3 tips to help boost company morale without much money
As the head of a company, you most likely already know how important it is to ensure that you do your best to create a good working environment for your employees. However, you may feel that this is a difficult task to accomplish without giving out raises or bonuses.
RELATED TOPIC: 3 ways to help keep your employees healthy
Depending on your company’s financial state, you may not be able to afford to give out money every time an employee goes above and beyond the call of duty, or when the team accomplishes a goal that should definitely be rewarded.
Therefore, we’ve put together a list of ways in which you can show gratitude for your worker’s hard work without spending a lot of money. After all, if you want to keep an easy, even environment at the office, then it’s very important to show each and every one of your employees that you appreciate them and the work they do for you and the company.
It starts with caring
If you want your employees to believe that you care about them, then show that you actually do. For example, it’s important to recognize every single employee’s birthday. Not only birthdays, but take a (small) interest in their personal lives by sending gifts for new babies and weddings. In doing so, you will make your employees feel loved and valued as team family members and human beings.
Bottom line: If you want to make sure your employees are doing good work, then make sure they are happy and feel appreciated.
Recognize good work
If an employee is doing good work, tell them. Recognize individuals on your team who are doing hard work that stands out amongst clients. If you want your employees to do good work or strive to do better, then it’s important for them to feel that their efforts are being recognized. This recognition will only motive employees to go above and beyond.
Of course, don’t be afraid to give negative feedback—it’s how employees learn. However, when doing so, make sure it’s in private courters, one on one. Also, make sure your criticism is constructive, allowing the employee to recognize what he or she did wrong and how it can be fixed for future encounters.
A little appreciation goes a long way
As mentioned, you may not be able to give employees bonuses or raises, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. For example, consider giving away a massage each month. You can even reward employees by allowing top ones to work from home once a month, leave early on Fridays or by having a catered lunch at the office each month. These are just a few inexpensive ways to show your employees that you appreciate them.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid to have fun in (and out) of the office. Consider throwing summer parties with bonfires, holiday get-togethers and Friday afternoon happy hours. You want your employees to know that the success of the company couldn’t be possible without each and every one of them.
RELATED TOPIC: 4 ways to motivate employees and increase productivity
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.