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How to Increase Employee Morale...with Flare

Updated on April 18, 2019

Remember “Spirit Days” in High School? Five theme-days filled with costumes, competitions, and “school spirit” commencing in a pep rally, football game, and Homecoming Dance? I remember looking forward to Wacky Hair Wednesday and Tie-dye Tuesday. Scrounging through my parent’s closet desperately looking for something for Throwback Thursday and proudly donning my soccer uniform for Flaunt Your Flair Friday.

Sure, there are practical and professional ways to motivate your employees – creating an open and honest communication channel with frequent staff meetings; implementing an open door policy; congratulating staff on life events; cross-training employees; providing more autonomy and self-management to staff. But, don’t we want a little fun every once-in-a-while? I mean, don’t get me wrong. As an HR professional, I wholeheartedly support, endorse, and advocate for the practical and professional ways to motivate.

However, I had to laugh when in secret, my co-worker called me over to her desk to show me her Pinterest board devoted strictly to “employee appreciation ideas.” We talked in hushed voices as she showed me a picture of a basket full of lifesavers with a note that said “You’re a lifesaver, thanks for all you do!” and a pack of Extra gum tied with a bow that proclaimed “Thanks for always going the EXTRA mile!” Why were we talking in hushed voices? What’s wrong with stepping forward and being the person you want to work with? For paying it forward to the people you spend more time with than your own family. Have a little fun. Bring in that bouquet of lollipops with a sign that declares “work will suck without you!” Organize an ugly sweater contest, embrace the pun and give a gift card for coffee that says “thanks a latte.” It won’t cost much, but not all benefits need to. Bring a little high school into the work place. Have some spirit.

© 2019 Diane Abramson

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