60 Ideas to Boost Employee Morale Year-Round

employee morale

Employee morale is a common buzzword in the HR industry because of the significant role it plays in daily office operations. Employee morale refers to the overall attitude and satisfaction that workers have in the workplace.

Are employees engaged and motivated? Are they satisfied with their work?

Simply put, employee morale directly affects worker productivity and performance — when morale is high, so are performance and profitability. For this reason, it’s advantageous for employers to create a company culture that recognizes the importance of employee morale.

To keep employee morale high, consider these upbeat and lighthearted ideas.

Top Ideas to Boost Employee Morale

Employee Appreciation

employee appreciation ideas

It’s hard to argue against the fact that recognition feels good. Positive recognition releases the feel-good hormone in the brain, known as dopamine. Dopamine stimulates the feeling of pride and joy, in turn, improving work ethic and productivity. The effects of dopamine are short-lived. However, when employee appreciation and recognition are implemented as a standard fixture in the workplace, employees can enjoy a steady supply of dopamine.

The following are circumstances in which an employee can be recognized for a milestone, accomplishment, or otherwise. Likewise, congratulatory perks and benefits to thank employees for their hard work.

1. Recognize the Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month is a practice that can be integrated easily into a multitude of organizations. Each month choose a worker that has exceeded expectations and acknowledge their hard work and success in a public forum.

Recognition at Vanguard

As they taut, “Being acknowledged for our strengths and recognizing others in meaningful ways fosters feelings of inclusion, connection, and belonging, making our work more impactful.” The Recognition at Vanguard simplifies extending social recognition or awarding “points” to peers, providing a fun way to express gratitude.

2. Implement a Weekly Newsletter

A weekly newsletter allows for constant positive reaffirmation and transparency. In your weekly newsletter, include a few notable achievements and encourage workers to celebrate on their terms.

3. Observe Employee Work Anniversaries

Each employee adds unique value to the workplace. Recognize their growth and accomplishments in the workplace on their annual work anniversary with a small token of your appreciation.

4. Throw a Birthday Lunch

It’s your birthday — throw a party! Hold a birthday gathering for employees to kick back and enjoy their day.

5. Recognize Work with Promotions

Your employees work hard to advance corporate culture, improve business relations, increase company revenue, and more. Acknowledge these achievements with a well-deserved promotion.

6. Create a Wow Wall

Grand gestures are phenomenal. Nonetheless, remind your employees of the impact that they make with a Wow Wall. Pin positive client feedback, reports, completed projects, pictures, and positive affirmations for a quick confidence boost — just make sure it’s somewhere everyone can see.

7. Celebrate Significant Milestones

Employees spend a tremendous amount of time in the office — thus, they often spend days of celebration in the office. Help them celebrate significant milestones like an anniversary in the office.

8. Meet for a Morning Gathering

Set a goal-achieving mindset from the start of the day. Meet in a morning huddle with your team to share words of wisdom and motivation for the day.

9. Design Company Merchandise

Gift your employees with custom team swag to create a feeling of community and thank them for their hard work.

10. Tuition Reimbursement

Recognize your worker’s dedication to being the best that they can be by pursuing an education or seeking alternative education options. Show your appreciation with an education stipend or tuition reimbursement program to encourage them to continue growing.

Advanced Education at Desert Financial Credit Union 

Desert Financial Credit Union has become the largest locally-based credit union in Arizona, and they provide full tuition coverage for Arizona State University (ASU). Committed to lifelong learning, Desert Financial offers both tuition reimbursement and a student loan repayment program for their employees.

11. Implement an Idea Box

Taking constructive feedback from employees is the greatest way to show your employees that their presence in the company matters. Implement an idea box so workers can intermittently drop off comments, concerns, and feedback.

 

In-Office Activities

in office activities for employees

Work hard; play harder. The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime — or one-third of your life. During this time, professionals will attend hundreds of meetings, log countless hours of overtime, and more.

Interrupt this monotonous wash, rinse, and repeat cycle with events that encourage a fun company culture. The following office event ideas can be held in the office with minimal interruption to the workday.

13. Plan a Spirit Week

Find your inner child with this grade school throwback. Plan dress-up days like “Decade’s Day” and “Company Colors Day” to cut loose and see how creative coworkers can get with each day.

The Ultimate Culture at Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona is known for its strong internal team and award-winning culture. Changing lives bonds these employees together, making a stronger and more enjoyable work environment. This focus on culture helps their employees feel engaged and supported in their everyday at the workplace.

14. Order a Catered Lunch

Leave the microwave meal at home and cater a feast for the company. In this setting, employees are encouraged to commune and meet peers whom they usually wouldn’t have access.

15. Organize a Company Cook-Off

Discover the next Master Chef in your office with a friendly company cook-off competition.

16. Professional Development Workshops

Provide your employees with opportunities to grow professionally with special-topic professional development workshops. Employees have the opportunity to learn new skills and different avenues of promotion.

Learning Opportunities at WillScot Mobile Mini 

WillScot and Mobile Mini form is a leading North American provider of innovative, modular space and storage solutions. As two distinct brands, With a team of over 5,500 employees, they offer ample opportunities for career growth, professional development and enhanced wellbeing. Their Learning Hub, with a library of 6,000+ courses, and their Leadership Development Program, that has helped more than 600 leaders, are a few ways they support continuous learning and development for all employees. Find open positions at WillScot Mobile Mini.

17. Throw a Puppy Party

Did you know that interacting with animals can decrease stress levels? Invite therapy dogs into the office for a much-needed decompression session.

18. Moderate a Fitness Competition

Health is wealth — encourage a healthy lifestyle with a friendly fitness competition. See who can travel the most steps in a workday, drink the most amount of water in a workweek, and more.

Wellness at Axon

At the tech company Axon, employees have access to Gym Pass, providing substantial discounts at numerous gyms nationwide and a selection of health and wellness apps offering services such as personal training and nutrition coaching. Additionally, employees can take part in a Wellness Tracking program, earning $250 per year in gift cards for logging health-related activities.

19. Compete in a Recycling Contest

Designate four team leaders to conduct a fierce office recycling competition. Each team chooses an item to recycle — plastic, paper, aluminum, and glass. See who can recycle the most items within a designated time to determine the winner.

20. Conduct a Canned Food Drive

Fire up workers’ competitive personalities and give back to the community. Divide the company into teams and hold a canned food drive for a food bank.

21. Throw a Food Truck Fest

Host a food truck fest for the organization and the local community. Company employees can bond and discover the diverse cuisine that your town has to offer.

22. Host a Meditation Function

Refresh midday with a 15-minute guided meditation amongst peers. A quick refresher can be precisely what you need to conquer the latter half of the day with vigor.

23. Organize a Pot Luck

Ask workers to supply their favorite dish that evokes strong memories for coworkers. The food serves as a strong talking point for coworkers to learn and understand each other’s upbringing or significant life experiences.

24. Start a Club

Invite employees to share their skills and hobbies with the organization. For example, if they are a talented musician, ask if they’d be willing to lead a music club.

 

Team Building Activities

team building activity ideas

As the saying goes, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Often, employees work in close proximity to one another — each reliant on everyone’s hard work ethic and unique knowledge. Even more, employees will often collaborate on projects to innovate creative solutions and increase company profitability.

Likewise, a group of individuals who act as a team has better communication and is better equipped to solve work-related issues. This being said, take a look at these exciting team-building activities that’ll make your coworkers feel more like comrades.

25. Volunteer Together

Devote a workday to committing selfless acts of kindness and service. Volunteer at a local animal shelter, soup kitchen, or community garden to give back and make a difference.

Give Back at Workiva

Workiva revolutionizes business data management globally, fostering seamless collaboration and transparent reporting. Workiva also puts the community and employees first. Their employees enjoy eight hours of paid volunteer time off each year to contribute to the community.

26. Try Ax Throwing

Get physical with an invigorating ax-throwing class that forces employees outside of their comfort zone. Encourage workers to cheer one another on as they accomplish this exhilarating activity.

27. Take a Team Art Class

You don’t have to be the next Bob Ross to love art. Organize a team art class for employees to find their inner creativity.

28. Escape the Room

Band together and use your various skills to complete an Escape Room. Team members thrive under pressure to solve the mystery and escape in time.

29. Race a 5k

Test your cardiovascular health and complete a 5k race together. Go the extra mile and fundraise for a cause that resonates with everyone.

30. Act Out at an Improv Workshop

Give a star-studded performance worthy of an Oscar at an improv workshop with coworkers who will feel more like comrades after this silly team-building activity.

31. Create a Book Club

Ditch the computer screen and dive into an exciting read with peers. Discuss diverse opinions and outlandish book concepts in a safe space.

32. Host a Bowling Night

Create lasting memories hitting the lanes for a night of bowling fun.

33. Day on the Green

Try your putting luck on a company-wide golf day. Make it a competition and see who can score the first hole-in-one.

34. Schedule a Company-Wide Retreat

Get to know your coworkers in a new setting. Treat employees to a company-wide retreat to bond and learn.

35. Do an Obstacle Course

Step out of your comfort zone to create strong bonds strategizing brain-teasing obstacle courses with your coworkers.

36. Plan a Mentoring Program

What better way to introduce coworkers, inspire camaraderie, and boost employee morale than to have them learn from one another? Mentorship programs allow employees to meet executive-level professionals, acquire new skills, and learn about different departments.

Mentorship at Northern Trust

At Northern Trust, employees can find a team tailored for greater success. They promise to help members of their team “achieve the balance between a dynamic career and personal life with our support. We’re here to help you navigate your unique career path, and our mentorship program formalizes these valuable connections.”

37. Arrange a Family Night at the Office

Meet and greet the families that support your coworkers when they clock out for the day. Cater the event with delicious finger foods, and entertain guests with fun board games to get the party rolling.

38. Hold Office Trivia

Find competitive players in your office with a friendly trivia night. Dive deep into current events, technology, and entertainment news to determine who’s the most connected.

 

Holiday Ideas

employee morale

Insert holiday cheer into your stale holiday events. The holidays are a time of festivities, family traditions, and time off. Specialty pies, themed decorations, and more fill the breakroom. And, out-of-office emails pop up left and right.

Most of all, the holiday party looms on the company calendar, promising less-than-desirable appetizers, flat soda, and disappointment. Give your employees something to be cheerful about and try some of these holiday ideas to inspire holiday cheer.

39. Host a Thanksgiving Luncheon

Give thanks and show your employees your appreciation with a turkey lunch to celebrate the holiday. Gift each employee with a small bonus to splurge on Cyber Monday.

40. Exchange White Elephant Gifts

Facilitate a white elephant gift exchange for employees who would like to participate. Up the ante with a creative theme that challenges workers to think outside the box.

41. Hold a Decorating Contest

See who has the best artistic vision with a holiday-themed decorating contest. Employees should decorate their desks with the best spooky, Christmas, or Valentine-themed embellishments.

42. Take a Holiday-Themed Cooking Class

Stir it up in the kitchen with a company cooking class. Learn to bake the perfect golden pie crust for pumpkin pie, or create picture-worthy deviled eggs.

43. Throw a Costume Contest

Get spooky and dress up as your favorite childhood character during Halloween.

44. Host an Ugly Sweater Party

Dig to the deepest parts of your closet to find an ugly sweater to rock at the office ugly sweater party. Hold a competition to see who can make or find the ugliest sweater of them all.

45. Schedule a Gingerbread House-making Contest

Bring this holiday favorite to work. Break up into teams to build the fanciest gingerbread house on the block using an assortment of candies and colored frosting.

46. Construct a Scavenger Hunt

If you live in a tourist town, construct a scavenger hunt or a geocaching adventure to encourage your employees to explore the area.

47. Fourth of July Cook Out/Festival/Fireworks

Celebrate Independence Day with a lunchtime cookout. Make it a family event and rent bounce houses and a DJ to pump up the jams.

Fostering Fulfillment and Camaraderie at KUBRA

KUBRA fosters an invigorating environment where hard work translates into a fulfilling career, brimming with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Its vibrant social culture celebrates the collective spirit of our engaged workforce through diverse company-sponsored events — from BBQs and hackathons to paintball battles, game nights, and festive holiday gatherings — all designed to nurture a sense of community, satisfaction, and well-being amongst their happy, dedicated employees who find their work not just rewarding, but deeply meaningful.

48. Earth Day Clean-Up

Did you know that the average person produces about 1.5 tons of solid waste each year? Even more, a lot of this waste ends up littering public areas like parks, parking lots, roads, and beaches. Observe Earth Day with a group clean-up event and information session about ways to reduce waste.

49. Organize a Fall Festival

Bring the community together to celebrate the changing season with a fall festival. Invite local vendors, food trucks, and entertainers to interact with the community.

50. Pumpkin Carving Day

Decorate the office with custom hand-carved pumpkins created by staff members. Use the pumpkin filling to make homemade pies for the office to snack on to celebrate the fall weather.

 

WFH Employee Engagement Ideas

boost employee morale

 

You want your employees to be happy and healthy individuals whether they’re working in the office or working from home. However, WFH can have its own set of challenges, and it’s often hard for employees to feel engaged with their coworkers. 

Around 33% of at-home workers feel isolated or lonely at least sometimes. Use these ideas for engagement and morale-boosting to support hybrid and WFH employees!  

51. Schedule an Office Tour

Have an employee give a quick tour of their office space and describe some of their favorite pieces or renovations they’re considering. This allows employees to learn more about one another and show off their creative juices. 

52. Monday Celebrations 

Finding ways to encourage engagement and excitement for the Monday-Friday work week is essential. Consider having a quick Monday celebration discussing fun things employees did during the weekend and things they are looking forward to during the week. 

53. At-Home Happy Hour 

You can send a happy hour box, including mocktail options, which are fun for employees to dig into and provide a great conversation starter for everyone. 

54. Virtual Game Break 

Nowadays, there are lots of online, free multiplayer game options. So have employees play a fun word game or online checkers to build some fun engagement. 

55. Hybrid Treats 

What’s for lunch? Aka, the most common in-office employee small talk question. Set up a time to shoot the breeze and have an employee give a quick food tour of what they eat in a day. This is also an excellent opportunity to encourage an awareness of multiculturalism! 

Remote Work at Rocket Companies

Rocket Companies provides swift digital solutions across various sectors. Its unique perspective values inclusivity in the workplace, with hybrid-remote positions available to help all employees feel ready and happy to work.

56. Virtual Coffee Breaks 

When you’re in the office, a coffee break chat tends to happen naturally throughout the day. In a work-from-home environment, these interactions need to be specifically scheduled. They can add some needed interaction and really brighten an employee’s day! 

57. Flexible Schedule Meetups 

One of the WFH benefits is a flexible work schedule, but sometimes a flexible schedule can get lonely. Have employees schedule time with another coworker who’s on a similar schedule. Send out questions or brain teasers for the duo to discuss every week.  

58. “My-Day” Tour

This event can take place online, allowing coworkers to see how others schedule their days. For example, a single employee can give a tour or synopsis of their daily activities. Typically, this event is quick, fun, and often amusing. 

59. Encouragement Corner 

Scheduling a specific time of the week to get together with all virtual employees and encourage each other is meaningful and impactful. Have employees give shout-outs to each other when they’ve received a lending hand or noticed a good job done. 

60. Virtual Birthday Parties 

Typically, an in-office birthday party would involve a simple store-bought cake and a shout-out to the birthday person. An at-home birthday party celebration is a bit more involved but can be even more impactful. 

Consider sending a cupcake to the birthday person or the birthday person’s team. Include them in the daily newsletter or shout out in a meeting. Be sure to send a thoughtful card either via email or snail mail. It will mean a lot to the birthday person and everyone around them! 

 

Take action and create a work environment where employees thrive and are emboldened to make lasting change. Implement a variety of activities to increase employee morale. Additionally, ensure that your work is diverse and inclusive. Learn how to create a diverse and inclusive workplace with BestCompaniesAZ. 

 

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