Scrabble blocks with words work life family career intersecting to represent employee morale and retention strategies

Happily engaged workers perform better. As a business’s most valuable asset, you need your team to be productive – and in the face of a recent upheaval to the usual 9-5, you might need to work that little bit harder to ensure this is the case. With some teams still on furlough and others pushing full steam ahead to keep things ticking, it will come as no surprise that there’s growing discord within businesses – so how do you increase employee morale in the midst of a pandemic?

The good news is that you can keep things productive whether your team members are working remotely or in the office. Today, along with our friends from Action Storage, we’re looking at how you can motivate staff without the need for budget-sapping perks. If you’ve been thinking about an employee retention strategy that will keep your team engaged both now and in the longer term, read on.The good news is that you can keeps things productive whether your team members are working remotely or in the office.Today, along with our friends from Action Storage, we’re looking at how you can motivate staff without the need for budget-sapping perks.  If you’ve been thinking about an employee retention strategy that will keep your team engaged both now and in the longer term, read on.

Here are 5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Increase Employee Morale & Productivity:

1. Implement communications platforms.

Digital communication has transformed from nice-to-have to necessity while employees work remotely. Maybe you previously utilized messaging applications like Slack or Skype. Or perhaps they’re something you’ve had to get to grips with since lock-down. Either way, one thing’s for sure: they’re here to stay.

Staff members who’ve been working throughout the pandemic probably feel right at home with this way of communicating by now. But workers returning from furlough might need an extra hand as they return to work. You should make it easy for them to re-engage at work. Introducing a buddy system can allow office workers and remote workers to stay in regular contact. If you have the resources, you can provide messaging platforms and encourage peer-to-peer support. Most applications offer a free trial. Do some research and don’t be afraid to trial different platforms.

2. Celebrate with your team.

Some businesses are all about celebrations. Others don’t really pay attention to any achievements or milestones. So, how do you strike a balance? While we’re not suggesting you encourage staff to start coming to work on their birthday, maybe you simply celebrate with them when they do. A birthday card or cake can make all the difference to someone’s day and really change the way they feel about the company they work for.

Aside from personalizing birthdays and anniversaries, you can also turn your attention to internal celebrations. Whether this is acknowledging promotions by treating someone to lunch or sending pizza deliveries when a team hits their targets, you don’t need to spend big to improve company culture. Getting your team excited about business milestones and achievements is a great way to improve employee morale. You want to make your staff feel involved with the successes of the business and its long-term goals.

3. Adopt a more flexible working strategy.

The world’s global crisis has led to employees the world over setting up makeshift offices from their own homes. Whether this is something you championed pre-Covid or it’s a change you’ve had to accept out of necessity, many believe that remote working will become a way of life. If you’ve seen success for your business while working remotely, why not consider it for the long term?

Ask your team whether they’d be interested in a long-term remote working setup, or more flexible working hours.A recent study revealing employees felt more productive working from home as they were better able to manage their work-life balance. Offer this perk to your staff long-term, and you might just see boosted productivity levels as a result.

4. Invest in office safety.

Employees want to feel safe at work – and rightly so! As businesses return to work, this might involve adhering to the distancing rules we’ve all become adopted. Put plans in place and share them with your staff. Things like ensuring office equipment is properly wiped down and antibacterial wipes and hand gels are made available will help them feel more at ease. Keeping your teams comfortable allows them to maintain productivity without distractions.

Employers who provide secure on-site storage lockers are helping employees feel more comfortable returning to work. If you don’t already have space dedicated to individuals’ personal belongings, you should consider investing in some. The gesture helps your team understand that the protection of their valuables and personal effects is important to you. Not only does it reduce a great deal of clutter and potential spread of germs, it also provides assurance for employees who would like to securely house their possessions throughout the working day.

5. Encourage friendly competition.

A little friendly competition can go a long way in business. As humans, many of us have a natural competitive streak that drives us to prove our abilities. If you can incorporate this into your business in a fun way, you’re guaranteed to be left with more engaged staff as a result.

From team building sessions to sales incentives and training days, find ways for your employees to get involved in some healthy competition. As well as giving them something to focus on, this will hopefully lead to an increase in collaborative working and enhance company culture. Keep costs low by utilizing existing team training days and add an element of competition to keep things interesting.

If you’re getting serious about an employee engagement strategies to improve retention, we hope these ideas have given you plenty of inspiration to get started. However you decide to go about boosting employee morale and productivity, the most important thing is to keep communications open with your team. Listen to what they have to say.

By guest contributor: Tom Brialey, Founder and Director of Action Storage