Since office employees spend a majority of their lives working for others, the workspace should be a place where they feel comfortable and appreciated. A way to do that is to offer office incentives to workers. Office incentives will build relationships between employees, and between employees and managers. They will also make day-to-day work at the office more enjoyable for everyone.
While the office must stay a place of focus and seriousness, social activity among co-workers will motivate and energise them. Community activities include after-work parties and introduction sessions for new members of the team. A manager can create more business-related community by scheduling meeting time where the office crew gives feedback to management on projects and issues of concern.
Think of a minor improvement to make around the office. Turn the improvement into a game instead of a task. For example, everyone caught leaving a high-energy appliance running overnight has to wear an embarrassing, but not degrading, sign. Games with rewards work just as well, especially when used as a prelude to a weekend office party. For example, say that the party will have a nautical theme. A game during the week could involve using sea related nicknames such as Captain Ahab, or Ariel The Little Mermaid. Whoever finds a hidden, sea related object, such as a plastic starfish, brings the object to an office worker chosen as referee and scores a point. The person with the most points by the time of the party wins a sea themed prize, such as a movie from everyone’s childhood involving the sea. Avoid any competition that hits too close to home. A contest that relates to work performance may cause office workers to wonder if you want to stimulate the workplace or weed out weaker performers.
Schedule catering on the first day or through the whole time of a special work week or period. Collect catering ideas, then have a vote on which caterer the employees would prefer. Better yet, bring in food occasionally that you made for them yourself. A personal touch builds community among employees.
Workers need to know that you notice a good job as well as a bad one. Include a positive note along with their quarterly work evaluations. Stop a staff member in the hall, calling the worker by name. Tell her what a nice job she did on that recent project or report.
Nothing beats getting paid more. Attach a bonus to the salary of each employee who meets a special quota or makes improvements that you want to see in office performance.
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