For and against: Team functions can boost morale

Having a sound relationship with colleagues increases motivation and attitudes towards work. Informal get-togethers are also important.

Christmas parties for instance have a positive knock on-into the workplace.

They are part of the reward package, a way of giving people credit in a social environment. Social events organised by the company can make your staff feel valued as being part of a greater cause.

Companies are investing more and more in internal communication strategies as a way of boosting morale and performance at work – an increasing number see it as a core function of the HR department.

A recent survey of directors in 35 FTSE-250 companies shows the growing status of communications. According to the research over three-quarters of respondents anticipated communications budget increases of up to 50% over the next three years with one third already reporting budgets amounting to over POunds 1m.

Internal communications has become a challenge for businesses but one that cannot be overlooked. Exel, after merging with Ocean Group, tackled their potential communication problems by ensuring that everyone in the company was informed of decisions at the same time as the market. The belief in the merger by workers and employees resulted in an increase in new business contracts worth more than Pounds 300m. But even simple things such as being well treated at work can greatly increase the loyalty of employees and reduce the cost of labour turnover.

By encouraging a good work-life balance, including promoting activities usually done out of work to be done during work; for example gym membership and concierge services, can have positive effects all round.

Opportunities for employees to network in social surroundings increases both performance and motivation at work.

  • Frances Wilson is CIPD adviser in international HR.

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