As with any professional association, the relationship between an employer and employee is a two-way transaction. Employees are expected to perform their tasks efficiently, and employers are expected to maintain a healthy working environment and good morale in return.
Employee morale is a critical element of running a successful business and maintaining high levels of productivity. Low employee morale can adversely affect a company as it makes it difficult to retain employees, attract more talent, and generate high output.
Maintaining high employee morale can seem challenging if you don’t know what you’re doing. Everything you need to know about how to boost employee morale and motivation is covered in this guide.
Employee Morale: Why It Matters
Employee morale refers to the overall outlook of an employee towards a company and the satisfaction they derive from their job, company HR policies, and the workplace environment in general.
How employees perceive the company can have a lasting impact on their output and productivity. It will also likely determine how long the company can retain them.
High morale amongst employees is vital as it directly relates to employee engagement, retention, job satisfaction, and productivity. Employee morale affects how they approach their tasks, which includes their investment in the company’s mission and vision and their attitude toward the future.
It also makes employees more innovative, creative, and engaged enough to take proactive initiatives. This will do wonders for team building and can help a company reach its goals.
Therefore, organizations with high employee morale tend to have healthier work cultures, higher productivity, and long-term success.
How to Measure Employee Morale in Your Workplace
Before we understand how to boost employee morale and motivation, it is essential to know how to measure it. This will allow managers and leaders to understand the current situation and make changes according to employee needs.
Here are some ways through which you can understand what elements of employee morale need a boost:
Conduct an Anonymous Employee Morale Survey
An anonymous company-wide survey can help leaders gauge how employees perceive the company and what their satisfaction levels are. It is also one of the best ways to receive feedback directly from the people most affected by the company’s structure and organization.
Here are some questions you could include on the survey:
- Do you think you get enough recognition for your work?
- What is your relationship with your seniors and managers like?
- Do you get the impression that the company and its leadership care about you? Do you feel cared for and nurtured in the workplace?
- How satisfactory are your compensation and benefits?
- Do you often feel unmotivated to work? What could improve your motivation and incentivize you?
- How do you perceive the morale of other employees?
- What policies would you consider including in the company’s functioning?
- Do you have any feedback or suggestions to help improve employee morale and overall satisfaction?
Leadership often observes employees with the intention of assessing performance, output, and overall work ethic. However, keeping a close eye on employees for signs of low morale is equally important.
This will allow managers to take appropriate measures to prevent further dissatisfaction. And it will let employees know that the company’s leadership cares about them and takes active measures to create a healthy work environment for their benefit.
Observing a workforce may be more challenging in a remote setting. Still, certain signs, such as a drop in work quality and productivity, missed deadlines, and other similar situations, may hint at low morale. Employee behavior during calls and meetings can also be an indicator of how they feel about their work situation.
Assess Engagement Levels
Engagement and productivity are two crucial metrics that can provide a fairly accurate illustration of employee morale. Gathering data and analyzing it concerning employee engagement and productivity can therefore help managers understand morale and what they can do to improve it.
This can be achieved by observing the following:
- Participation levels
- What employees are creating and sharing
- Conversations among employees
- Employee engagement level regarding external and internal content
Employee performance data, absenteeism, training participation, grievances, and other such data can also be analyzed to measure workplace morale.
If you notice a dip in the output of usually well-performing employees or the level of absenteeism increasing amongst individuals that are typically more engaged, these could point towards low morale.
How To Boost Employee Morale and Motivation
Low employee morale can be caused by several factors: dissatisfaction with management or leadership, personal lives impacting their attitude toward work, general uncertainty, and more.
Regardless of the cause, managers must know how to boost employee morale and motivation in different situations and take measures accordingly.
Here are some ways that companies can ensure that employees remain satisfied with their jobs:
Improve PTO Policies
Unlimited paid time off is a crucial employee benefit, and when implemented well, it can be highly beneficial for employee morale and job satisfaction. Considered second only to healthcare, paid leave provides employees with a level of autonomy that is very important to facilitate quality output.
Time off helps reduce burnout and ensures that employees have the freedom to refresh and rejuvenate whenever needed. This significantly boosts motivation and improves employee loyalty as they feel their employer cares about their needs.
PTO generally creates beneficial working conditions for all parties.
Facilitate Informal Interactions
Informal interactions and team-building activities can do wonders to create a sense of community and belonging. This can boost employee morale and motivation and, more importantly, encourage better teamwork.
Off-sites, informal “meetings” in the office, monthly employee lunches—there are many ways in which managers can facilitate informal interactions that will benefit all involved.
Allowing employees to work remotely and choose their own work hours can drastically improve company morale. Though this may not be applicable to all workplaces and positions, offering flexibility and control can be highly beneficial in enhancing productivity and quality output.
Employers must emphasize the importance of deadlines while allowing employees to decide how to meet them to create a fulfilling work culture.
Open Communication Across All Levels
An accessible management team that facilitates open communication can drastically improve employee morale. This involves exchanging ideas, clearly defining expectations and performance metrics, and offering and accepting feedback and constructive criticism on all levels.
Open communication creates a healthy work environment and makes employees feel like they are being heard and acknowledged. It also facilitates a better understanding of everyone in the company.
Offer Feedback and Constructive Criticism, Recognize and Reward Successes
Guidance in the form of feedback and constructive criticism will help employees remain on the right track and make improvements wherever necessary. This can reduce feelings of discontent and discouragement and also be a confidence booster.
Recognition and tangible rewards, such as bonuses, gift vouchers, certificates, benefits, and other similar offerings, can also help employees feel like their work is valued by the company.
Inculcating these aspects can help boost employee morale and reduce dissatisfaction as everyone is encouraged and motivated to do better.
Encourage transparency and honest communication on all levels and teams. This will make it easier for all members of the organization or company to be on the same page and boost productivity.
If employees are made aware of any problems within the company and encouraged to offer solutions, they may be more invested in the company. Including employees in successes can also create a stronger sense of community, thus improving morale.
Offer Developmental Opportunities
Developmental opportunities, such as training, educational courses, upskilling programs, conferences, and others, demonstrate to employees that the company is invested in their personal and professional growth. This proves that there is a two-way effort and investment. Employees feel like their skills are valued, and the company is encouraging further development and progress.
Focus On Employees’ Strengths
Each employee brings unique skills and strengths to the table. Being aware of these abilities and leveraging them can significantly boost morale. This involves assigning tasks to employees that they may be more likely to succeed at to boost their self-esteem and confidence.
However, this must be done conscientiously and in moderation. Expecting employees to perform beyond their capabilities will cause dissatisfaction, insecurities, and low motivation.
People who are happy in the workplace tend to be better employees as they work harder, contribute enthusiastically, and put out a higher quality of work.
It can be challenging to figure out how to boost employee morale and motivation. But, once you understand how to create a welcoming work culture, you can reap its many rewards. Ultimately, an empathetic and compassionate approach toward managing employees can go a long way in ensuring everyone is happy and healthy. A good option may also be to have a contractor compliance system in place.
While managing an entire workforce can be taxing, the right tools can make it smooth sailing.