by Julie Dellinger, Marketing Director
If you’re wandering around the Hertzbach office on a Wednesday afternoon during tax season, it is very possible that you’ll hear the battle cry of “FRUITY WEDNESDAY” followed by a stampede of people heading in the direction of the kitchen. No, we’re not trying to keep an outbreak of scurvy under control; this is just one of our activities that we’ve found is successful in building employee morale.
It’s no secret that people who work in the accounting profession feel increased stress in the months leading up to April 15th. General symptoms of stress can include headaches, sleep difficulty, feelings of frustration and even an increased chance of coming down with colds or the flu. In order to keep a mentally and physically healthy Hertzbach, we push our year-round morale program into high gear from January – April.
By offering our staff perks like an evening of seated massages, a catered omelet breakfast, gift certificate drawings each Friday and even those famous Fruity Wednesdays, we help them reduce their stress and anxiety. We feel that creating a positive work atmosphere results in increased employee satisfaction and retention, as well as increased productivity. When someone is happy and passionate about their work, the positive attitude also affects our client relationships.
Even companies that don’t have a busy tax season each year can benefit from an employee morale program. Employee turnover is expensive and having an effective morale program can be a great way to encourage employee retention.
Here are some tips to help boost employee morale:
· Food is a great motivator. Help them wake up on a sleepy Monday morning by providing gourmet coffee choices or a surprise box of donuts. Reward your hard workers by treating them to lunch occasionally to keep their spirits high.
· Recognize their accomplishments. If someone is getting married, having a child or even running a marathon, take a moment out of your day to congratulate them and make them feel like a valued member of your team. Also, it’s nice to award your employees for their years of service at your company. We award service plaques on each 5 year anniversary (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, etc.).
· Offer bonuses for a job well done. Give your employees a goal to work towards and reward their accomplishments. At Hertzbach if an employee exceeds a minimum number of work hours during tax season, they are rewarded with a bonus!
· Have a staff picnic or holiday party. Many employees enjoy the chance to socialize with their coworkers outside of a work environment. Give them the opportunity to get to know each other better by taking your group to an Orioles game, cruise around Baltimore or bowling alley.
At Hertzbach, we feel that a happy employee is a productive employee. This just might be one reason that our firm has won the Baltimore Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” award for two years in a row (2009 and 2010)!