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Morale is really down. What should we do?

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in Human Resources,People Management,The HR Specialist Forum

Like everyone else, we’ve been battered by the recession. We’ve started to turn things around, but our employees are pretty beat up by a tough business environment and a couple of layoffs we’ve had to do. Morale is poor. The general feeling is that we’re paddling like mad just to stay in the same place. Any ideas for inexpensive but meaningful ways to show staff that we appreciate their hard work and sacrifice during hard times?—Steve T., North Carolina



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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan September 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I saw this article in the Washington Post about how their infographics department tested 12 exercises for a week to see which ones real people could incorporate into a workday (in their work clothes, which only take a few minutes to do during a brief break). The moves were recommended by experts whose jobs involve studying motion, preventing obesity and getting people off their duffs. I thought it would be a fun, free team-building idea to suggest. The article said that most of them wanted to continue exercising after the experiment was over, but ONLY if they did it as a group … it sounds fun, even if it was only sort of a 7th inning stretch it might get people laughing together. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/health/workout-at-work/

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Anonymous August 20, 2009 at 9:01 am

I’m sorry but as an underling the card would probably make people more upset here than they would impress! I think the managers/supervisors doing a breakfast or snack social for underlings would be a very nice thing to do! As far as funds – I don’t think it would hurt them to foot the bill – we do that sort of thing for them all the time (carry ins, b-day gifts, boss’ day gifts, christmas gifts etc.) and they are the ones making the big money!!!

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Anonymous August 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Here is one of my favorite ideas I got from a training class I was in. Create little cards (business card size) that say something like “You did great!” and pass them out whenever you catch someone doing something good. The kicker is that the card should have a little message on it that says you must pass it on within 72 hours. Out of curiosity, I’d just like to see how long it would take something like that to get around.

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Another brick in the wall August 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm

What if there isn’t any money in the budget?

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Patty August 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm

An informal recognition program may also help the individuals that are truly working hard get a little direct appreciation from their boss. We currently have an On the Spot Award for $50. A supervisor can nominate an employee at any given time (if approved by management) and they get $50 cash along with a Certificate describing the individual’s accomplishment.

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Tara August 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm

We’ve had our executives make and serve us breakfast – pancakes made on griddles and fruit/yogurt smoothies made in blenders. Really brings morale up to have the leaders of the company serving the “underlings” showing how much they mean to the company, and that we’re all in this together.

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Deanna August 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm

We have worked diligently on this. We have had an ice cream social, providing banana splits for everyone, discount tickets for a company night at the baseball game and indoor hockey (at no cost to the company), supporting fundraisers for local charities that have provided support to one or more of our employees, and we’re planning NFL Kickoff Day (employees can dress down if they wear a football jersey and we’ll provide snacks and an on-line trivia contest with token prizes. We started a workforce enhancement committee with volunteers from various departments to organize these events and hold 50/50 raffles to fund them. The responses have been very positive.

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