The importance of employee engagement is on the rise.

If you have unhappy employees, they won’t be engaged and won’t work effectively.

You’ll lose their productivity and performance, resulting in wasted money. And this extends to all staff members — from entry-level staff members to executives.

Employee morale is not only important for your staff. It’s important for your organization as a whole.

What’s the secret to motivated employees? You can increase employee morale, inspiring your staff to stay engaged and to make the job an enjoyable place.

Here are 10 surprising ways you can improve employee morale.

Post-It Note Compliments

Everyone likes a compliment, especially your staff. But you don’t have all the time to break away from your busy day and have a one-on-one chat with a staff member.

While they’re gone, write a compliment on a sticky note and post it in their office. They will return to work with a surprise compliment, inspiring them for the rest of the day.

You don’t have to restrict your post-it note fun to random compliments. Draw a silly picture on a post-it note and hang it at someone’s desk or in the break room.

Be Weird

Are you a weird business owner? Good — be weird! A weird workplace is a fun workplace.

Weirdness lightens the mood and makes your staff feel more comfortable. Your weirdness may also create your company culture and branding.

However, there are times you’ll want to tone down the weirdness. For example, you don’t want to dress in a Halloween costume when you meet with a major client.

Fail of the Week

Do you have “employee of the week?” Good, you should! What about “fail of the week?” That seems a little unfair, right? Not if you get the whole staff involved.

Every Friday toward the end of work, gather your staff for the “fail of the week” meeting.

Everyone can share their fails — whether it be related to work or not. This exercise is silly but it helps reassure that no one needs to be perfect, decreasing the pressures at the office.

Express Gratitude

At these same meetings, you and your staff can express gratitude for someone in the office.

For example, let’s say a staff member had a difficult client and they still got the sale. Or let’s say you hired someone new and they’ve been crushing it.

Get your staff involved. Let them express gratitude for one of their colleagues.

Expressing gratitude for your staff will help improve their mood and will influence them to work harder.

Thirsty Thursday

Thirsty Thursday is a classic. But this happy hour approach can get lame and cheesy really quick. Instead, spice it up by choosing a different staff member to think of the week’s Thirsty Thursday theme.

Want to settle for dinner and drinks at your favorite restaurant? What about getting the staff to join you at the new barcade? There are many Thirsty Thursday options when the whole staff joins in.

Don’t want to drink alcohol? No problem. You can use this same idea and apply it to a sober Thirsty Thursday, such as spending the evening at the local coffee shop.

The goal is to spend time with your staff outside of the office. This helps you all come together as a family rather than as workers.

Employee Event Night

You can also take Thirsty Thursdays a step farther and create Employee Event Night. Take a day out of every month and let a staff member choose a fun event to attend.

Examples include a paintball tournament, a movie premiere, and an amusement park day.

If you prefer keeping employee events productive, you can create a game to improve working skills. Examples include a scavenger hunt and team-building exercises.

Buy Food

Don’t have all the time in the world to meet for Thirsty Thursday? Buying meals for the office will make anyone happy.

Seriously, who doesn’t like food? And who doesn’t like free food? If all employee morale tips fail, this one is sure to win your staff over.

You also have options when buying food. You can choose snacks to display constantly or you can buy full meals for lunch.

There’s another reason to buy food for your employees. Full bellies mean more energy and productivity. What more do you want from your staff members?

Morning Coffee

Food isn’t the only commodity your staff wants. No one will say no to free coffee — especially on Monday morning.

Offer free coffee for your staff. They can have a cup of coffee from the convenience of your office and will immediately perk up.

But should you settle for low-quality and cheap coffee? Buy the gourmet blends or get coffee delivered from your favorite coffee shop.

Offer Complimentary Services and Perks

Everyone likes free stuff. While coffee and food are popular options, they’re pretty bland. Instead, think outside the box to see what other free perks and services you can provide for employees.

Treat your staff to an Uber or Lyft gift card regularly. In case your staff members are partying, you can rest assured they’re not driving.

Ridesharing can also help give them a ride to work or other places such as the airport.

Want to decrease employee back problems? Offer regular massages for staff members. Reward your staff with gift cards or see if you can find a masseuse who can set up their service at your office.

Other great examples include a complimentary haircut, free gym memberships, and even car washes or laundry service.

Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are a traditional way of honoring those who work hard. You don’t have to work in the service to give your staff members a challenge coin.

Custom coin design makes it easy to personalize your coins for your office.

Give a company challenge coin to a staff member who works hard.

Improve Your Employee Morale

Improving employee morale will improve employee performance and productivity. Do you still notice your staff isn’t working as hard? They could be stealing time. Here’s what you need to know.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.