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30+ ways to boost staff morale

Ideas taken from the winners of the Sunday Times 'Best Small Companies to Work For'

  1. Install a ship's bell in the middle of the office. Ring it every time there's a new business win.

  2. Give staff a card of their birthday, a chocolate egg at Easter, time off to shop at Christmas, etc.

  3. Celebrate new business wins with the whole company, not just with the Board/New business/Sales team.

  4. 'Walk the floor', daily, asking what people are doing, and what help they might need.

  5. Give out a 'Going the Extra Mile' (GEM) monthly award.

  6. Give out a monthly MAD hat award (Made A Difference), with a cash prize.

  7. Give out a monthly award for 'fanatical service'.

  8. Ensure staff have a regular one-to-one meeting with you.

  9. Organise a three person 'flying squad' who step in to cover holidays, illness and heavy workloads.

  10. Time management training - to create a positive work/life balance.

  11. Encourage working from home, where appropriate.

  12. Offer free toast/cereal for breakfast. Also supply free fresh fruit.

  13. Have a 'feel-good fund' to promote fun in the office.

  14. Give a Director the responsibility to make the Christmas Party a success (include free transport home).

  15. Discourage staff from eating lunch at their desks.

  16. Reward long-servers with bonuses, additional holiday, gym membership, sabbaticals, etc.

  17. Implement a 'Make yourself more interesting' scheme with a budget to develop a skill.

  18. Offer everyone a tailormade training programme. Stick to a rigid programme of six monthly appraisals.

  19. Listen and talk opening (minimise closed door meetings).

  20. Keep discussions face-to-face - avoid using email.

  21. Make sure birthdays are properly celebrated

  22. Implement a 'buddy' and/or Mentoring system.

  23. Welcome new team members properly (e.g. encourage people to send them welcome emails).

  24. Consider organising a (voluntary?) team building games weekend.

  25. Celebrate Pancake day, Beaujolais Nouveau day, etc.

  26. If they work very late, allow them to put a takeaway/a cab home on expenses.

  27. Implement a 'Give as you earn' charity scheme.

  28. Adopt a village in Africa. Support education, supply of fresh water, etc.

  29. Promote the use of environmentally friendly cars.

  30. Implement a company-wide paper/card/bottle/plastic/batteries/toner recycling scheme.

  31. Organise an activity for Children in Need/Red Nose Day/Other Charity days.

  32. Give staff time-off to work with good causes.

  33. Set up a Praise Department. 'Well Done', if used sincerely, is more motivating that almost any incentive.

  34. Give staff a 'Get Out of Work Free' card if they've had a particular success.

  35. Set up a Staff Company Marketing Committee.

  36. Give out red baseball caps (to be worn when you don't want to be disturbed).

  37. Run the business using stated principles and values.