TGIF. You've worked hard all week, and so have your employees. As people start pondering what to watch on Netflix this weekend, production naturally goes down. But that's OK!
As long as you acknowledge this fact and make the best of it.
You need to capitalize on that relaxed mood. Take advantage of one (or more) of the following ideas to keep morale high and build loyalty in your employees:
1. Take your team out for lunch.
Great professional sports teams often share a meal together when they want to build chemistry. The San Antonio Spurs, America's most successful professional sports franchise, is well known for their team dinners. (Just check out this great pic.)
Sharing a meal together puts everyone on the same level and gives you a chance to see your colleagues from a different perspective.
Who said there's no free lunch? That was before you were the boss.
2. Try holding an "Office Olympics."
Remember that great episode of The Office where Jim and Pam organize Olympic-style events while Michael Scott's away searching for a new condo? Fun and hilarity ensue.
(If you think this just happens on TV, check out this real-life event put on by office furniture provider McCoy Workplace Solutions.)
Ah yes--some of my best workplace memories involve playing "Wastepaper Basketball." Perfect Friday team-building activity.
3. Set up a "Praise Meeting."
In his bestseller Give and Take, Adam Grant writes about "the impact vacuum." Often times, workers just don't realize the impact their hard work has on others. They tend to burn out because of a lack of positive feedback.
Try holding an impromptu meeting in which you share some accomplishments of the past month. If you feel it's short notice, you could ask each member of your team to tell you one thing they appreciated about an action recently performed by a colleague. In your meeting, read all the notes, and add a few of your own.
Praising positive actions from your employees reinforces good behavior, makes them feel good, and increases your appreciation for what they're doing. That's not win-win.
4. Write a personal note.
In this world of convenience, it's rare to receive a handwritten note anymore. The good news? That greatly increases the impact when you write one.
Take some time to write individual notes to a few of your employees. Tell them what you appreciate about them or how much they mean to the company, and why.
If it's sincere, it could have a much more far-reaching impact than you realize.
5. Let them go home.
What's the most precious gift you can give someone--even more valuable than money?
Giving employees a surprise afternoon off (or even just an extra hour or two) sends the message:
I know you work hard. Let me say thanks--by giving back something you value.
Want people to love your company? Realize there are other things they love more.
So what are you waiting for? Your employees' minds are already somewhere else; take advantage of that and do something they'll appreciate.
I'd love to hear from you: What are your ideas for a Fantastic Friday? Did you try one of these? Make sure to leave a comment below or tweet me @justinjbariso.