Morale. It’s that extra kick employees have so that they don’t show up to work looking like a zombie. Establishing a positive work environment and building a company culture that helps boost employee morale is key to avoiding mindless drones from clocking in and out each day.
Well, what is employee morale? Forbes magazine defines it as, “…the attitude, satisfaction and overall outlook of employees during their association with an organization or a business.” As a manager, the responsibility falls in your lap to hire good people and to create a space where everyone feels confident to perform at their very best.
So what does positive employee morale lead to?
Firstly, it leads to an increase in productivity and efficiency in the workplace. When employees genuinely enjoy the work atmosphere, they are pushed to work more efficiently and productively. Whenever employees have high morale, they will enjoy going to work and on top of it all, their quality of work is much higher.
Second, when employees have positive employee morale, they give the company a competitive edge. Think of this way, if your company is facing bankruptcy then one of the easiest ways you can pull through that crisis is when employee morale is high. Your employees will put their heads together and will strive to avoid the apocalyptic end of the company.
Positive and high company morale will lead you to attract and retain top talent. Employees will feel far more likely to remain loyal to the company when they have a good and healthy work environment which in turn leads to higher employee morale and that positive energy will help attract and retain talent.
Lastly, positive employee morale helps reduce costs. Think of this domino effect: high employee morale helps reduce workplace accidents which leads to fewer absences and helps lower stress which then leads to less paid time off.
Why morale for your remote workers is a must
Business Insider reported that 50% of the workforce will work remotely by 2020 and with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, this is becoming the norm. However, the methods you’re using to motivate your in-house team won’t exactly work for your remote team. Most remote workers feel disconnected as remote work can be isolating at times. More often than not, they feel out of the loop, voiceless, and even lonely.
As a manager, you need to find ways to help your remote team members feel motivated and appreciated. Here are just a few examples of how you can make this possible:
- Streamline communication
- Create clear communication channels
- Be transparent
- Encourage feedback
- Include remote workers in announcements and updates
- Use a communication app
- Make scheduling easier to connect remote and in-office workers
- Be clear on expectations
- Implement remote team building games and activities
- Focus on performance
- Trust that they’ll get the work done, don’t micromanage
- Create a positive company culture
- Give recognition
Now that you can recognize the positive effects of company morale and you need to include your remote workers, you need to be able to recognize when your efforts are failing.
But what causes low employee morale at the workplace?
Lack of growth.
Employees need personal growth just as much as the business does. When the company isn’t growing, employees can grow bored and unmotivated.
Research has proven that employees need growth to stay engaged and motivated because, without growth, they will become disengaged and will eventually leave for a more challenging role. This is the opposite of staff morale.
If employees don’t know what you expect of them or they aren’t aware of what’s going on in the company, they won’t be motivated to get the job done to the best of their ability.
You have to set clear and realistic goals for each employee. Schedule one-on-one meetings to track progress and to clear up any confusion.
Change can be hard to handle but it’s a necessary evil. Whether there was a merger or a new hire at the top level, morale can take a hit when confidence is shaken, because if the company culture changes, so do morale. You have to monitor employee morale when a change is implemented.
More often than not, poor leadership causes low employee morale. Those in leadership positions must understand how their behavior affects the team. If they don’t, morale will gravely suffer and if nothing gets addressed, morale will only plummet.
The company itself.
Sometimes the company itself is the biggest and most important factor that can directly impact employee morale. The company can influence an employee’s attitude towards his or her work. Often, the reputation of a company can build up the employees’ attitude toward it and that attitude can be designed long before the interview process. Sometimes, a reputation precedes you and your company image so make sure its an image that draws employees in instead of scaring them away.
With the above outlined, you understand the importance of employee morale and what causes both high and low company morale, so you need to tackle it head-on and add its process to your company culture. We’ve compiled 9 easy and creative ways you can boost employee morale, today. Don’t wait to implement these at your company, your employee morale needs to keep going up and not down so let’s get to it!
10 ways to boost employee morale:
1. Be transparent.
Don’t attempt to hide problems or avoid conversations when morale is low. You have to remain transparent to boost staff morale. Your employees will respect honesty while you work together to fix any issues. Inform them about company updates, new protocols, customer feedback, and more.
2. Communicate often.
Going off the last tip to boost employee morale, be sure to communicate! Share positive company announcements, like a new product in development or a glowing customer review. Your employees are human beings too and you need to treat them that way too. Communicate and loop them into a conversation that can directly affect them.
Additionally, you should check in with your employees on a frequent basis, ask them:
- How are you feeling about your job/manager/co-workers?
- Are you facing any challenges? How can I help?
- Are you happy at work? How can I help?
You have to provide open, regular communication about issues and achievements that are important to your employees. As far as boosting staff morale goes, this one is huge.
3. Give employee recognition.
Focus on the good! When employees feel truly appreciated, they have more self-worth and become more productive employees. How Full Is Your Bucket proves that employees who receive regular, positive recognition will experience:
- Higher productivity
- Better engagement levels
- More loyalty to the company
- Higher morale
- Better customer satisfaction.
Employee recognition is a no-brainer when it comes to creative and easy ways to boost employee morale.
4. Get employee feedback.
Getting employee feedback is a great way to boost employee morale. When you show employees that you’re listening, they will feel heard and are far more likely to be motivated. But it isn’t enough just to collect feedback, you need to act on it as well. Even if you don’t implement each piece of feedback, be sure to thank your employees for sending in their thoughts and suggestions.
5. Offer employee growth.
Boost employee morale by giving them a sense of purpose so they have a goal to work towards and something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be a job promotion, instead, you can send them to a course or conference to better their professional skills. Employees want to feel a sense of growth to be truly motivated.
6. Run a calm, healthy & organized company.
Sure, pushing yourself and your team to the limit sounds like the right thing to do and is inspiring, but it won’t work in the long run. Your goal should be to reduce stress, maintain a healthy work-life balance and to run a calm, healthy and organized company.
Offer an EAP (employee assistance program) that helps employees work through problems and stress, whether it’s work or home-related. An EAP is designed to help your teamwork through issues that may impact their health and wellness, or even their work performance.
7. Train managers.
If managers are not the direct cause of the low morale, the responsibility to fix employee morale is. Be sure to train all your managers in emotional intelligence, communication, giving feedback and recognition and different leadership styles.
Managers can directly impact engagement and morale, so investing time in training them is one of the most important strategies to fixing low morale.
8. Organize team-building activities.
Make team building games enjoyable and education at the same time, that’s a surefire way to lift employee morale for the time being. (This isn’t a long term solution but it can do the job just the same). Organize a scavenger hunt or create an office trivia challenge to energize your employees.
9. Have amazing employee incentives.
Now, this isn’t a long term solution, but when morale is low, dishing out some fun employee incentives can do the trick. Bring in some puppies from the local shelter, give out some scratch-offs, let employees work from home for the day – it’s amazing what these employee incentives can do.
OR, you can develop something that can help your employees evolve personally and professionally. Sign them up for a course that ties to their professional responsibilities or give them helpful books to read to develop their skills further. But studies have also found that the longer you stay at work, the more important it is to get outside of the office, even if it’s just for a few minutes because creativity can take a hit when you don’t change environments.
10. Encourage genuine breaks.
Research has found that only a mere one in five people take a lunch break and that white-collar workers are actually the least likely to take a break. And far too many staff members eat lunch at their desks!
We know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment, to a natural environment. So staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking. It’s also detrimental to doing that rumination that’s needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an ‘aha’ moment. – Kimberly Elsbach, professor at the University of California who studies workplace psychology.
Encourage your employees to get away from their desks, at least for five minutes every hour. For example, grab a cup of coffee, take a walk outside for some fresh air, stretch your body, and more. When you make this a habit, you are happier and can contribute greatly to the bottom line because you’re refreshed.
But studies have also found that the longer you stay at work, the more important it is to get outside of the office, even if it’s just for a few minutes because creativity can take a hit when you don’t change environments.
The second you recognize that your employees have low morale, from high turnover to less collaboration and little conversation, it’s time to take a stand. The best thing you can do for your company and your team is to embrace changes that positively benefit all before low morale hits. Offer any of the ten tips we have outlined above and office morale is sure to increase.
Boost employee morale with Connecteam
Boosting employee morale is easy to do with Connecteam’s communication features – from surveys to social updates to a suggestion box to private or group chat and more, Connecteam helps boost employee morale sky high!