There’s a lot of talk about the importance of employee engagement and maintaining high morale. The fact is, there’s a good reason for this. Happy, engaged employees are some of the best assets a company can have. Not only are they less likely to leave their job, which reduces costly turnover, they are also much more productive, have fewer days absent, and are more likely to provide superior customer service, which results in a great bottom line. To put it simply, when employees are happy in their jobs and enjoy what they do, it shows in all aspects of the overall business.

The question that employers have to answer is how to improve office morale and build engagement? Keep reading to learn some thoughts on this topic and how to improve morale in any job or industry.

Make the Office Fun Again

Is the workplace a dull, quiet place where everyone stays to themselves and does nothing by work? Is it all serious all the time? Do the employees ever have the opportunity to relax and have fun with each other? If the answer to this is no, then employees are likely at an all time low when it comes to morale.

If employees have the opportunity to have fun with one another, regardless of if it is a summer barbeque, an afternoon at the bowling alley or an overnight retreat, they begin to build relationships that help to significantly improve employee retention. Having fun can also allow the employees to blow off some steam and see that managers and business owners appreciate the hard work they put in day after day. Employers should not be afraid to put some fun back into the workplace and allow employees – in fact encourage employees – to let loose a bit.

Celebrate Employee Accomplishments

There are few people who don’t appreciate a pat on the back when they do something well. Employers need to regularly acknowledge their employees’ hard work and the accomplishments they have made. Doing this can lead to higher morale.

One of the main reasons many people leave their jobs is because they feel as though they aren’t getting the acknowledgement they deserve. The good news is, there are easy ways to fix this. Some companies will ask employees to provide a list of their most significant achievements during the year and choose the best of the best to share company wide. However, the gesture doesn’t have to be that big. During a department meeting, ask the team about their weekly “wins”  or you can do this monthly. It’s also a good idea to create a reward or recognition program that recognizes the workers who achieve amazing things.

Ask for Feedback

One of the main causes of low morale is that employees don’t feel as though they have a voice with the company. They simply don’t feel heard. The fact is, part of keeping employees engaged and happy is to listen and pay attention to what they have to say.

It’s a good idea to survey employees about their opinions and the ideas they have about the work they do. You can also create focus groups which give workers the opportunity to share ideas and give feedback. Doing this can help provide more insight into what is exciting and motivating to employees. It also helps to identify possible barriers to engaged employees.

Offer Career Development Opportunities

There’s a lot that goes into preventing high employee turnover by keeping employees engaged. One thing that can help with this is career development opportunities. When employees remain stagnate in a certain role and don’t have the chance to take on new challenges or titles, they will likely leave to find seek out new opportunities somewhere else. While company culture and pay are crucial to maintain good morale, career development and advancement is just as crucial.

Trying to build an engaged workforce takes time and effort. However, for most companies, it’s up to the leaders to take efforts to ensure morale remains high. Make sure employees are treated as people, not just another cog in a bigger machine. This will significantly improve engagement, retention, and morale in any workplace.