As a software development management consultant, I'm always looking for innovative ways to improve employee morale.
My friend and associate, Greg Wright, told me about an interesting process for improving morale that his company practices.
They have an appeasement committee and budget. The appeasement committee is a group with one representative from each department. Each month, a different member of each department is represented in the group. If certain corporate goals are met, the committee plans an event for the company for that month. The events are simple and not too expensive: bowling, or mini-golf and pizza, etc.
What I find valuable about this example is that five important objectives are met:
- The individual employees are empowered by being able to participate in the suggestions to improve morale. This personal involvement is more meaningful to them, and more appreciated.
- If a committee and a budget is in place, morale-building events won't take a backseat to unexpected fires, or brand new deadlines.
- The effort-vs-reward principal is set in motion, which is one of the foundations of capitalism.
- Corporate goals get communicated, and emphasized, and are constantly on everyone's minds.
- Team-building outside of the stressed work environment will occur. This brings a fresh dimension to work-place teamwork.
Morale building is important because it separates the sweat-shop jobs from the career jobs. This simple process can do wonders for your organization.