There is a lot to be said about this topic in business. There’s a plethora of articles out there about how you should bring in pizza or have special events. Get a pool table or schedule some “free” time for employees.
But what actually works? What do employees actually care about? Well everyone is going to be different. However there are some universal needs we all have that can be used to improve Morale.
Money- We all need Money to some extent. I have yet to see an employee who has gotten a raise, however small, and said they should leave a company or that they didn’t have a great day, week, or month. I am a firm believer that one of the worst things a company can do is underpay an employee while telling them how much they are valued.
Time- Allowing for flexible scheduling can make up for thousands of dollars. In some situations, this is not possible. But when possible, allowing someone to come in 15 minutes late to drop off their kids and leave 15 minutes late to make up for that, or even stretching that by an hour or two hours generally breeds loyalty.
Trust- Trust has the highest ROI in my book. There’s little you can do that speaks to a person more than trusting them. Tracking every keystroke is not trust. Allowing employees to make decisions empowers them and it breeds attachment. You cannot buy trust. You must earn it.