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Resource Center / Teams

Boost Employee Morale: 23 Ways to Make Your Team Love Coming to Work

Looking for ways to boost or retain employee satisfaction on a budget? We have a few ideas.

The letter "J" for Justworks.
Sep 10, 20185 minutes

It’s a sentiment that both studies and anecdotal evidence have confirmed: employee satisfaction makes for a better place to work.

Happiness in the workplace drives higher employee productivity, retention, job satisfaction, and all around business success. If you’re looking for fresh ideas on how to build an energetic and positive work environment, look no further!

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Workspace Ideas

Revamp the workspace

After all, your employees spend most of their week at the office. Our favorite tip? Provide spaces for both collaboration and solitude to help your team get the most from their workday.

Give a desk decoration stipend

Whether it’s $20, $50, or $100, your employees will appreciate being able to decorate their workspace.

Try a dog-friendly office

People love bringing their furry companions to work, and it adds a home-like vibe that lifts employee morale.

Prioritize Wellness

Set up friendly competition with a step tracker

Try a site like Count.It, which hosts physical activity challenges for teams. The most active team member each month wins a prize.

Give out recognition when it’s due

Develop some awards for top performers and folks that go above and beyond. Encouraging coworkers to nominate each other for the awards is a great way to foster a culture of appreciation for good work.

Pedal away with Citi Bike memberships for your team

Any companies using Justworks can offer Citi Bike as a team perk at a discount, and the benefits of active employees are vast — from improved health to higher productivity.

Offer your team gym discounts

Regular exercise increases productivity (and your employees will appreciate a gym discount).

Provide free shots during flu season

Sure, it’s not exactly a fun work perk, but both you and your employees will be happy when they’re not missing work with a fever and chills. Flu season peaks in January or later, and cloistered office spaces are the ideal breeding ground for illness. Pharmacies like RiteAid and on-demand companies like Pager will bring professionals to administer shots in the office.

Change Things Up

Ditch the formal dress code

If it makes sense for your business, try opting for a more casual work environment. Relaxing the dress code around the office can boost employee morale and requires little to no cost. Win-win!

Schedule walking meetings

Is your computer necessary to hash out a certain idea or project? If not, take a stroll around the park and brainstorm, it will act as a huge refresher and boost employee morale.

Strive for inclusion

Diversity and inclusion initiatives are focused on creating a better place to work for current and future employees — no matter who they are. When people feel included, heard, and appreciated in the workplace, they will be much happier to come to work.

Psst... for even more ideas, check out our eBook 109 Ways to Appreciate Employees on a Budget.

Focus on Professional Development

Implement an internal mentorship program

Not only is an internal mentorship program free, but it’s also one of the most valuable gifts you can offer an employee.

Improve your business offerings with a sprint week

The Justworks engineering and product teams hold an annual hack day or hack week to work on ways to improve our product — or to try out a random fun idea. But really, any team can focus on one impactful project for a week. We suggest reading Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days to gear up.

Create an office library

If you have spare books on business strategy or even creative fiction, make them available for all employees to enjoy. Even better, keep them in a comfy reading nook.

Let employees learn from one another

Your team is full of smart people who know a variety of refined skills. Block out a couple hours for them to teach a free intro course on programs like Photoshop or SQL to their fellow employees.

Bring People Together With Food

Make breakfast tasty with Bagel Tuesday (or any day)

Bringing in bagels once a week will have your employees saying "Pass the cream cheese, please!"

Mix it up with random lunches

Randomly pair workers in groups with four or five coworkers to grab lunch. If it’s in your budget to reimburse people for it, even better.

Treat your team to a meal

Meals are an opportunity for people to build stronger connections than they would eating alone at their desks, so consider taking the team out for a lunch or dinner together.

Create Opportunties for Connection

Introduce new employees to the company via email

Roll out the welcome mat to that new faces everyone’s been seeing around the office. Throw in fun facts and a picture, and to be inclusive, ask what pronouns they use.

Celebrate work anniversaries

A simple card or announcement can go a long way.

Organize a scavenger hunt with company themes

Form teams using departments, or mix it up so employees have the chance to get to know some new faces. There are plenty of options for rewarding the winner(s), but company swag is always a welcome prize.

Go to a meetup, lecture, or fireside chat as a team

Smaller scale and less overwhelming than a conference, there won’t be the pressure to sacrifice a whole day.

Think of alternatives to happy hour

Remember, not everyone drinks alcohol! Start up those games you used to play at sleepaway camp. They’re free — and still fun.