Employee morale is a major factor in your business’ success. When it is high, employees are more productive and your business is more competitive and profitable. Do you know what the status of morale is in your company? It’s important to know so that you can examine how to improve employee morale by making appropriate improvements, if necessary.
Table of contents
What is employee morale?
Employee morale is a term used to describe the overall satisfaction, outlook, happiness, and associated feelings of wellbeing that employees feel in the workplace. It means that when they are happy at work, they are more likely to have drive and initiative, strive to get good results for the company and inspire their colleagues to do their best.
Why morale in the workplace is crucial for business
- The benefits of good employee morale include:
- Employees with increased job satisfaction
- Increased levels of employee engagement
- Increased levels of productivity
- Lower rates of staff turnover
- Lower rates of absenteeism and presenteeism
- Less mistakes
- Better customer service and happier customers
- Stronger relationships within teams
- An improved reputation for the company with both potential recruits and customers
Unfortunately, morale is low in many workplaces.
A survey from the UK’s Personal Group found that only 41% of employees are happy at work most of the time and 26% said they are rarely or almost never happy at work.
How morale and productivity are connected
There have been many studies over the years that have revealed a direct link between employees’ morale and productivity levels.
Simply put, employees who are satisfied with the work they do, like their company and workplace, and enjoy their work environment are more likely to work more efficiently and productively. They’ll produce higher quality work with fewer mistakes, with reduced costs that can be attributed to accidents and mistakes.
Main reasons for low employee morale
There is no one-size-fits-all reason why morale can be low in a workplace. If there is low employee morale in your company, it is likely to be a direct result of one or more of these factors:
- Management – managers are out of touch with employees’ concerns, treat workers poorly, or micromanage their activities.
- Money – employees may feel as though they are poorly paid for the work that they do.
- Workplace culture – a toxic workplace or one that functions poorly is never going to be a great place to work, and therefore morale will be low.
According to a study by Eagle Hill Consulting, more than three quarters of employees (76%) said their workplace culture affects their productivity.
- Poorly managed change – when major changes happen to the workplace, many employees can feel frustrated and resentful because they don’t want to change the way that they work.
- Workloads – employees who have more work to do than hours to complete it in get stressed out and resentful.
- Bullying – when bullying goes unchallenged in the workplace it has a negative impact on how people feel about going to work every day. Even employees who aren’t being bullied directly may feel uncomfortable about the behavior they are witnessing.
- Work/life balance – as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, people have quickly come to value flexibility in the workplace and many don’t want to give that up when the world returns to a “new normal”. People want to be able to spend an appropriate proportion of time at work and time with their families and hobbies.
- Career progression – ambitious employees who feel they have no future at a company are likely to see their morale depleted. They might not have learning and development opportunities, or there is no path for them to be promoted to senior roles.
- Lack of communication – when people don’t understand company goals, projects, vision or purpose, or even if they feel left out on day-to-day information, they are likely to feel negatively towards the organization.
25 thank you message samples for employees. Free download
17 ways to boost employee morale
There are a number of different ways you can improve staff morale in your company, revolving around building an inclusive workplace where they are both highly engaged and feel valued.
Some morale boosters for employees to try include:
1. Encourage employees to have a voice
Providing opportunities for employees to be able to speak up and share concerns, ideas, opinions and issues is important. However, they need to be able to do so in a way that makes them feel safe and that is free from criticism, reprimand, or reprisals.
2. Give employees professional development opportunities
Show your employees you value them by providing them with opportunities to develop their careers by providing on-the-job training or courses.
3. Promote wellbeing
Targeted corporate health and wellbeing programs can serve as staff morale boosters. You’re showing employees that you care about their health.
4. Increase transparency
When you have low employee morale, you need to ensure your management decisions are transparent. A lack of honesty from management drives morale levels down as people are suspicious and mistrustful.
5. Overhaul your internal communication
Sharing news and keeping employees in the loop about important company developments is a good way to go about boosting morale in the workplace. People like to hear first-hand about issues that affect them.
6. Celebrate success
When there is good news to share, celebrate it with your employees. This might be reaching key milestones in a project, awards the company has won, or record sales results.
7. Implement a reward and recognition program
Employees rewarded and recognized for their efforts are more motivated and productive, are more loyal to the company, and achieve greater customer satisfaction rates.
8. Have zero tolerance for bullying
One of the easiest ways you can improve morale in the workplace is to get rid of people who intimidate, belittle, threaten or demean other people. When you make it clear that there is a zero-tolerance policy for this type of behavior, other employees feel more secure and safe.
9. Ensure promotions have an open and transparent process
Many people can feel demoralized when they learn a colleague has been promoted… and they didn’t even know there was a promotion opportunity available, particularly if they feel there was favoritism involved. Open and transparent recruitment processes that are clearly based on merit help reduce this.
10. Offer flexibility
Flexibility can take many guises. It might be offering remote working, hybrid working, flexible start and finish times etc. When employees have flexibility in their work life, they are less likely to feel stressed and burned out when balancing it with their other life commitments.
11. Offer sabbaticals to employees with a long tenure
When employees have been with you for many years, give them a break so that they can pursue hobbies, further their education, undertake volunteer activities or spend more time with their families. This not only boosts their morale but is likely to help assist your retention rates.
12. Provide access to discounts and subsidies
Getting a salary is just one of the ways employees like to be compensated. They also appreciate things like discounts on gym membership fees or subsidized public transport fares negotiated by their employer.
13. Offer paid days off for birthdays
Many companies offer employees a bonus day off each year… on their birthdays. This is one of the more inspired employee morale ideas and lets them have a relaxing day doing whatever they want.
14. Show your gratitude
Sometimes hearing a simple thank you for the work that has been done can make employees feel more valued. So the next time someone submits a report, for example, that you know they spent a lot of time on, tell them that you appreciate the job they have done.
15. Hold social events
Informal social events like team lunches or after work drinks are a good way for your team to come together and get to know each other better. It also shows that you are invested in them having a fun time.
16. Hold team building activities
There are a number of different ways to do this. It might be running trivia competitions, having different teams compete against each other, conducting trust exercises, scavenger hunts and more. It helps to energize your employees to work together in a fun way.
17. Encourage breaks
Employees who never take a lunch break or eat at their desks and keep working are more likely to become burned out. Encourage employees to leave their desks to take lunch and step away from their desks at other parts of the day.
Measuring staff morale - is it possible?
Morale is an intangible concept and measuring it can be subjective. However, there are ways to determine whether or not morale is high or low, is decreasing or improving. You can do this by sending employee satisfaction surveys to employees that ask pertinent questions about how they are feeling about their jobs, management, work environment, communication, and other factors that affect morale.
Employee morale and remote work
Maintaining morale when working remotely is a challenge for many employers and employees alike. Stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic can deplete peoples’ morale overall. Other faces like feeling isolated and disconnected, and trying to balance working and caring responsibilities in the home can leave many people feeling down, even if their morale at work is otherwise good.
Extra steps may be needed to keep morale up when employees are working remotely. Keeping people connected is more important than ever. Fortunately, most of the employee morale boosters outlined above can be adapted for engaging remote employees through technology and digital tools.
Investing in an internal communications software solution can help you with improving employees’ morale.
DeskAlerts comes with a range of tools and channels that can help to improve your workplace and its culture.
- Send more regular communications with pop-up alerts and scrolling desktop tickers.
- Celebrate successes or recognize employees’ efforts with digital signage or creative corporate screensavers.
- Run fun quizzes or survey your employees to find out how they are feeling.
Get in touch with us today to find out how you can make the most of DeskAlerts’ features to boost employee morale in your company.