10 Ways to Improve Team Morale in Under 10 Minutes

In all organisations, there are times where the mood of the team is not optimum. When team morale suffers, it is important that you take steps to rebuild your team’s mood quickly.

There are many reasons your team morale may be low. Some of which are within your control, and others less so. For example, reasons behind a dip in office mood could include:

  • Poor leadership and communication
  • Inflexible working conditions
  • Cancellation of team benefits
  • Losing a big contract
  • Difficult colleagues

As a leader, it is important to focus on rebuilding your team’s mood quickly, to avoid a spiral of morale. In this article, we share ten great ways that you can use to improve team mood quickly – and the best part is, these all take ten minutes or less to do!


The act of smiling really can turn a frown upside down. It sounds ridiculous, but it actually works. A study from Penn State University found that people who smile appear to be more likeable, courteous and even competent.

Even a forced smile can reduce stress. So if sense that your employees are feeling overworked, try smiling at them and even encourage them that they are doing a good job. It’s known that smiling is infectious – start smiling yourself, and watch others mimic your behavior.

Enjoy a Cup of Tea

Another way of improving team morale is by having a cup of tea. Regardless if it is herbal or green, the simple act of preparing a cup of tea can remind you to pause for a moment and relax.

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We would suggest chamomile tea as studies shows that it can help reduce your stress level and melt away your anxiousness.

Photo: Eilidh B, Flickr

Photo: Eilidh B, Flickr

Jump Around

Like in the lyrics in the song “Jump Around” by House of Pain; “Try and play the role and the whole crew will act up. Get up, stand up, come on!”.

Encourage your team to take a 5-minute break and start jumping around, or stretching. The main idea is to get them away from their desk and take a moment to breathe. You can even get them to do a couple of fast pumping moves with some jumping jacks, jump rope, or simple stretches.

It has been proven that when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which reduce your perception of pain.

Green is Great

Digital Skratch mentioned that the colour green is a relaxing colour that is easy on the eye and has a healing power to it. Try to decorate your workplace with plants (fake ones work just as fine!) and watch your team’s mood improve.

Do Something Nice for Someone Else

Another way of improving team morale is by doing something nice for a colleague. Being nice or helping out a colleague can help us feel nicer. It does not have to be something big; small actions help as well. Simple gestures like holding the door for the person behind you, making a cup of coffee for your peers as you are making yours, or even sending a quick “Thank You” email to your employees, counts as well.

Here are some samples of “Thank You” emails that you can send out to your employees.

Listen to a Happy Song

This one is interesting. If your workplace has its own speakers or sound system, try playing a couple of happy and cheerful songs throughout the day; at an adequate volume so that it is not distracting or employees can still chat on the phone with their clients. It is quick, easy and definitely an instant mood-lifter.

Try avoiding angry music or rap music that make employees easily irritated. You know that you have lifted your team’s morale when they start singing along to these songs.

Photo: Toshiyuki IMAI, Flickr

Photo: Toshiyuki IMAI, Flickr

Mindful Breathing

One easy way of improving team morale is by doing simple mindful breathing. It is a quick, effective way to chill out and improve the outlook. Encourage your employees to just spend a few minutes of sitting quietly, focusing on the breath. Perhaps get your team to try out the “4-7-8 breathing exercise”.

Here are the simple steps:

  1. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four
  2. Hold your breath for a count of seven
  3. Exhale completely through your mouth to a count of eight
  4. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths

Mindful breathing can be calming and energising and can even help with stress-related problems.


Laughter indeed is the best medicine as it can cheer us up and decrease anxiety. A study conducted by Stanford University showed that laughter increases dopamine in our brains, which is a chemical that elevates mood.

According to an article on Help Guide, laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. So send out a couple of Youtube links of short humorous video to your employees and get them laughing. You can even encourage them to share some of their personal favourites around. Make sure it’s not an offensive one!

De-clutter Time

Perhaps it is about time you should encourage your employees to de-clutter their desk or office space. Getting organised can help us feel instantly calmer. Just five to ten minutes is enough to tackle a small project or de-cluttering a desk or the pantry.

Photo: Seth Werkheiser, Flickr

Photo: Seth Werkheiser, Flickr

Take a Walk

Another way of improving team morale is taking a short walk around the block. Studies show that people who get more sun exposure during the day have fewer sleep problems and less depression.

Keep that running shoes by your desk and head out for a walk with some of your employees and even have a ‘walking meeting’ instead of sitting in the meeting room. Take in fresh air and that Vitamin D.

Perhaps it is time to take a power walk instead of a power nap?

BONUS: Take a Colouring Break

Adult colouring books seemed to be the ‘’in’’ thing these days. Colouring help you destress and let your mind wander. It also cultivates creative ideas when you are stuck in a mental block. Dr Rodski, an author of several colouring books for adults, mentioned in an article about adults colouring books, that there are three key elements; repetition, pattern and detail.

The truth is that colouring is actually a vague creative time that can be the most effective when your team morale is low. With colouring, you are not striving to achieve any sort of result; you are just relaxing. You can provide a couple of colouring pencils and an adult colouring book for each of your employee and encourage them to use it. Some of them may laugh at that idea, but it could definitely change their mind once they see some of their colleagues trying it out.

In Summary

While you may try your best at improving team morale, you just have to give it time. You cannot expect your employees to be happy all the time – everyone has their good and bad days. The good news is that no mood sticks around forever.

However if a negative mood lasts weeks, it might be a good idea to have a one-on-one chat with your employee, as this could be a sign of depression. Try to address any underlying problems in order to keep moving forward.

Good luck in trying some of these suggestions!

Heryati R

Heryati R

Heryati is a member of the customer success team at 6Q, and is based in Perth, Western Australia. Heryati enjoys writing, reading and live music. She believes 6Q is awesome for employee engagement surveys.