Boosting employee morale is one of the big tasks for owners and managers.
It seems today that burnout is real. It’s difficult for people to unconnect and unwind from their daily work lives.
Even in their personal lives there is a lot going on. We’re always connected to the world. We have little hits of dopamine at our fingertips and it’s proving to be challenging to unwind.
If you’re looking to help your employees and earn goodwill without necessarily paying them more (which we’ll assume you’re doing anyway), here is one good idea…
Investing In Afterwork Activities
I just finished reading about the Dodge Brothers.
We all know the Dodge car brand. I never knew the history of the brand.
Turns out, the Dodge Brothers started as machinists making parts for the early Ford Company. That’s how the brothers made their millions.
Then, knowing that Henry Ford would eventually make his own cars, the Dodges started their own brand and grew their fortune even more.
But sadly their involvement in their own car company ended after about 5 or 6 years when they both contracted influenza and died in the same year, 1920. The company stayed in family hands for just a few more years before being sold to an investment firm and then to Chrysler.
Something the Dodge Brothers believed in was investing in employee activities that occurred outside of work.
In the early 1900s, baseball and softball were big activities. Dodge would hear about the leagues that the employees were starting and participating in and they would help fund things. They would pay for uniforms and equipment.
And they did this for more than just baseball. They would invest in activities for kids and for others in the community.
The Dodges believed that workers performed better when they had these hobbies and activities.
And they were right.
One key caveat with this tactic, though, is that the Dodges didn’t dictate what the employees were doing. They didn’t start a baseball league and tell employees that it was what they had to do.
Instead, the brothers and the managers at their company would wait to see what the employees wanted to do and then they would provide the money. No judgment. No dictating.
Some activities worked out very well. Others kind of floundered. The Dodges didn’t seem to play favorites.
This approach allowed the employees autonomy. The company knew that when the employees were at work that there was a certain level of dictatorship. But they knew that humans need a certain level of control over their own lives.
That’s why they funded so many afterwork activities without any strings attached.
If you’re looking to provide a benefit to your employees, this is a great idea. It’s been around for over a century. The Dodge Brothers did it very well. You don’t need to reinvent things. Follow their lead and invest in the activities your employees want to be involved in and it will work out to everyone’s benefit.