There may be a day when you wake up and simply don't have the motivation to do your job anymore. When you think about going to work, you may feel helpless, trapped, detached or cynical. This lack of motivation or interest related to your job is commonly known as burnout. Managing this fatigue in the workplace is an increasingly important task for employees, managers and directors. So, how do you boost team morale to prevent job burnout from taking hold of your employees and your workplace culture? Burnout can be contagious and can spread throughout your organization without the proper prevention strategy. Here are five things you can do to tackle the issue before it takes hold:
1. Just ask.
Presumably, you're not a psychic, so asking your employees what's most challenging about their work experience and what could be done to mitigate those challenges is advisable. Open communication between various team members will slowly create the perfect environment for everybody inside the building. When people feel like they can talk about what's challenging without the fear of losing their jobs or being ostracized, they're more likely to share their thoughts. And as hard as that may be for you initially, it will only accelerate your company's health. Consider options such as an anonymous feedback box or Google form. Even if your employees know it's safe to share, anonymity helps lessen the anxiety that can still arise when sharing thoughts openly.
2. Organize team-building activities.
Full-time employees spend around 40 hours per week inside office walls. Those 40 hours are spent with relative strangers that they grow to know over time. Going from strangers who work together to friends who enjoy each other's company can be accelerated through activities that create a sense of belonging. The two primary emotions that serve as a catalyst for bonding are respect and trust. Different scenarios serve as stages for individuals to display their strengths and weaknesses. Maybe someone in your company is a secret chef who makes a mean crème brûlée or maybe someone spent a year traveling the Appalachian Trail and has endless stories to tell. Giving your employees the opportunity to engage in various team-building activities, inside and outside the workplace, will allow them to showcase their talents and garner newfound admiration from other team members.
3. Give awards.
One of the first things you may notice when you walk into different buildings and departments is the reward plaques on the wall given for hard work. Simply telling a team member they did a good job will make them feel appreciated. Companies can take it further and give personalized plaques and awards to employees that go above and beyond. Awards can boost workplace culture almost instantaneously. Most people love to be acknowledged for what they've done.
4. Make the office fun.
Creating a fun office environment is a great way to re-light the work chemistry of employees. There are many ways to have fun in an office setting — even when considering the variety of personalities present in a workplace. Some small examples include simple group projects like solving puzzles as a team. Bigger examples include everyone in a department grabbing lunch or going to a happy hour or live music event.
5. Promote work-life balance.
Lastly, one of the best ways for a company to respect its employees when it comes to burnout is to promote a healthy work-life balance. When an individual's work-life balance is tilted too far in the direction of work, individuals can develop problems with fatigue, poor physical and mental health, and negative relationships. These problems can cause strain within the workplace. Teaching employees to practice self-compassion and use their breaks will help them combat the effects of an unbalanced life. Encouraging employees to unplug after leaving the workplace is a great place to start!
Boosting team morale can happen in many ways and we know you won't be sorry for putting in the effort to care for your employees. Think back to when you were first starting out; what were some of the things your bosses did for you that stuck out positively — something you still remember to this day. Use those good memories to create even better ones for your team!
Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, and athletic awards.
Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, and athletic awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO's ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.