Company A offers you an excellent salary. So does Company B. Company
A offers you health benefits and an office with a window. So does Company
B. Company A orders pizza once a month. But Company B just hired a full-time
morale booster -- someone entirely dedicated to making sure employees are
happy. Which would you choose?
Employee morale matters. It has a direct impact on job performance
and a company's productivity. So new job titles have been popping up. These
include culture manager, culture czar, culture coordinator, culture maestro,
morale booster, chief morale officer -- to name a few.
Each company may have a different name for this job. But the overall objective
is similar -- to maintain open communication between employees and management
and to make employees feel valued and happy in their work.
The tasks of each morale booster will vary greatly. Here are a few examples
of what they might do:
- Develop and implement perk systems
- Create an employee survey to gain feedback
- Offer a suggestion box
- Give out employee recognition awards
- Send out friendly e-mails
- Help find a lost button
- Offer luncheons to encourage communication and feedback
- Organize parties
The hiring of morale boosters is still in its infancy stage. Most companies
haven't taken that step yet. But there is overwhelming evidence that businesses
are becoming more aware of their office culture. Companies are coming up with
different strategies to keep employee turnover to a minimum. Some have tried
to educate their managers and human resources staff on how to keep employees
Roger Ghegin is the chair of communications for a human resources association.
He says it's the bigger companies that would have the resources to hire a
full-time morale booster. But even smaller companies are making changes toward
a better cultural atmosphere. "If you're growing and not keeping people --
you're toast," says Ghegin.
He emphasizes that although they don't hold a specific "culture" title,
many managers or workers have a similar job. One example is that of the human
resources manager. "They are more savvy and sensitive to culture [today],"
Jana Bertheaume is the vice-president of employee development and recruiting
at an IT consulting company. "We feel it is necessary for managers to understand
and value the culture in order for them to manage appropriately in that type
of environment," she says.
"If you don't believe in what you are saying, employees won't build that
trust level with you as a manager. If you believe and act the same as the
values of the organization, you build character and trust with your employees."
It seems that most businesses hiring full-time morale boosters are undergoing
rapid growth. Once management can't remember everyone's name, something needs
to be done to keep that family atmosphere.
Lara Bosin Buettner was one of the first culture maestros in the D.C. area,
according to a Washington Post article. Because she now oversees more than
450 workers, she decided to clone herself and hire regional culture directors
in the company's far-off branches.
According to the article, her everyday tasks include running the team building
program, presiding over a company-wide employee survey and matching new employees
with veterans who can answer basic questions about how to fill out a time
sheet or find the coffee pot.
Morale boosters come from a variety of educational backgrounds. Some have
a background in human resources, marketing or hospitality. Some may have worked
their way up through the company on a great personality.
Investing in employees is the best gift a growing company can offer. When
company morale is high, workers tend to stay. When resources allow it, the
hiring of a full-time morale booster is the best insurance plan a business
could have. And paying for one is a lot more economical than trying to replace
the talent that left for better perks elsewhere.
Morale-Building Bolsters Bottom Line
Companies are recognizing the need for happy employees
Keep an Eye on Morale
How small businesses can boost staff morale
Stress Management: Corporate Culture
How improving corporate culture can reduce stress