20 Ways to Improve Staff Morale for $100 or Less

April 21, 2011

We asked physicians, consultants, and staffers to share some of their best ideas on how to boost staff morale for $100 or less. Here are 20 of our favorites.

Your staff works hard, and you want to show them how much you appreciate it. But you also don’t want to break the bank. So we asked physicians, consultants, and staffers to share some of their best ideas on how to boost staff morale for $100 or less. Here are 20 of our favorites.

1. Celebrate "May flowers" by giving every employee a flower (this also works for Valentine’s Day).

2. Hold a Cinco de Mayo theme-party: Encourage everyone to wear a sombrero and bring in a Mexican lunch.

3. Say thank you when someone steps up to the plate in times of high demand or stress (create a calendar reminder so you don’t forget!).

4. In lieu of a simple webinar course (on coding, EHRs, or any other topic), host a webinar pizza party in place of a staff meeting.

5. Go beyond cake and offer staff members two hours of paid time off the afternoon of their birthday.

6. Be more personable: give good, sincere feedback accolades occasionally. Listen carefully.

7. Give staff a small marketing budget and have them form a committee to come up with innovative ways to promote the practice.

8. Have a really cool prize (such as an iPod shuffle, which costs about $60) for the best suggestion on how to solve a pressing problem.

9. Create an anonymous suggestion box, and encourage staff to use it.

10. Give each employee a paid day off to work with the charity of their choice, once a quarter.

11. Hold a monthly potluck (and have the physicians cook too).

12. Have staff happy hours occasionally: Gather in the break room for a beer or glass of wine and hors d'oeuvres.

13. Give out cards and gift cards on their birthdays.

14. Decorate the office for holidays.

15. In December, have holiday cards printed from the practice, and in addition to the physicians' names, put staff members' names on them, too.

16. Hold a holiday cookie swap and "secret Santa" party.

17. Don't forget to say "please" and "thank you."

18. Take staff on a group outing occasionally.

19. If there are leftovers from a rep lunch, make sure staff gets dibs on taking them home.

20. Ask employees to bring in their kids' artwork. Then, post around the office (or on a big bulletin board).

Marisa Torrieri is associate editor at Physicians Practice. She can be reached at marisa.torrieri@ubm.com.

This article originally appeared in the May 2011 issue of Physicians Practice.