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60 ideas to boost employee morale year-round

employee morale

BestCompaniesAZ Blog

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

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 satisfactory and acknowledge their hard work and success in a public forum.

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 monthly birthday gathering for employees to kick back and enjoy their day.

5. Recognize Work 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 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.

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.

12. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Recognition
Receiving recognition from peers is a great way to boost employee morale and engagement. Encourage employees to give kudos to their peers both during meetings and throughout the day.

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.

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 that they usually wouldn’t have access to.

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.

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.

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 worker’s 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 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 experience.

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 that 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.

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 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 that 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 this 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.

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 that would like to participate. Increase 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 desk 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 Festive 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.

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

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 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 employees 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!

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 and 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 to 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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