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How To Improve Employee Morale + 25 Ways To Improve Staff Morale In 2023

By February 23, 2023 June 29th, 2023 No Comments


Low company morale isn’t all that tough to identify. When your employees seem more stressed and pessimistic than productive and upbeat, these are some of the warning signs of potential retention issues to come.

Can you afford to lose your top talents?

Ultimately, it’s time to evaluate ways to improve employee morale in your organization.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing - that’s why we recommend it daily.” ~Zig Ziglar Click To Tweet

Improving employee morale isn’t something that gets checked off a list when it’s “done.” Frequent and sincere motivation and encouragement are key to creating a happy and healthy workplace culture. When implementing ways to boost employee morale, consider the factors that directly affect your employees’ satisfaction.

The company culture is driven by how each person feels about their job. These factors can include their paycheck, performance management, workload, individual responsibilities, vacation allotment, work hours, and environment, just to name a few.

Identifying your team members’ pain points and working towards improving them where you can, speaks volumes to your employees. To help you hit the ground running, we’ve got 25 ways to improve staff morale that you can put in place tomorrow.

In a hurry? These are some of our favorite employee recognition & morale boosting programs:

🎖 Connect employees to your company with flexible rewards Visit Motivosity
Bonusly 💯 Send redeemable points with social recognition Visit Bonusly
Awardco 🎁 Award them an eGift Visit Awardco
Bucketlist 👏 Equip busy managers to meaningfully recognize and engage their teams Visit Bucketlist
Nectar 😃 Peer-to-peer recognition, Amazon integration, boost your engagement and retention Visit Nectar
👉 Compare more HR-vetted and approved options here

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Ways To Improve Employee Morale

1) Celebrate Employee Milestones

Milestones are monumental moments and dates that can be pinned for any reason you choose. The obvious ones like work anniversaries, birthdays, and promotions are celebratory. But whatever milestones you decide are notable, be sure they’re memorable.

Try thinking outside the cake-and-balloons box to commemorate employee milestones for a little more fun and flair. These are the moments to really show employees how vital they are to the organization.

Tip: You can enlist a service that caters directly to celebrating all kinds of employee milestones. Caroo even has a dedicated platform to make sure each milestone gets its due.


2) Solicit Feedback And Act On It


Giving employees a voice when it comes to their work environment is a solid way to upgrade the company culture. The ripple effect of accepting and implementing employee feedback ideas can be seen and felt throughout the organization. Asking for feedback boosts employee morale, and improves job satisfaction, and the overall employee experience.

Check out these employee engagement ideas for some fun and effective ways to solicit employee feedback.

Tip: You can use an employee feedback tool like WorkTango to help streamline the process.


3) Utilize Employee Incentives

Gift Card Recipient Choice

Who doesn’t like being recognized for their hard work? Maybe not on a billboard along a busy highway, but appreciation – whether subtle or bold – has a big impact on your employees. Creating reasons to reward them for the impactful things they do is priceless.

Remember! Employee incentives don’t have to be monetary. There are a TON of stellar ways to “dish recognish” with no cash involved.

Tip: If you don’t know where to start you can try sending out “Recipient Choice” gift cards that let your team members select which gift card they want the most@


4) Provide Employees With A Suitable Workspace


Whether it’s organization, ergonomics, or aesthetics, having a convenient and comfortable workspace is a necessity. Products that make their lives easier are great and super helpful when it comes to staying organized and on track. But also, items that help to create a calmer working environment for the space where they spend quite a bit of their days.

Helping your employees define and create their workspace gives them control over their work environment and boosts morale in the ways most effective to them.

Tip: You can provide a home office stipend with a tool like AwardCo to help employees create the ultimate remote workstation.


5) Send a Personalized Message From the Team


A digital greeting card or eCard can be a great way to boost team morale by shouting out one colleague in particular. Simply select the eCard of your choice, distribute it to your team members, and let them send in personalized messages thanking their coworkers.

One ecard service, CareCards, allows you to add memorable photos, personalized categories, emojis, and all sorts of fun add-ons to your card.

Tip: Try out CareCards for FREE and send your first eCard out to celebrate your colleague!


6) Provide Healthy Snacks For Your Teams


Food is fuel to our bodies. Having healthy snacks on hand while working is proven to help regulate blood sugar to avoid mid-day crashes and keep us energized and productive. Real talk… they also keep our “hangry” sides at bay so ultimately, snacks make us all a little more pleasant.

For snacks to satisfy every pallet, slow your scroll and check out these tasty office (and home office) treats.

Tip: SnackNation offers snack boxes of all sizes so even small teams can enjoy a huge variety of healthy office snacks.


7) Plan Ways For Employees To Bond Via Team Building

team-buildingTeam building activities create fun and engaging ways for your employees to communicate and interact with one another. And the great news is that you can plan these events whether your team is physically together or virtually connected. Team building events encourage creativity, communication, and teamwork, all of which feed into a happy and satisfied workforce.

Team building activities are a refreshing way to improve your company morale so you’ll want to check out these crazy fun ideas.

Tip: From virtual jeopardy to murder mystery parties, there are endless kinds of activities for your group. Look for some more team building games and activities?

Check these out:

➤ 🏃🏽‍♀️ Wild Goose Chase

➤ 💼  Coworker Feud

➤ 👾  Team Grab Bag


8) Build Rewards And Recognition Into Your Culture


Creating a culture of recognition is very different from simply recognizing your employees. The culture is a living, breathing force in the work environment that dictates the overall attitude of the organization. Employee recognition is no longer just a top-down concept. Allowing everyone the opportunity to express gratitude to their coworkers drives that cultural effect and improves morale across the board.

Recognition can be given in a variety of forms so here are a few ideas to help get you started.

Tip: You can recognize employees the old-fashioned way through a one-on-one meeting, but there are also several platforms that can help build daily rewards and recognition into your company culture and make it much easier to recognize a distributed workforce.

Hey! Are you looking to upgrade your employee recognition program?

In just a few minutes, you can discover your unique workplace personality for FREE and unlock insights into the types of recognition that matter most to you (and your team).

Learn My Workplace Personality



9) Plan Ways For Employees To Bond Organically

City Brew Tours Beer Tours

Creating space for organic team building allows for natural interactions with no pressure to complete a task or solve a puzzle before a buzzer. Simply having some fun and sharing an experience as a group builds trust and strengthens relationships among colleagues. And a little laughter is guaranteed to reduce stress and get everyone feeling better about their day.

From sharing your playlists to Groupon days out of the office, there are a ton of ways to plan organic, morale-boosting moments with your teams. Having fun at work is an important part of creating a culture where employees feel comfortable working together.

Tip: Sometimes getting out of the office can help employees bond in a new setting. Whether it’s a beer tour through your city or a trip to the local park, a stress-free (and work-free) event can do wonders for improving employee morale.


10) Allocate Projects Effectively

Employees who feel overloaded are less likely to have a positive attitude towards their jobs. The same can be said for those looking to step up and take on more responsibility but not being allowed to do so. Both are morale buzzkills. Evening out their workload not only opens up opportunities and reduces the chance of burnout, but it also shows you listen and care about their career goals and their mental health. That’s what we call being a good manager!

Prioritize these conversations and show your employees that their work-life balance and job satisfaction matter. Improving morale starts with each individual.

Tip: Providing the right tools can help to better manage how much work your employees are taking on. Tools like allow managers the best vantage point to see who’s working on what projects.


11) Use Spot Bonuses And Awards

Courtesy of Bonusly

Spot rewards are typically performance-related rewards, randomly given to employees as recognition of their hard work. Spot bonuses are often smaller monetary rewards, spontaneously given, and usually in the form of cash or gift cards. Spot awards come in many varieties including public recognition, rewards points, and experiences.

Dishing out spot rewards is a great way to recognize employees and the positive employee morale will show you returns on your investment for years to come.

Tip: On-the-spot recognition can be a great tool when used effectively. You can even use spot awards with remote workers via recognition points!


12) Provide Opportunities For Your Employees To Grow & Learn


Employee development programs create opportunities for education and advancement. Providing training builds confidence and puts your employees in charge of their futures. These advantages make employees feel valued, they help them to align more closely with your company’s goals and values, and they cultivate a loyal workforce.

Empowering employees with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful is an investment in employee satisfaction that you can’t afford to not make.

Tip: Allocating a budget for personal and professional development classes and programs can encourage employees to learn new skills without worrying about their paycheck!


13) Audit Your Tech Stack

Best Workflow Automation & Management Software Platforms To Maximize Your Productivity

Is it really necessary to enter the same information in 4 different systems? If so, why? Where do they each go? And most importantly, how can you simplify? Do a tech check! Get the right tools in place for the job without all the extras.

Streamline your systems to ensure you’re not creating more noise and unnecessary “clicks to save.” Shedding some of the excess steps and actually creating less work is a much bigger deal to your employees than you may think.

Tip: Check in with your team directly to see what tools they use, how often they use them, and which ones they can live without. You can also check out SnackNation’s list of office management tools to see if there might be blind spots in your current tech stack.


14) Create An Employee Wellness Program

Employee Wellness

Being supportive of your employees’ well-being is a perk worth talking about. Wellness programs can be easily implemented and reap huge rewards for your employees. These activities should be fun and engaging.

Wellness programs support mental health and reward employees with stress-relieving events and activities that play a big part in keeping the company morale on the upswing.

Tip: The folks at Blueboard create wellness programs centered around experiences. Wellness gifts are nice, but can’t come close to experiencing something new!


15) Review Which Perks You Offer And Which Perks You Are Missing


Not every employee will find value in each perk you offer. Do a check-in. Poll the audience. Find out which ones are utilized and appreciated and which ones, not-so-much, then clean house. Also, consider how perks for remote employees may vary from those working on-site and cater to them accordingly.

Having a bucket full of benefits that no one takes advantage of is useless. Perks come in all shapes and sizes so be sure you’re offering the right ones to your team.

Tip: Options! Not all employees are the same which means from office snacks to 401(K) matches, offering a wide variety of perks can directly affect employee retention and staff morale.


16) Provide More Transparency Regarding Company Decisions

Keeping employees in the dark when it comes to their bread and butter is like lighting a match to your employee morale. Allowing them to understand also empowers them to make a difference. Informed employees are aware of the state of the business and engaged in how their roles contribute to the bigger picture.

Transparency from the top down builds trust from the bottom up. Motivated employees who trust their leaders are less likely to be sending resumes elsewhere.

Tip: A company all-hands-on-deck meeting can be an easy way for leadership to speak directly to all employees.


17) Create A “Culture Team” To Dedicate Time Towards Promoting A Positive Company Culture


Transforming your company culture isn’t one person’s job. This too takes a village. Recruiting a team that’s able to identify the causes of employee dissatisfaction and correct them where possible, not only shows your employees they have a say in their work environment, it empowers them to want to make the changes necessary to improve morale.

Getting the right people to volunteer for your “Culture Team” can make a dramatic difference in your staff morale, employee satisfaction, and your turnover rate.

Tip: This can’t be forced! If there are employees who are excited to join, make it happen and give them the freedom to try new things.


18) Institute Summer Fridays


Depending on how you work the schedule, this could essentially equate to half-day Fridays, every other week… ALL SUMMER LONG! These kinds of nonmonetary rewards are just as (if not more) valuable than tangible gifts. On average, this comes down to 24 extra hours of summer sunshine, peace, and time for them.

Rewarding employees with a few extra hours each of personal time, especially during the brightest months of the year, support their mental health and encourages a healthy work-life balance.

Tip: Let employees choose which Fridays they want to take to exercise this morale-building perk. Just make sure their managers know!


19) Offer Flexible Work Hours

flexible work hours

Optimal productivity time isn’t exactly a standard 9-5 expectation anymore. Making time for vet appointments, dental cleanings, and life, in general, can be taxing. Ultimately, seeing an effective and efficient performance is more important than whether they work better at 11 am or 11 pm.

Allowing flexibility in their remote or hybrid work hours builds trust in your employees and your leadership teams. Being able to plan both business and personal meetings without scrutiny lets employees take ownership of their responsibilities and fuels their drive for success.

Tip: Scheduling a daily check-in can be a good way to communicate directly if you and your employees are working at different times. You can also work with a company like Bambee to create customized work schedules and policies by department, team, and employee.


20) Provide Structures In Place So Employees Can Log Off After Work

Everyone deserves time to unwind and let go of the workday. The pressures and stress don’t have to follow your employees home to their families. Setting hard stops lets everyone know it’s ok to flip the switch off until tomorrow (or Monday).

Setting healthy work boundaries is a great way to help employees destress and unplug from their days. And respecting their free time is a morale booster you can’t measure in a survey. Good leadership teams know the importance of recharging. Finding the balance between pushing hard and resetting is important to staff morale.

Tip: It starts with you! If leadership takes this time off, their employees will follow.


21) Identify Employees Who May Be Getting Burned Out And Set Up One-On-Ones To Check-In


Employee burnout is a direct line and a very short trip straight to poor morale and high turnover. Having an opportunity to express their frustrations can be the best 15 minutes of your employees’ entire week, simply because they’re being heard. Touch base. Check-in. Find out how you can help lessen the load.

Identifying employees’ pain points and reducing some of that stress that’s leading to burnout is invaluable for them as well as the company morale.

Tip: Not every work problem can be eliminated but if you can minimize the impact, it’s well worth your time to try. Slow down, pump the brakes, and engage in these conversations. Most importantly, listen to understand, not necessarily to respond.


22) Provide Opportunities For Employees To Give Back To Your Community

community engagement is one way to keep employees happy

Working in the community has a profound effect on the people you’re serving and those performing the work. Creating opportunities for charitable team-building activities or volunteer events benefits your collective community, as well as provides an opportunity for employees to get involved in causes they’re personally passionate about.

For some feel-good charitable community ideas, check out this list of charity team building activities we have on deck.

Tip: We tried out the Bike Buildathon and had an amazing time! Never underestimate the power of giving!


23) Establish Dedicated PTO Time So Employees Don’t Have To Worry About Scheduling Vacation Days

Establish Dedicated PTO Time

Some employees actually struggle to use all their vacation time by the end of the year. Others battle scheduling conflicts with other employees and may not have enough seniority to be approved. Setting up dedicated paid time off ensures that everyone can make their plans with no threat of work getting in the way.

Employee rewards and recognition aren’t just applicable to individuals, they can apply to your collective group as well.

Tip: Ask your employees when they most prefer to have off and do your best to please the majority while keeping the state of your business in mind.


24) Cut Down On Unnecessary Meetings (“This could’ve been an email”)


We’ve all been there. Deep into a project and a meeting reminder pops up. You stop everything, switch gears, and ultimately lose that momentum. Two minutes in, you realize it didn’t need to be a meeting at all. Cutting out the unnecessary calls and meetings that disrupt your employees’ day allows them to focus on their more impacting and gratifying responsibilities.

Pop into SnackNation’s Productivity Guide for some other surprisingly simple ways to increase your employees’ efficiency and productivity.

Tip: Identify when your meetings are intended to be interactive vs informational and consider making the latter an email instead.


25) Kick Off Summer With A Field Day

Shake off the spring showers and get everyone out of the building for a field day. You could plan a team-building activity like a scavenger hunt through the city, or something quieter like a museum tour. Getting out of the office for some coworker fun can have a profound effect on employee morale.

Whatever you plan for your field day, be sure everyone is represented in your company’s custom swag!

Tip: As the seasons are changing, this is a great opportunity to provide your employees with some new summer swag!


Bonus: Improve Your Onboarding Process


The first six weeks of a new job are the most crucial for employee retention. This period sets the tone for the employee experience and teaches new employees what to expect from you.

Having a solid onboarding process means your employees are informed and empowered, not confused and overwhelmed.

Tip: Utilizing a platform like Rippling can help streamline the entire onboarding process so that you and your human resources department can focus on the people.

Why Is Employee Morale Important? 

Cultivating a healthy workplace culture can be derailed if the employees have a negative attitude towards their jobs or their working environment. Your employees’ attitudes at work play a major role in their interactions with colleagues, their ability to perform to their potential, and their overall happiness in their role.

Working in an environment with low employee morale is directly linked to job dissatisfaction and ultimately, higher turnover rates.

What Are The Benefits Of A Strong Staff Morale?


If you’re wondering how boosting employee morale is advantageous to your organization as a whole, here are 5 benefits to consider:

✅  Benefit 1 – High employee morale equals high retention rates because happy employees stay where they’re valued.

✅  Benefit 2 – Teamwork makes the dream work and high team morale drives better collaboration among colleagues.

✅  Benefit 3 – Happy employees sleep better at night and well-rested employees are less stressed and more focused.

✅  Benefit 4 – Strong employee morale makes it easier to simply show up each day, so your employees aren’t as likely to need those “mental health days” quite as often and absenteeism stays low.

✅  Benefit 5 – Positivity breeds productivity, so when your teams feel good about what they do and where they work, they’re more detailed and creative in their roles.

People Also Ask These Questions About How To Improve Employee Morale

Q: What are some ways to improve employee morale in 2023?

  • A: Some ways to improve morale include establishing effective rewards and recognition program, soliciting feedback from your employees (and using it to make improvements), and planning regular team building activities.

Q: How do I know when my staff morale is low?

  • A: You’ll know your staff’s morale is low when you notice an uptick in your turnover rate. Ultimately, you don’t want to get to this point so keep an eye open for performance issues, increased absenteeism, and overall poor attitudes.

Q: How do I improve staff morale?

  • A: You can improve staff morale by keeping employees informed, motivated, and engaged. Find out what they want and do what you can to support their requests.

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