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Monday, August 7, 2023

8 Ways to Boost Staff Morale in Your School This Year

Boosting staff morale in a school environment is an ongoing process, but one that is well worth it! Schools with high staff morale are likely to be more enjoyable work environments and ultimately serve our students better. If you're hoping to find fresh new ways to keep morale high by encouraging teachers, administrators, and other school staff members,  you're in luck! I've got eight fun ways to boost staff morale in your school all year long. 

Boost staff morale in your school this year with these awesome ideas everyone is sure to love.

Staff Morale Matters 

Whether you're an administrator, on the PTO, or running a "sunshine committee" in your school, staff morale is a vital piece of the puzzle for a happy school community. Anyone who works in the school system knows a lot goes into it! Aside from the workload itself, interacting with young children and their families requires a lot of emotional energy as well.

Keeping staff morale high in your school will be the key to success this school year.
Our school workers are facing challenging situations regularly, working long hours, and truly trying to make an impact. 

It's obvious that this type of work, though incredibly rewarding, can also be draining. In other words, we need to ensure that we're filling those cups as often as we empty them!

One of the best ways to do this is by guiding staff toward relationships and building a sense of community. 

There are many ways to do this, but some are more effective than others for community building. As a long-time member of the sunshine committee at our school (who also had a teacher's perspective), a few things stood out among the rest.

If you're unsure where to start, I've got you covered! Here are 8 of my favorite ways to boost staff morale and help facilitate meaningful connections. 

1. Staff Favorites Booklet 

This first idea is such a fun one to set in place at the beginning of the year since it will come in handy over and over again. Think about this - have you ever wanted to show appreciation to a friend or colleague but weren't quite sure what they liked? I know this happened to me on more than one occasion! Because of this, I created a booklet that would hold all of the staff "favorites" in one neat little spot. 

To use, have all staff members fill out their own favorites page at the beginning of the year. The booklet asks things like:
Use a staff favorites booklet like this at the beginning of the year to learn about what your staff loves and treat them to some of their favorites to help boost staff morale throughout the year.
  • favorite hot & cold drinks 
  • favorite sweet & salty treats
  • favorite pens
  • favorite store
  • favorite restaurant, and more!
Once you've got everyone's page back, make multiple copies (I made 8 for our school) and place them in plastic sleeves in a 3-ring binder. The plastic sleeves allow for easy updates. You can organize the pages alphabetically and use alphabet dividers if desired as well. Place the books in strategic areas around the school like team workrooms, in the office, near the copy machines, etc. 

Staff can then access the book of favorites anytime they like to show random acts of kindness to fellow staff members. This is a simple project for the beginning of the year, and it pays off over time!

2. Staff Goodie Bags 

Another one of my favorite ways to boost staff morale is with fun little goodie bags that can be used any time of year. You really don't need a special occasion for these, but they're great for:
  • staff appreciation day 
  • back to school 
  • holiday breaks 
  • just for fun 

These little goodie bags feature festive bag toppers, a fun list of reminders, and small tokens of appreciation. Some of the things included are objects like post-its to remind staff to "stick with it and persevere" and tea to "take time to relax."

These simple and inexpensive items, along with the fun little printable and baggie toppers, always make staff smile! However, the best part of these bags is how quick they are to prep. Choose a bag topper, print your materials, and fill it with goodies, that's it!

3. Editable Staff Birthday Chart 

If you're looking for a fun way to celebrate staff birthdays, you need a birthday chart! 

Use this editable staff birthday chart to help boost staff morale by making sure everyone feels important and remembered on their special day.
This resource will help everyone stay on top of staff birthdays and make planning celebrations simple. 

We all know how hard it can be to remember ALL birthdays when you have a large staff body. 

This Editable Birthday Chart is super simple to use and will make this process easier. At a meeting, have staff jot down their name and birthday on a post-it note and collect them. 

Once you're ready, enter the info into the document, and it will automatically populate it by day and month.

Finally, print it out, and hang up each monthly chart or a few at a time to help everyone remember their colleague's birthdays. 

4. Staff Morale Scratch Off-Tickets 

If you're looking for a fun way to reward staff throughout the year, you'll love these Scratch-off Tickets! 

Scratch off tickets like these can boost staff morale with fun seasonal themed rewards your staff will love.
They're aligned with seasonal themes like back to school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, December holidays, and more! So you can use them all year long. They feature fun rewards like:
  • jeans day 
  • recess coverage 
  • special treat provided
  • prime parking and more! 
These rewards help keep staff motivated and will add some fun to your monthly meetings. 

To use, you'll choose which rewards to feature and print enough for your staff. You can print them on scratch-off paper or use the DIY scratch-off paint recipe included in the resource. 

Either way, this will be a fun way to mix things up and boost staff morale all year long! 

5. Chalk Marker Messages 

Another one of my favorite things to do to help boost staff morale is to leave little messages on mirrors and windows. You can do this by purchasing some chalk markers like these. 

Use chalk markers like these to write fun notes on mirrors to show your appreciation for your staff and boost staff morale in a fun way.
Simply write a fun message, joke, or inspirational quote on bathroom mirrors or staff lounge windows. 

You can swap these out every week to keep it interesting or leave the markers out for staff to write their own messages. 

I've also used these on a chalkboard in the staff lounge for encouragement and kind notes to fellow staff members. 

Just leave a jar of markers, and get the process started by writing a few compliments to staff members. Soon others will follow, and your board will be filled with kind notes! 

The options for this idea are endless and really help boost staff morale and build relationships. 

6. Set Up a Breakfast Cart 

One of the BEST ways to offer opportunities to build relationships is through events with food! All cultures and communities typically come together through feasting of some kind! This is also true for your school community. Special meals are a great way to show appreciation and help bring people together to socialize and spark conversations.
A breakfast cart like this is a great way to boost staff morale with delicious goodies every month.

I loved to help facilitate this with a fun breakfast cart once per month. In my school, our teams would take turns hosting the breakfast cart as sort of a potluck-style activity. 

I did this with a sign-up sheet that allowed each team to choose the month they'd like to sign up for in advance. We picked dates ahead of time and assigned a month to each team. 

Then, once the date grew near, we used sign-up sheets for that team to allot who would bring what. In the resource I created for facilitating a monthly staff breakfast, there are also reminder signs and cute decorations for the cart itself. 

Everyone loved being a part of this monthly activity; it was a great way to build relationships among staff! 

7. Staff Address Book 

When I was still in the classroom, we lost access to the district-wide address book at one point.

Use a staff address book like this as a way to encourage everyone to send special thank you cards, get well cards, or notes of encouragement which will build staff morale throughout the year.
Because of this, we could no longer find the contact info of our colleagues. When this happened, I made a staff address book for everyone to opt into instead. 

This came in so handy whenever we wanted to send a special act of kindness or celebrate a staff member. Some reasons you might want an address book are so that you're able to send the following:
  • thank you cards 
  • get well cards 
  • congratulations on a new baby 
  • birthday cards 
  • encouragement to someone facing a difficult time
  • just because notes
Having this book available to staff is a great way to encourage closer connections among staff. Simply have staff members fill them out at the beginning of the year and bind them into a book stored in the staff lounge. You'll use this one again and again! 

8. Orange You Glad It's Friday?! 

This last one is a simple and fun way to put a smile on staff members' faces. 

Use cute printable tags like these to go with special treats to show you care and boost staff morale throughout the year.
These cute printable tags pair perfectly with oranges as a fun Friday treat. 

You can print these tags off in full color or black and white on orange Astrobrights paper. 

Then, grab a bunch of oranges, mandarins, or cuties and place them in a large bowl. 

Post the tags on the door of the staff lounge, and scatter them around the table where the bowl of oranges is for a fun surprise. 

Staff will love grabbing a healthy sweet treat to celebrate Friday any time of year! 

Focus on Community Building to Keep Staff Morale High 

I hope these ideas helped inspire you in new ways to boost staff morale all year long. If you can't decide on a favorite, be sure to check out the Staff Morale "Super Big" Bundle. This bundle will make planning meaningful staff activities simple and fun no matter what time of year it is. 

Grab this Staff Morale Super Big Bundle for all kids of ideas and resources to help build staff morale in your school this year.

Above all, when choosing activities to boost staff morale in your school, think about ways for staff to connect. After all, many of us are genuinely looking for a way to feel understood, connect on difficult issues, and share in like-minded conversations. These types of experiences help build strong bonds in your school community and often cost little to facilitate. 

Your staff will appreciate opportunities to chat, socialize, and check in with each other. No matter which activities you choose to include, focus on making sure connection is at the heart of them! 

Save This Post 

This post is jam-packed with fun ideas to boost staff morale! Pin it on Pinterest to keep these ideas handy! 

Looking for fun and easy ways to show your staff how much you appreciate them this year. Build staff morale with these fun ideas you can use all year long to show your staff you see how hard they work and how much you care for them. #tarynsuniquelearning #buildingstaffmorale #ideasforbuildingstaffmorale #keepingstaffmoralehigh

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