As an on-site manager working at a client location, I noticed something was a bit off. There was a great divide between the interactions of on-site contractors versus full-time employees. And, it became pretty obvious that it was taking its toll on employee morale.
When you have a mix of full-time or permanent employees combined with contract labor, such as freelance talent, independent contracts, and 1099's, keeping everyone positively engaged and informed can be a challenge to say the least. Especially when employees are working long days or in high-pressure situations to complete a large-scale project.
As a resource manager that sits on-site at different client locations, I witness these interactions daily. At one site in particular, it was more than noticeable that morale was taking a nosedive due to the lack of employee engagement and overall interaction. Not only did I notice it, but the client who contracted Yoh noticed as well.
Wanting to act quickly, management got their heads together to come up with a number of ways to boost morale. One of the themes that kept coming up in every day conversation was the topic of health and wellness. After exploring a number of options, it seemed like a no-brainer to go that route.
Yoga instructors and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) classes were brought on, and as a result, has brought people of all tax ID's together. Furthermore, it has proven to foster relationships from department to department. Managers and directors are interacting with personnel from finance who are then engaging the contract employees I manage -- all of which never used to happen.
Why Investing in Employee Morale Pays Big
You might be thinking to yourself, great, but why is this important to my business or recruiting operations? Well, I'm sure I'm not the first one to tell you that a happier employee is one that will stay put longer. When working with contract labor or staffing providers, you might think that doesn't matter, but you'd be mistaken.
According to Chron, there a number of reasons to invest in employee morale. Heightened employee morale can lead to higher production rates, increased collaboration, and an improvement to worker esteem and satisfaction; all of which contract and perm employees can directly benefit from.
4 (FREE) Ways to Kick-Start Employee Engagement & Boost Morale
I know not every manager has the budget to bring in physical fitness classes, but what I've learned is that taking small steps to get your employees engaged can go a long way. Need some inspiration to get you started? Here are four (FREE) ways to kick-start employee engagement program and boost morale.
1. Take time to get to know your employees
Reaching out and finding common interests doesn’t have to go the fitness and wellness routes. Take a survey of your employees. What are their interests? What would they be interested in participating in? We chose fitness classes because it was something we knew people were excited about. Often time managers may do something that they think is great, but it may fall flat since there is no interest in the office. You do not want to show that you are out of touch with your employees. That would do exactly the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.
2. Start small
We are all busy, but almost everyone takes a lunch break once a month. Why not do it together? Use it as a time to do an ice breaker activity that gets the employees to start communicating with each other. If lunch isn’t an option, try and form a group to do a fun activity together outside of the office. It will give them a sense of community and in return, you will be surprised how productive the office becomes.
3. Use resources that you have in house
Does anyone have any skills that they would like to share? Do you have employees with interests outside of the organization? What can we learn from them? This could not only be resourceful for the attendees, but it can be a self-confidence booster for an employee that is doing the presentation or activity. The High Intensity Training classes were started by the interest of an employee who already started those classes and the buzz that surrounded that person sharing the positive experience that they had with the classes.
4. Form a committee or group
Do you have anyone that is a natural leader or shows great interest bringing a sense of community in the office? A small group of organizers can make a huge difference in continuing your efforts in making your office an exciting place to work. This will encourage collaboration and networking and keep you in touch with how the employees feel and what they really need. They can continue the efforts that you started and help to maintain high levels of moral.
Incorporating employee engagement activates doesn’t have to be disruptive to the workday. Doing small things like I mentioned above can open many doors for collaboration and make for a happier workplace. Studies show that a happy workplace helps boost productivity, in turn helping the bottom line. It sure made a drastic improvement in our work environment, and I'm sure it can for yours too.
This blog was written by Nikki Leddo. Nikki is a Resource Manager and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from the University of Alabama. She is a huge Alabama football fan -- Roll Tide! Nikki has been working in the staffing industry for five years working both on-site in the San Diego area and in recruiting.