Many of us - including our bosses - know that the biggest morale booster we could get at work is the promise of a secure paycheck.
But with layoffs and reduced benefits weighing on workers, some companies are trying to improve morale - sometimes with a microphone, writes the News & Observer's Alan Wolf today.
The efforts include trying harder to communicate and answer workers' questions, including on a weekly interoffice video.
Then there is karaoke:
At iContact, the recent addition of "Karaoke Fridays" is one way the Durham technology company hopes to keep employees excited about coming to work. The company, which provides e-mail marketing services, is still expanding despite the downturn.
"You hear all the stuff about the stock market, job losses," said Taylor Barr, who helped organize the singing with co-worker James Wong.
"This is a great way to boost morale. It gets people smiling."
The company also holds monthly employee lunches, has free bagels on Mondays and organizes trips to Carolina Hurricanes hockey games and other sporting events. The perks are another way to attract and retain top talent.
The karaoke singing at noon on Fridays is broadcast live online so that workers still at their desks can watch, too.
"It definitely alleviates tension, gives you a sense of camaraderie with your co-workers," said Julie Frye Sanders, a marketing manager who sang "Love Shack" and several other tunes during a recent Friday session.
Tell us how your company is trying to improve morale - and if it's working.