Businesses faced many obstacles in 2020. From some businesses adjusting to new safety measures to watching the news for updates, to closing temporarily, it has been busy. Finding the time and resources to boost employee engagement may have been difficult to do. One thing to keep in mind as businesses plan for 2021, is that improving employee morale doesn't have to be complicated. Plus, all the effort put into boosting morale has the potential for a huge payoff. Employees who enjoy going to work are more motivated, collaborative, and likely to go beyond expectations. There are other benefits too. Businesses that boost employee morale can Triple their profitsStrengthen their employee productivityHalve their employee turnoverImprove customer experience Sources: greatplacetowork.com, gallup.com There is no need for big-budget-expense perks to keep your employees engaged. Small, thoughtful gestures are enough to show employees that they are trusted and respected. That's what they truly need at the end of the day. Here are simple ways to boost employee morale in the workplace: 1. Promote work-life balance If your workplace allows, try offering flexible hours which will allow employees to balance their home life demands with work so they can be more productive and less stressed. Reduce the amount of overtime that may be required and make sure regular breaks are available to all employees. While it might seem counterintuitive, breaks actually have a positive impact. Proper rest and recovery are essential to keeping productivity high. You can also encourage vacation time and truly disconnecting from work which some employees may struggle with, especially those working from home. 2. Place more emphasis on productivity and collaboration In some cases, all that employees need is help re-prioritizing to-dos and projects. Other times, the workload might be overwhelming, so try divvying up the tasks with other team members. Have managers do check-ins at the beginning and end of the week, asking employees what their priorities are on Monday and how everything went on Friday. That way, you'll know what's going on behind the scenes. 3. Remind employees of available mental health support services The past year has been stressful and challenging for everyone in different ways. Employees may have overlooked the state of their mental health or be unsure about what services are available to them. A reminder on the team's bulletin board may be the encouragement an employee needs to seek help.Other ways you can promote mental health are by sharing free resources or stress-reducing activities and keeping and open dialogue. Reminding employees that they are heard and by showing empathy, you can be a positive source for them. 4. Host a virtual celebration Give employees a reason to celebrate; mark milestones with a virtual get-together that is fun and appropriate. One way might be to encourage employees to bring their cocktails or dress up. You could also deliver food to their doorstep or have ice breakers before the meeting. 5. Increase communication and provide training opportunities Create one-on-one annual check-ins to help employees reach their goals. Listen to employees' suggestions and feedback. Initiate laidback communication when you can, ask team members about their weekends, or share lighthearted jokes and GIFs. Share free webinars or learning resources to help employees improve their skills. 6. Recognize birthdays and important life events Having our important life events recognized feels good. It's an easy way to show employees they're appreciated. All it takes is a 'happy birthday' or 'welcome to the team!' message in the team's group chat. If you want to go the extra mile, sharing a custom gift such as a grow kit, journal, or notepad with your company logo can help strength their connection to the brand. 7. Start a team-building activity Connecting with team members improves communication and collaboration. Try organizing a safe team activity that employees can do in a distanced way. Some of those activities could include virtual wellness classes or inviting employees to a lunch-and-learn series. 8. Express Gratitude Employees who feel appreciated for their good work are more likely to keep doing good work. Consider giving appreciation gifts for significant contributions. Read our post on employee appreciation ideas for inspiration. Make sure 2021 is a better year by giving your employees the boost they need. The result might be a happier team and a more successful business too! Learn more about how you can incorporate eco-friendly seed paper into your next corporate promotion by subscribing to our newsletter and downloading our full Seed Paper Promotions Catalog.