17 Quick Morale Boosters for Employees

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September 29, 2020

Hi! You found our list of quick morale boosters for employees.

Employee morale boosters are fast and simple ways to boost your staff’s mood and productivity. The activities and tips on this list improve performance and create a more pleasant work atmosphere.

Morale boosters are a great way to improve office culture.

This article includes:

  • morale boosters for remote employees
  • morale boosting icebreakers
  • morale boosting exercises
  • morale booster events

And more!

Here is the list!

List of quick morale boosters for employees

From dance parties to nap allowances to Virtual Team Trivia, here is a list of ways to boost employee morale and optimize productivity.

1. Virtual Team Trivia

Virtual team trivia banner

Your employees spew knowledge all day long. Having industry expertise feels good, but sometimes, it’s more fun to spout off random trivia. You can tap into your staff’s smarts and competitive spirit by playing Virtual Team Trivia. Virtual Team Trivia is a one hour, facilitated guide led online trivia tournament played on Zoom. You can choose the trivia theme, and our team will create and lead a thrilling game sure that will energize, unite, and delight your crew.

Quick morale boosters for employees who work from home are especially important, since remote work often leads to feelings of disconnection and isolation. By playing Virtual Team Trivia, your online teams can connect, relax, and recharge.

2. #you-are-awesome channel

A compliment or random recognition can change the course of the day for the better. One of the best ways to share praise is to launch a #you-are-awesome channel on Slack. Simply make the channel, invite the whole staff, and encourage coworkers to share peer-to-peer shoutouts. Entries can range from, “Betsy totally owned that presentation today!” to “I love Xander’s funny hats.” This exercise is an especially great way to spread positivity and build community in virtual offices that use Slack as a main form of communication.

3. Short jokes

Laughter de-escalates stress and increases happiness. Coworkers often build camaraderie by telling jokes and laughing together. If your team has not yet developed inside jokes, then you can still share a collective chuckle by exchanging team building jokes. Or, you could find funny gifs to exchange in emails or team chats, or funny pictures to tack to each other’s desks and office walls. You could even initiate a friendly and harmless prank war to add humor to the workplace. Whatever way you decide to incite laughs, ensure your methods are clean, kind-spirited, and safe so that only good feelings result.

4. Inspirational quotes

Ever since a genius had the bright idea to plaster a “Hang in There, Baby!” kitten poster in an office break room, employers have used inspirational quotes to motivate employees. By sending staff powerful and positive messages, you promote resilience, kindness, and growth.

Ways to share inspirational quotes:

  • Start or end a meeting with a saying
  • Slip phrases into your team emails
  • Hang signs
  • Pass hand-written notes to your staff
  • Initiate a team chant

Staff needs occasional encouragement, and these quotes serve as a great reminder of inner strength and optimal behavior.

5. Team building workouts

Exercise is a great mood booster, but finding the momentum to visit the gym is often a challenge. Exercising with others holds folks accountable, and team building workouts are a great way to work up a sweat together. Employees will gain a happy-brain-chemical boost from the physical and social aspects of the activity. Plus, coworkers can cheer each other on and increase the desire to exercise. Topping the workout off with a healthy snack such as smoothies or fresh vegetables is another helpful incentive and a great afternoon pick-me-up!

6. Team building Jeopardy

Game shows are an adrenaline rush for participants and audience alike, and a spirited round or two of Team building Jeopardy can help your stuff feel like winners. To play, find a template online and create stimulating questions. Then, split your group into two teams, and compete to see which side reigns supreme. Offering prizes like coffee gift cards, upgraded office supplies, or early dismissal serves as further incentive and amplifies the thrill of victory.

7. Food truck roundup

Your team is full of some of the most hardworking folks you know. So hardworking, in fact, that lunchtime often finds your teammates perched at desks, shoveling salad or pizza into mouths with one hand and firing off an email to a client with the other. A thank you lunch may be a nice gesture, but team members may not get to enjoy a sit down meal if under a tight deadline or swamped with to-dos. Yet teammates could use a morale boost most while under that kind of pressure.

Food trucks offer a great solution. A food truck roundup is one of the most popular morale booster events. You can corral the best local mobile caterers into your parking lot. If employees have time, then they can socialize with peers and do icebreaker games. If not, then your staff can grab a quick and delicious bite without losing momentum. Food trucks are a fun way to break up the monotony and add variety to your coworkers’ days and diets. Not to mention, comfort food like tacos, pizza, and donuts are king on the food truck circuit. While not the healthiest, these dishes are sure to satisfy and delight.

You can use Street Food Finder to locate food trucks in your city.

8. Snack wagon

Everyone could use a mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-up in the form of a tasty treat from time to time. Putting free food in the breakroom frequently devolves into a mad dash. For a more egalitarian approach to snack time, you can start a snack wagon. First, commandeer a wheeled cart or collapsible wagon; in a pinch, a wheeled office chair will work too.

You can load your vehicle up with treats like chips, cookies, fruit, granola bars, miniature cupcakes, and small cans of soda or iced coffee. After stocking up, wander the halls and offer your office mates refreshments. We recommend taking multiple laps throughout the day, because an employee that passes during your first couple rounds may finally cave once the 3PM munchies hit.

9. Dance party

Stressful days can cause tension, and sitting all day can give your staff the jitters. An impromptu dance party ackles both problems. You and your team can take a break, turn up the music, and bust a move. Simply step into an office, close the door, pump the tunes, and unleash your inner rhythm monster. Though most laptop or phone speakers are good enough quality for the occasion, you can find a bluetooth speaker for $10 or less if you are really serious about your music.

Dance parties are great morale boosters for remote employees too. You can send a message to your virtual team, gather on video meeting software, and dance out any stress or boredom.

10. Compliment tag

Kind words can go a long way. A compliment from a coworker can change the course of a bad day almost immediately. To spread cheer and positivity in your workplace, start a game of compliment tag. The rules are simple. Upon receiving a compliment, a player must pick another teammate to (sincerely!) praise. You can play this game in-office or remotely. At the end of the day, ask team members to share how many compliments they received, and announce the impressive number to the team to further boost morale. To ensure that everyone receives the proper praise, send a message towards the end of the day asking who still needs a compliment.

Morale boosting icebreakers like compliment tag are a great way to raise spirits among newly-formed teams and teams with long histories too.

11. Pet a pet

Zoom pets

Animals are instant mood boosters. Even the most stone-faced colleague may melt when handling a puppy. You can invite furry friends into your office to brighten your colleague’s days and provide much needed animal therapy. Either allow coworkers to bring cute pets to the office, or invite a local animal group such as a cat shelter, dog pound, or bird sanctuary to accompany fluffy or feathery creatures to your building.

If your team is remote, then you can destress by showing off each other’s pets on video call or watching an animal live stream like the panda cam at the Atlanta Zoo.

12. Volunteering projects

Helping others can be one of the fastest ways to help yourself. Scientific studies, like this one covered in the Washington Post, have shown that philanthropy improves mental health and happiness. Volunteering gives folks a sense of purpose, social connection, and fulfilment. Community service can also be an effective team bonding idea.

Volunteering projects are basic but impressive morale boosting exercises. You and your crew can volunteer in a variety of ways. The campaign could last a long time, such as a months-long fundraiser, or you can condense the service into a single day of volunteering. For a quick pick-me-up, you and your staff could even engage in a short spur-of-the-moment charity activity, such as selecting a cause and each donating five or ten dollars, or assisting a visually impaired person with an errand on the Be My Eyes app.

You can plan virtual fundraising projects too.

13. Team building games

One of the main purposes of team building is to raise employee morale. Playing fun team building games and engaging in interesting team building activities allows employees to socialize, unwind, and break away from the usual work routine.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • The Human Knot
  • Department parties
  • Office art projects
  • Icebreaker questions
  • Social media challenges
  • Team quizzes

There are no shortage of teamwork-centered activities you can use to build camaraderie and bolster your crew’s mood. These exercises are fun, simple, and often low-cost, but deliver tremendous benefits in the form of improved relationships, increased satisfaction, and employee appreciation.

14. Space spruce-ups

Redecorating your pace can perk up the working area and break up humdrum atmospheres. While you do not need to go full office-makeover on your building every month, you can allot a small budget for new decor, be it an art print, a comfy chair, or a plant in a gumball machine.

For remote teams, try sending employees care packages with decorations like posters, desk organizers, and succulents. Or, you can decide on a theme for a meeting or a month and invite teammates to arrive to video calls with a fun customized background.

15. Nap allowance

We all have sleepy days now and then. Maybe a crying baby or a neighbor blasting rave music kept us awake half the night, and we spend the next morning yawning. Insufficient sleep can cause irritability and difficulty dealing with stress, while healthy sleep boosts wellbeing, Harvard reports.

By building a nap allowance into your policy, you give employees the leeway to get extra rest when needed most. Once a year or so, you can allow teammates a two or three hour block of time to go home, or hole up in the break-room and grab shuteye. If your team works from home, then you can allow group members to set an away message and catch some z’s. You could also build naps into your work from home policy. The few hours of lost work will result in an increase in productivity and employee gratitude, which benefits the company in the long run.

16. Office arcade

Games are a great way to blow off steam and add a sense of playfulness to the workday. Installing an office arcade gives employees the option to compete against the machine or colleagues and break up midday monotony. Game rooms do not need to be expensive. Though some companies invest in arcade-style video games, pinball machines, or foosball tables, you can opt for cheaper choices like secondhand or tabletop video games, dart boards, and team building board games. You can also furnish your game room with diversions like yo-yo’s, adult coloring books, and beach balls.

Remote teams can enjoy games too. You can send your virtual team a link to an online arcade like ArcadeSpot. Then, you and the crew compete to beat each other’s high scores.

17. Round of applause

Recognition can be a great morale booster and motivator. To acknowledge accomplishments and improve the atmosphere, try giving employees a round of applause. During meetings, you can announce achievements and invite participants to clap and cheer. Announcements do not need to be as momentous as “LaToya won an award!” or “Janet got a promotion!” You can incite a round of applause for occasions as mundane as, “We all made it to Thursday!” For added fun, you can download a Clap-o-meter app on your phone and rate your audience’s applause. Feel free to ask for a repeat if the initial results underwhelm. Like smiling or laughing, clapping and cheering, with reason or not, can make people happier.

If remote or in a quiet office, then you could launch a figurative round of applause instead. Simply dedicate a Slack channel or messaging thread to peer shout outs, then encourage employees to praise and react.

Conclusion

Quick morale boosters for employees are an easy and effective way to improve your team’s job satisfaction, engagement and performance. Almost all the items on this list are free or low-cost, meaning that you have little to lose, and a lot to gain.

Next, check out our article on team building tips, which can help sustain morale year-round

FAQ: Quick morale boosters for employees

Here are some of the most common questions and answers about quick morale boosters for employees.

What are quick morale boosters for employees?

Quick morale boosters for employees are fast ways to raise employee morale and productivity. Employee morale affects motivation, performance, and workplace relationships, in addition to long-term outcomes like staff turnover and brand reputation. A business’s success depends largely on the morale of the workforce, so leaders should routinely measure mood and aim to inspire employees.

What are the best quick morale boosters for employees?

Good work mood boosters are simple gestures that show employers care. The best quick morale boosters for employees include a food truck roundup, compliment tag, and team building activities.

What are tips for boosting morale and productivity in the workplace?

There are many methods for boosting morale and productivity in the workplace, and the most effective approach depends on your team and your leadership style. One way to ensure that your staff appreciates the gesture is to poll the office for ideas of quick pick-me-ups. You can also review what activities and effects resulted in positive behavior changes in the past.

For best results, you should select activities that accommodate and appeal to a wide audience so that the maximum number of employees can benefit.

Also, the amount of money spent does not directly correlate to the employee’s enjoyment. Though dedicating a budget to morale boosters can afford you more options, spending excessively may not translate into a big boost in sentiment. The thoughtfulness of the gesture and quality of the experience tend to be more powerful than the price tag.

Why are morale boosters important at work?

Your staff are human, with human needs and human moods. From time to time, your employees are likely to get bored or stressed. Morale boosters can help your teams unwind, re-energize, and refocus. Maintaining morale in the workplace is important, since high morale correlates with higher worker satisfaction, less turnover and absenteeism, and increased production. Not to mention, happy employees are more likely to speak favorably about employers, which means a positive reputation for your brand.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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