I love that our creative team goes the extra mile on a regular basis to meet our clients’ needs, so it’s important to me that in the midst of all the dedication, busyness, and deadlines I make sure to introduce some stress-buster moments for the team.

Stress busters can be done very economically and without taking our focus away from our clients’ deadlines. The most important thing they accomplish is that they allow the team to feel the appreciation they deserve, which boosts morale and re-energizes them.

Staff who are de-stressed and feel appreciated produce the best edutainment creative, so stress busters are win-win for clients and agencies alike.

Here are four ideas I’ve used for staff morale boosters that haven’t interrupted our agency’s workflow:

Morale Cartoon

1. Bring your best friend to the office.

A cute, calm well-behaved doggie at work is wonderful for everyone’s morale—staff, clients, and delivery persons! A dog reduces stress, is a great conversation piece, and puts everyone on common ground. (A boss or client sitting on the floor being kissed by a puppy appears a lot more approachable then seeing them behind a desk). A cute dog as your office greeter works really great for stalling the FedEx driver when you need just “another minute” to get the pick-up packages ready!

2. Take something off their plate.

During the holiday season time is tight; there’s much shopping to do, errands to run, and it’s busy at the office with no time for lunch breaks and lots of late nights. Of course all this adds to everyone’s stress level. I asked the team members to write down one or two errands that they really wanted to get off their plate. Then, I rounded up a volunteer to go out and do the shopping/errands for the whole group as well as shopping for themselves. It was such a little thing to arrange, yet it was so much appreciated by the team.

3. Put something on their plate.

What, you ask? That’s an easy one—ice cream! Nothing de-stresses the office quicker than surprising them with ice cream. Even the most serious co-worker slows down for a few minutes to enjoy an ice cream sundae.

4. Encourage them to let their hair down—then cut it.

During an exceptionally busy time, everyone had been working through lunch and working late nights. We would “complain” to each other about the personal things we hadn’t been able to get done over the last month because of constant work. One common complaint was not being able to get haircuts. So I brought a hair dresser into the office to give haircuts to all who wanted to participate. The company paid for the haircuts, it didn’t take away from the workflow, and everyone felt so good to get that checked off their list and to be having a good hair day!

A little bit of appreciation and gratitude goes a long way toward boosting morale, helping maintain positive attitudes, and keeping a high level of creative energy flowing even in the most stressful of times.