Most business leaders and HR professionals understand the importance of team morale.
But dealing with struggling morale or negative mental health can feel paralyzing. How do you fix a situation and improve team happiness and morale – on a company level – when so many factors come into play?
Team mental health and morale
There’s a lot at risk when your team feels underappreciated or burnt out. In fact, the Department of Labor reported that the number one reason people leave their jobs is because they “do not feel appreciated.” Moreover, a recent Gallup study found that 23% of full-time employees reported feeling “burned out at work very often or always,” and another 44% reported feeling burned out at least some of the time.
Showing your appreciation for your employees is just one way of improving your team’s morale and overall mental health. To that end, there are a ton of ways to create a positive, peaceful environment for team members to stay motivated and thrive at work.
Let’s look at four ways to support your team’s mental health and boost morale. Following these tips can help set your employees on a path toward a happier, enriched, and productive work environment.
4 ways to improve team morale
Have open communication channels with employees
Offer special perks to your team
Recognize the big and small things your employees do
Share experiences together as a team
1. Have open communication channels with employees
If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable having honest, constructive communication with coworkers, you’re not alone; a study from Interact showed that 69% of managers shrink away from straightforward communication with their employees.
These moments of open dialogue, however, are proving grounds for managers and leaders to truly show employees how much they’re appreciated. By giving a forum for employees to voice concerns and be heard, you can make strides towards better team morale while possibly alleviating things that could be weighing down on those employees’ mental health.
To really engage in communication that bolsters team morale:
Make people’s role in a group or project clear from the start
Learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses
Stay consistent with expectations and follow-up
Seek out feedback regularly and take it in stride
These communication tactics go well beyond improving manager-employee dynamics. Being direct and honest in key, company-wide communications can help ensure your team feels unified while also building trust in your organization, which can ultimately boost company-wide morale.
TIP: You can also improve company-wide comms. with internal communications software. Something as simple as an encouraging message to let your employees or directs know that you're there for them can make all of the difference during stressful work periods.
2. Offer special perks to your team
Sometimes it’s the little things that count. And while it’s hard to overstate the massive role that employee benefits – like health insurance, dental, vision, and 401(k)s – play in enhancing your team’s morale and mental health, there’s much more your company can offer to support employees.
Because while employee benefits take care of a team’s most pressing physical needs, it’s often the perks a company offers that impact a team’s morale.
Perks, unlike benefits, aren’t often a part of an employee’s contractual compensation, they’re simply nice-to-haves. Perks, such as Citi Bike memberships, fitness stipends, and even a relaxed dress code can elevate an employee’s experience at work (and life), and do wonders for the team’s mental health and morale.
Looking for ideas on what your company could offer? Find out ways to make your employees love coming to work with wonderful perks your company could offer your team.
3. Recognize the big and small things your employees do
Give out recognition when it’s due. Just as your day-to-day communications should stay honest and meaningful, any wins on individual and team levels should be broadcasted the same way.
One way to do this is to develop awards for employees who go above and beyond what’s asked. Furthermore, you can foster inter-team bonds by having coworkers nominate each other for the awards. Recognition from peers and managers can be a fantastic morale booster, and can signal to employees that their efforts make a difference.
Recognition, of course, can go beyond merit-based call-outs. Even simple gestures like sending a company-wide welcome email to new employees, or celebrating work anniversaries, can create a culture of appreciation, which goes a long way toward making employees feel motivated and taken care of.
4. Share experiences together as a team
There’s no better way to bring camaraderie to your company than finding experiences to do together as a team. A work happy hour might be the first thing to come to mind, but it’s important to remember that these aren’t always inclusive. People who have young children at home may have a hard time making it to after-hours events. However, there are myriad other team-bonding activities that can foster meaningful connections.
Here are a few team activities you can try:
Volunteer with an organization that everyone can rally behind. And maybe even implement a VTO – or volunteer time off – program for your employees!
Host a potluck, and invite everyone to share dishes that are culturally or personally important to them.
Play board games or team-building games that require players to collaborate and work together in order to win.
Set company fitness goals and work towards those together — whether it’s achieving 10,000 steps or hitting personal fitness goals.
Reinforcing teamwork and interpersonal connections can create a work environment where your team is empowered to be more open and vulnerable, which can cause a ripple effect towards positive mental health and team morale.
A modern HR solution to employee satisfaction
Your employees’ attitude is intrinsically tied to their mental health; those who feel they can come to work as their authentic selves will be more bought-in and unified as a company. That openness can transform mental health, from talking honestly with managers about burnout to being open about other things burdening them. By supporting these aspects of an employee’s work life, you’ll find your team’s performance will vastly improve.
If you're looking for professional employer organization (PEO) software and services for your SMB, look no further. G2 has you covered with a variety of options to help you access corporate HR services and support. Find the right solution for your needs today.
Kade Dalton is a Content Marketing Associate at Justworks, an HR technology company that provides a modern support system for work and life. Justworks helps entrepreneurs and businesses grow with confidence by giving them access to big-company benefits, automated payroll, HR tools, and compliance support — all in one place