Management seminars and books focused on improving morale often miss true triggers of employee misery. Here are five morale boosters that can be put in place today to help make any workforce happier. They may seem minor, but their positive impact will be significant.
1. Buy lunch. Bloomberg, Google, Conde Nast and other smart, successful companies feature free cafeterias for their employees. Everyone can participate in the free cafeteria or dining room. When workers don't have to leave for lunch, the result is greater efficiency and stronger team building.
2. Do not ban humor. Many companies rigorously patrol common bulletin boards, office space walls and personal areas. The first sign of a corrupt regime is the banning of humor.
3. The person who gets in first, gets the best parking space (unless you take public transportation). Assigned parking spaces may have been appropriate in the golden age of Hollywood studios, but they are resentment machines today. No one should have an assigned parking space and no one needs them – everyone could use a good walk.
4. Hire a receptionist. Reception-free lobbies are false economies. When a client walks into a lobby that greets her with a phone and a phone directory, she feels unwelcome and lost. Is this the right place? If she rings an extension and gets voicemail she starts to grow frustrated.
Potential customers who call in and reach a phone tree are easily lost in the maze. But a sharp receptionist knows exactly which client to connect with which salesperson. A skilled receptionist also knows when to say you're not in, even if you are.
5. Hire people back. Dumb, arrogant employers shut the door on employees who quit. Opportunity lost. An employee who quits and wants to come back is golden. There is no ramp-up time, they know your company. Plus they have new knowledge, often gained from your competitor, that will benefit your company and drive better informed decisions.
These observations are based on decades of working on site, around the world with companies both privately held and public. The companies we work with are in the categories of Internet, Publishing, Radio, TV, Print, Theatrical and investment banking.
Walter Sabo is the Chairman of Sabo Media, a company that offers executive-on-demand services. He has worked on-site to build out new digital content platforms such as Sirius/XM. His team was the first to discover the marketing clout of web stars, Internet organic video producers. They founded OMMA award winning HITVIEWS. The company placed brands such as CBS, TiVo and Mountain Dew inside UGC. In FM broadcasting he is a leader in the profitable sector of FM Talk and held executive positions at NBC and ABC Radio. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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