A happy employee is a productive employee. That is why it is in your best interests to learn how to boost employee morale as an entrepreneur. Being in a startup is inherently stressful, and you will need every trick in the book to ensure that the pressure doesn’t crush your team. Here are 7 ways you can keep employees motivated and working hard, no matter what:

1. Shift to a Shorter Work Week
Many studies have shown that throwing more work hours at a task does not necessarily result in higher productivity. Going with a six day work week, for example, is more likely to lead to mass burnout rather than getting more tasks accomplished. Instead, go the opposite direction. Shift your office to a four-to five day work week. Doing so allows your employees to live better lives outside the office, get higher quality rest, and makes the days they are at the office more efficient and productive.

2. Get the Team Under Natural Sun Light
Natural sunlight impacts the human body differently from manmade lights. Being under the sun can drastically improve mood and nourishment through vitamin D. If possible, open up the office windows and let the light in. Alternatively, you can encourage people to spend more time outdoors through activities or events to get more sun onto them.

3. Keep a Goal Tracker
Not knowing how far along the company is to its goals and milestones can grind away at an employee’s morale. They can feel like their efforts are going nowhere. Keep that from happening by tracking goals and distance to milestones. Even a vague gauge that slowly fills up the closer the team gets to completing a task can keep morale going

4. Recognize Critical Achievements
Nothing gets morale going like public recognition, and if you have a good team, there will always be something to recognize. Make it a special and weekly event. If you have the resources, you can also offer a reward of some sort. It does not have to be compensation. Even a cake or gift card can work well.

5. Incentivize Employees with Rewards and Bonuses
If you want a motivator, look no further than rewards and bonuses. You do not even have to tie them to achievements. Make them more fun, such as awards for having great jokes or a well-decorated cubicle.

6. Plan Team-Building Activities
Push your employees too hard for too long, and you will end up making them feel like cogs in a machine. Those feelings can eat away at their self-esteem and mood, damaging their engagement and ultimately limiting their productivity. Don’t forget to treat your employees like people. Let them just socialize with their team members, even remotely, with team-building activities. Even a few minutes of dedicated “hanging out” time can develop relationships between team members and cheer them up.

7. Encourage Physical Exercise
A person’s physical state can directly impact their mood and productivity. Sickly or unhealthy people will find it difficult to keep a smile on their face and their heads in the game. Encouraging your team to stay fit – or at least physically active – can help mitigate issues common in office workers and work from home employees. To help them along, you can lead by example by exercising yourself.

Keeping employee morale up as an entrepreneur can be difficult, especially in the precedent set by the coronavirus epidemic of 2020, but it is far from impossible. You just need to make the effort and put due focus on your employees’ mental and emotional health.

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