmas trees in winter and have fun decorating them. Go by your local craft or dollar store. They will have stuff for every holiday that you can use for a fun contest with your team.
- Sales Bingo – Create bingo cards with different upgrade items that you sell like Crizal, Transitions, polarized, second pair, and specific high-end frames. As these items are sold they can mark it off on their card. The winner gets a small prize. This will help push your team to upgrade sales in a fun way.
You don’t have to do it, but I hope that you take some of my suggestions and create a fun environment at your office. Happy staff with good morale will take better care of your patients. This will drive up your sales and return business. A small investment of time and money will more than pay for itself in the long run!