First, Nikki69, I applaud you for working towards a more pleasant workplace for the staff you oversee.
+ :icon_hug:.....More managers than you'd think simply aren't concerned with morale.
In all my years of nursing, I've seen every thing from the monthly potluck meal, secret-pals, employee of the month, gift cards
given as incentives, the special parking place...you name it....I've worked places where the laziest ones were those who were rewarded the most & held in the highest regard....only to learn later that management hoped that they could improve that person's performance by giving them extra recognition.
I'll tell you about the most meaningful: At my very first job, fresh out of LVN school in 1993...the supervisor would always say, "Thank you" at the end of the shift.
As a newbie, I really didn't understand why she was thanking me for showing up for work, since I was getting paid to be there...so one day, I asked her.
She told me that everyday I was on the schedule, I showed up on time, ready to work...always looked for extra things to do, offering to help anyone I could, and gave +100%....she said that she appreciated the teamwork & how I made a sincere effort to leave things better off than I'd found them. The 2 words 'Thank you' meant more than any other token of appreciation I've ever received...because of the sincerity behind them.
Whatever you decide to implement to improve morale, always make sure to be sincere, consistent & fair......And never, ever give kudos to one who hasn't earned it or doesn't deserve it to "make a point"