As your business grows, you will make a transition from being THE employee to actually having employees. This process can be very challenging for many entrepreneurs. Some struggle with the idea of trusting a complete stranger with critical company functions. Others simply don’t know how to manage workers.
If you are in this situation, or if you just aspire to be in this situation, you would benefit from some training in human resources. After all, you may be a chef or coder by trade, and this bit of hiring and training people is outside your skill set. There’s nothing wrong with seeking some professional assistance, and in doing so before there is a problem.
Through that process of learning, you will undoubtedly learn a lot about creating and maintaining good morale among your employees. It will be tried and true advice that has proven beneficial in thousands of environments.
What you may not get is some of the more unusual ideas for employee morale. If you’re the type of thinker who is usually out in right field, you may want some ideas that match your different approach.
So as you begin to learn about how to manage employees, keep in mind some of the nontraditional ideas that can help you attract and keep great employees.
Let’s Do Lunch
Regulating meal breaks can be one of those really problematic areas. You run into everything from excess time off the clock to stinky food in the break room. It can be very frustrating, and you’ll feel like a 4th-grade teacher settling an argument over broken crayons.
A better approach to providing food is to use services such as micro market vending with Aramark, because they enable your employees to quickly access a wider variety of foods, right on site. This eliminates the time-consuming dash to the parking lot, as well as excuses about long restaurant lines. If properly managed, the food choices you present can also reduce “brown bag fatigue”, that unpleasant experience of eating the same thing every day.
When employees can get a good meal without leaving the building, they have more time and energy, as well as more enthusiasm.
A Change In Scenery
There is all kinds of medical research that describes how an unchanging environment can numb creativity and happiness. And who can forget those shocking moments in elementary school when the teacher suggested conducting the day’s class outdoors on those first warm days of spring? The resultant energy is hard to forget, and the fact is, we never outgrow that.
A temporary shift to a different workplace can be very good. Forget the conference room; hold the staff meeting on the roof or at the building’s day care playground. Relocate cubicles. Move furniture and houseplants around. Just do something to make the view a little different and watch the change in demeanor.
Dispense With Stiffness
Professionalism can be hard to capture. Some people need every possible bit of guidance to ensure they maintain appropriate behavior and attitudes on the job. Others are 100% on point if you see them jogging in the park. As you get to know your workers, you will learn where they fall on this scale, and from there you can make some changes to encourage good morale.
Let’s begin with dress. For some workplaces, casual Friday became a nightmare. People showed up a little too casual, in revealing or unclean clothes, and their work showed the impact. Relaxing attire requirements is something that takes adjustment. If you are in a purely business-dress environment, ease off to embroidered company shirts. This is a good strategy used by banks and other firms that interact constantly with customers. (Could you imagine applying for a business loan from a woman in a Jimmy Buffett t-shirt?)
Bottom line: Measured and gradual change is the route to go. And in the case of all these changes, that holds true.