Our Workplace Is Stressful. What Can I Do to Improve Morale?
Susan Esposito, president of Creative Marketing Specialties, in Scotch Plains, N.J., helped snap her staff out of the doldrums by encouraging exercise. Esposito has started urging employees at the $3.3-million promotional-marketing company, most of whom spend endless hours on the phone, to exercise during their lunch hours and track what they do. Every three months, the most physically active staffer gets a prize. To reward the most recent winner, who had lost 14 pounds in three months, Esposito jokingly made a paper trophy, splattered with computer clip art and stamped "Fitness Champion." Esposito says the prize -- which, much to her surprise, the employee displayed proudly atop her computer -- isn't the point. What matters, she explains, is that employees take healthful breaks. "You have to be happy and have a positive attitude to be good at customer service," she says. "That's hard when you're spending eight hours a day sitting at a desk."