Best Ways to Boost Morale
A workplace bursting with high morale is one where work is done readily and enthusiastically. Employees feel valued. Bosses are respected. Everyone works hard yet still has fun. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case in today’s workforce. Low employee morale puts a damper on productivity and overall job satisfaction, resulting in high turnover rates and a huge hit to your bottom line. You can, however, turn it around and bring back that spark to the workplace.
How to Tell When Morale is Down
High turnover rates may be one of the most blatant signs of low morale, but employee morale doesn’t go from high to low overnight. There are several warning signs you can spot as it’s slipping along the way. These can include
- Increase in lateness, absences, missed deadlines
- Tension among staff members, exhibited by things like conflicts and jealousy
- Complaints about trivial matters and coworkers not carrying their workloads
- Customer complaints
- Fault finding, focusing on problems, gripe sessions
- Increase in shoddy work, errors, unkempt workspaces
- Lack of discipline or cooperation with authority
Easy Changes that Boost Morale
Even if it does take some time for morale to hit rock bottom, you can begin to boost it up rather quickly with the right strategies.
Motivate with Rewards: Employees are more apt to work their hardest and best if they’re rewarded for going above and beyond. Cash bonuses are always an option, but you can also incentivize performance with recognition awards, catered lunches, or extra time off.
Provide Opportunities for Growth: While some employees may be content with their current responsibilities and pay, exceptional ones want to grow and advance. Providing opportunities for upward mobility gives them the chance to strive for and attain something greater, which also helps keep them around.
Ask for (and Act on) Feedback: Asking for feedback is fine, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you’re willing to make changes to improve what employees feel isn’t working. For optimum results, present feedback at team meetings to ask employees for ideas on possible changes. This makes them feel heard and valued.
Maintaining High Morale
Keeping morale at a high level can involve multiple tactics, but they all pretty much boil down to one straightforward rule: treat people like people. While performance metrics and profit are certainly important to the success of your business, so are employee feelings. The workplaces with the highest morale are those in which employees feel appreciated, understood, and like a true part of the organization.
When mistakes are made, treat them as learning experiences rather than failures. Also take time to meet personally with employees if their performance is not up to par to find out what may be going wrong. Treat employees with respect, and you’re highly likely to get the same in return.
One final tip for keeping morale high is to remember to have fun. Make monthly play days or regular outings part of the schedule. When employees are happy and having fun at work, high morale always comes along for the ride.