No matter how much you love your job, everyone needs a little pick-me-up now and again. If you’re the boss, or another person in charge of keeping your coworkers in good spirits, it can be a little draining to try and figure out what you can do to help. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of ideas (that range in budget, frequency, and effort required to prepare) for you to refer to when you need to spark some joy in the workplace.
At a job one of us used to work, the boss sent around idea cards, asking each person to submit their ideas for making the office more fun. The number one response? SNACKS.
You don’t need to invite a five-star caterer in once a week to keep your team happy, but keeping a steady supply of treats like granola bars, fruits and veggies, nuts, cereal, etc is a great way to show your team a little love. Most workplaces have coffee stations now because somewhere along the line we realized that people need a little boost. Add some snacks to that station and say goodbye to afternoon slumps.
Wait! We're not saying you need to take your team on vacation (though, if you can, surely they’d love it). Instead, be sure to encourage and allow them to actually use their vacation days. It may sound a bit cheesy, but you can pour from an empty cup and neither can the people you manage.
Think outside the box here because we’re talking about more than having days off. Remember the point about snacks? Adjust the treats according to your local holidays or even some of the fun and weird ones people forget about, like National Ice Cream Day. If it’s Valentine’s Day, bring in conversation hearts for people to grab with their snacks and coffee. Have a potluck style Thanksgiving lunch as a department. Go beyond food and encourage costumes at Halloween or do some small seasonal decorating. How you bring it to life is flexible and customizable. Make it as small, easy, and affordable as you want and then make it a tradition.
Make them personal, even if they’re small. Send a card around the office (or department) and have everyone write a message and sneak it into their desk with a dessert, one you know they’ll enjoy. Or you can host a quick, small party as an office with the person's favorite dessert for everyone. There are tons of options for exactly how to implement birthday celebrations, but the point is to make sure they know just how much you appreciate them!
Please don’t fill it with awkward icebreakers, but if you make it a point to have events for the purpose of everyone relaxing and getting to know one another a bit better then you can make the work days more pleasant and productive. It’ll improve communication amongst team members and who wouldn’t benefit from that? Plus, having friends at work is a vital part of enjoying where you work. If you can swing it, go on a staff retreat or getaway. If you can’t, consider more budget friendly options like everyone going out to happy hour, making a company team for a sport or two, or doing an activity together after work.
Have you ever tried one of these ideas? Are you planning to?
Let us know and be sure to check back next month for a new post!
-Apple Pie Painting