Boost Staff Morale Without Breaking the Bank

Five no-cost ways to boost staff satisfaction.

August 25, 2011
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

3. Tell success stories

Even if they brush off praise or downplay their achievements, everyone loves to be recognized and complimented. When someone in your organization has done something great, tell her you noticed her outstanding work—and tell the rest of the team, too.

Whether correctly or incorrectly, many employees believe their leaders take them for granted and only point out their mistakes. Make it your daily mission to change that perception.

4. Identify stars

Identifying top performers takes the success stories to the next level. Although some employees are skeptical about “employee of the month” programs, no one will turn down the honor.

Instead of singling out just one person, consider recognizing multiple individuals every month, Patkin advises.

5. Make it a family affair

Whenever possible, engage employees’ families when praising them—such as leaving a long, glowing message an employee’s home voicemail.

This will buoy the employee’s performance by the people he or she care about most.

Having a leader validate all the hours each team member spends at work will be remembered far longer than a bonus.

“Showing people love, appreciation, and respect trumps money just about every time when it comes to building long-term motivation and boosting employee morale and loyalty,” Patkin says. “When you take the time to make your employees feel valued, they’ll know that you care about them on a more personal level, and they’ll be much happier at work.

“You have nothing to lose and everything to gain—including an improved bottom line—by making your organization as happy a place to work as possible.”

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive