- High Attrition Rate Reasons
- How Can the Culture of an Organization Improve Productivity?
- Poor Leadership & Its Effects on the Staff and Company
- How Does a Poor Company Culture Affect Employees?
- Challenges of Compensation Management
- Five Examples of Leadership Expectations
Employee happiness affects the productivity, loyalty and bottom line of your small business. The top management should be conscious of keeping their workers satisfied, because their leadership has great impact on morale. Effective leaders who challenge, motivate, empathize and appreciate their staff will have positive results. Ineffective managers, on the other hand, create sullen, dissatisfied, confused and apathetic workers.
Inspiration or the lack of it often depends on the top leaders in a small business. Employees are positively inspired when their leaders endorse and help them achieve their career ambitions — for example, an employer that provides educational opportunities in which the company pays at least a portion of the tuition. Unfortunately, there are many small businesses that fail to inspire employees due to the lack of concern they show for their workers’ professional growth. This helps create a low-energy atmosphere that has staff members actively searching for more positive job opportunities with other companies.
Many top leaders motivate their employees so that their morale rises as they seek to be the best at their jobs. Others in upper management fail to move their employees in the right direction. The successful managers use such techniques as providing creative outlets, building effective teams, giving employees specific roles they are suited for and providing incentives for workers. Poor leaders often neglect to train employees sufficiently, do not express their appreciation for workers’ efforts and place unduly heavy workloads on individuals.
A feeling of security is necessary for employees to achieve job satisfaction. Stability can be instilled by the highest-level managers who inspire employee loyalty so that turnover is low. Another way employees are reassured so that morale is high is when top leaders invest in a profit-sharing program that demonstrates their investment in their staff and their desire to retain their staff members. Top managers who ignore their employees’ need for reassurance and job security cause employee morale to decrease along with their own profits.
The energy level of employees often makes the difference between a thriving company and one struggling to survive. Top management affects this all-important element either in a positive or negative manner. The best upper managers keep the excitement and enthusiasm of the business high by providing rewards, offering new opportunities and discovering and using the talents of their staff. Those in top management who do not provide these morale-boosting initiatives find their companies saddled with disgruntled and bored employees who do the bare minimum to keep their jobs.
- Entrepreneur: Seven Ways to Boost Employee Morale
- UC Davis Human Resources: Managing Through Change
Lisa Mooney has been a professional writer for more than 18 years. She has worked with various clients including many Fortune 500 companies such as Pinkerton Inc. She has written for many publications including Woman’s World, Boy’s Life and Dark Horizons. Mooney holds bachelor’s degrees in both English and biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Low employee morale can have adverse effects on retaining great employees and detrimentally effect productivity. There are many ways to improve workplace morale, such as increasing employees’ involvement and building employees’ self-esteem. Everyone likes to have their achievements recognized by others, and it is always more meaningful if someone else recognizes their success for them. There are some pretty simple and easy ways to do both at once! Here are some ideas that you can incorporate into your business.
1. Plan social and athletic activities.
For example, start a touch football league or a fantasy football league. This is a great way to create bonds between employees and have them interact with their co-workers in a setting beyond their work interactions. This will boost employee morale because it will give them something social to look forward to at the workplace beyond their work responsibilities.
Pro tip: Have a trophy to give to the winner to display on their desk or somewhere in the office. If you get one with space for multiple engravings, you can re-use it for many seasons to come.
2. Productivity awards
Recognize and reward top employees. If an employee is going above and beyond the call of duty- recognize and reward them for it. The most effective way to do this is to give them a trophy for them to place in their workspace. Not only will it boost their morale and give them tangible evidence that their hard work is appreciated, but it will show other employees that if they improve their productivity they will be rewarded for it. This is an easy way to ensure that your top employee will continue preforming exceptionally, and to incentivize your other employees to boost their productivity.
Pro tip: Give your top employee this trophy
This is a time tested way to increase healthy competition between employees, while also improving and incentivizing the whole office to increase their productivity.
Pro tip: This Employee of the Month Plaque is unique and fun.
BONUS TIP!: Customize a trophy or plaque to reflect the uniqueness of your office at http://www.faroutawards.com/custom-awards/
4. Get creative with it!
Have a hardworking employee who is notorious for their coffee consumption?
Get them this fun and unique coffee trophy.
Or maybe your hardworking employee loves sushi? Get them this beautifully crafted yellowtail trophy!
Or your hardworking employee has an obsession with cats? They’ll surely be obsessed with this fat cat award!
Regardless of the employee morale boosting technique you choose, trophies and awards are sure-fire ways to improve morale and increase productivity! How far out is that? Remember, if it’s not a Far Out Award, it’s just an award.
As I watch the unfolding drama of the UK Brexit vote, I am reminded of the turmoil, fear, and stress that comes from uncertainty and the damage that it can cause on morale and productivity
It’s the leaders role to look to bring order to chaos, calm the nerves of those around them, give people hope of successful outcome, and then get them working towards that successful outcome.
Here are seven tips to help bring order to chaos.
1 Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Don’t bullshit people; they can spot bullshit a mile away, and it undermines your credibility.
Tell people what you know.
In uncertain times people need information, without information, it just increases anxiety and stress, neither of which is of benefit to them or the leader.
Tell them what you don’t know.
Be honest, if you don’t know something tell them, otherwise people will think you are withholding information, or worse still they may hold back something they know, which you don’t.
Tell them when you will know.
For those things that you don’t know, provide a timeline for when you think you will know. Knowing when the uncertainty will end can reduce the level of uncertainty and the associated stresses levels.
2 Explain Your Plan
As a leader, it is expected that you will come up with a plan.
Tell people what your plan is, explain why you are making the decisions you are making. If they are logical, you will get buy-in, if not you will get questions.
Transparency breeds trust and in uncertain times, trust is a great commodity to have.
3 Ask For Input
As leaders, we are not expected to have all the answers or all the ideas, but we are expected to identify the best plan, based on all of the information available.
Without asking for input, we can potentially miss out on vital information, or even a potentially better or simpler solution.
It also give the opportunity to be involved which can reduce the sense of powerlessness which can come with uncertainty.
4 Be Flexible and Adaptive
In uncertain times it’s possible that new information will arrive that will challenge our plan, or present a better solution. We need to keep an open mind, and not just stick to the first plan as way of increasing certainty.
We need to be flexible and able to adopt better solutions as they arise. Our goal should be to keep moving forward and at the best pace possible, not just sticking to the plan.
5 Be Positive
Confidence in the leader is crucial during times of uncertainty.
Our teams may not know what the solution is, but they need to be certain that they have someone who will both define the way forward and achieve it. As leaders we need to project confidence, to help build that trust.
I always remember the Robert Louis Stephenson quote “Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.”as i think this is great advice.
6 Create Small Wins
Identify small wins that the team can achieve quickly and easily.
These quick wins need to be meaningful and celebrated, as that will help to boost confidence, increase morale and create momentum.
7 Be Visible and Stay Engaged
In times of uncertainty, the leader is the rock to which people cling, it gives them hope and confidence, but this can be diminished very quickly if the leader is absent for lengthy periods, as doubt and uncertainty will increase.
We need to be visible, positive and engaged, to keep morale and motivation moving in the right direction.
Leading in times of uncertainty can be difficult, but we need to remember it can be even more difficult for our teams, and they are looking for us to guide them and lead them to success.
Simple Ideas for Improving Morale in Your Workplace
ColorBlind Images / The Image Bank / Getty Images
Employee morale describes the overall outlook, attitude, satisfaction, and confidence that employees feel at work. When employees are positive about their work environment and believe that they can meet their most important career and vocational needs, employee morale is positive or high.
Like employee motivation, you can’t give an employee positive morale. As an employer, though, you do control large components of the environment in which employees work each day. Consequently, you are a powerful contributor to whether an employee’s morale is positive or negative.
Portions of the environment that you control that have an impact on employee morale include things like the effectiveness of your managers, the quality of manager’s interaction with employees, and the way employees interact with each other on a day-to-day basis.
You hold the cards to creating the environment or culture in which these positive factors are valued. For starters, it’s as simple as rewarding and recognizing the managers who best display the characteristics you want to see in their interactions with employees.
Contributors to Positive Employee Morale
When employees have confidence in the capability of their company leadership, they tend to have positive morale. When they share a vision for where the company is headed and are positive about the direction, employees also exhibit high morale.
Feeling part of the goals that are bigger than themselves (and their job) contributes significantly to positive employee morale. Many employees want to feel as if they are part of something important and contributing to success for the greater good is a real morale booster. A deep focus on serving the needs of customers also promotes positive employee morale.
Communication is another significant factor in positive employee morale. Employees want to feel that they are privy to the important information about their company, their customers, and their products. They also need current information so that the decisions they make are congruent with their success in the company.
The interaction of employees with their immediate manager and coworkers plays a role in employee morale. Effective, harmonious interpersonal relationships bolster employee morale and make employees feel that going to work is a worthwhile endeavor in addition to collecting a paycheck.
The relationship with their immediate manager and their communication and interaction with the senior managers are also significant. Employees want to feel as if they are valued equally with other employees and held in serious regard by the senior team of leaders.
Positive Employee Morale Detractors
When employees dislike their manager and compete with co-workers for attention and appreciation, morale is generally low. If employees lack confidence in the company’s leadership and direction, morale will also be affected. When an employee is unsure what is expected of them (and hence experience a lack of accomplishment) morale is low.
Steps to Improve Employee Morale
Factors that can contribute to positive employee morale include the following:
- Providing reasonable, supportive management and leadership personnel who have integrity and will treat employees fairly and consistently. Avoid favoritism.
- Treating employees with respect.
- Treating employees as if they are one of your organization’s most significant resources
- Providing regular employee recognition.
- Taking actions that empower employees so they can make decisions about their jobs.
- Offering open and regular communication about issues important to employees.
- Providing feedback and coaching.
- Offering above industry-average benefits and compensation.
- Giving employees the opportunity to develop their professional skills and their careers.
- Providing employee perks and company activities.
You can measure your organization’s success, in part, by measuring employee satisfaction. Building positive employee morale is not difficult; it just takes desire, time, and commitment on the part of management and the organization.
Table of contents
Morale. It’s that extra little kick that employees feel within them, that brings a smile on to their face, and it’s that factor that helps them showing up at the workplace each morning – not looking like zombies. Forbes defines employee morale as “. the job satisfaction, attitude, and outlook that employees have while at your business.”
Every business survives on its employees to survive, succeed and expand. And when employee attitudes and outlooks suffer, so will your business. That is why building and maintaining high & positive employee morale within the organization should be a major concern for any team manager or business leader. When employees are feeling burned-out and indifferent, their productivity levels will suffer and the entire organization will feel the effect of it.
A recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes. That means about two-thirds of full-time workers experience burnout on the job.
How to Improve Employee Morale and Motivation?
If you want to avoid this, here are some tips on how to improve morale at work, restore enthusiasm and engagement amongst your workforce quickly and efficiently.
1. Provide care packages to remote workers
The current circumstances faced by many businesses worldwide, with remote work made unavoidable as shared office spaces are taken out of action, means that a whole new kind of employee burn-out is occurring.
A Glint survey of more than 700,000 employees worldwide found that comments related to burnout doubled from March 2020 (pre-lockdown) to April 2020 (during the lockdown, working remotely), increasing from 2.7% to 5.4%
Thankfully you can revive the spirits of team members who are working from home by sending out care packages that will breathe new life into their domestic setup.
There are lots of ideas for care packages to consider, ranging from tasty snack boxes to sustain appetites throughout the day, to custom combinations that are tailored to the specific personality and hobbies of individual workers.
The implied message of any care package is this; remember to take a break. It will also show employees that you are attuned to their needs and sympathetic to their struggles.
2. Show recognition for achievements
Morale can dip if team members feel like they are putting their all into a project and making a success of it, only for their efforts to go unrecognized.
You can remedy this by making sure that you show your appreciation both one-to-one and in a group setting. Recognizing the efforts and achievements of employees, no matter how big or small is what makes a leader truly inspirational.
Likewise, it is sensible to invest in a rewards and recognition platform through which encourage other team members to single out the successes of their colleagues, and you can even formalize this process if you wish, creating a self-perpetuating approach to the recognition that will help with team bonding and boosting employee morale.
A screenshot from Empuls demonstrates how recognition can be made social and more engaging by sharing it with the entire organization.
3. Don’t communicate outside of office hours
One of the guaranteed ways to stress out employees and leave them feeling dissatisfied is to foster a workplace culture that expects out-of-hours availability to be the norm. Even if you do not explicitly say that workers should be on-call to respond to emails, calls, and instant messages when they are not at their desks, the simple act of communicating outside of their contracted hours can pile on this pressure anyway.
It is better to go in the opposite direction altogether and create a policy for all forms of work-related communication which discourages direct interaction between colleagues and managers during the evening, for example. This is all about establishing a healthy work-life balance, and not just paying lip service to it.
You might think that this could hamper productivity, but in reality, if workers are happier and more content, they will be more productive during office hours than they would if they were burning the candle at both ends. This is not ideal for every employee, although it is better than the alternative of total inaction.
4. Actively ask for feedback
Plenty of managers think that it is enough to simply say to their team members that they can come to them with any issues or sticking points that they want to raise. Unfortunately, this relies on employees being proactive and confident enough to tackle potentially tricky subjects with a superior on their own initiative.
The solution is to make sure that seeking feedback is part of your normal responsibilities, whether you integrate it with the one-to-one catch-ups you have with staff, or whether you go a step further and schedule interviews specifically to find out what is keeping workers with the company, and what improvements could be made to strengthen their loyalty further, or set up anonymous surveys, like the ones offered by Empuls, to encourage employees to share their honest feedback.
This will also pinpoint problems that you may not even know about, and allow you to make positive changes that benefit all workers, leading to that sought-after moral improvement.
5. Keep the Communication Coming
Communication is the key to building great teams and organizations. Employees of today are extremely fast-paced and expect to keep a tab on everything that is happening around them – be it success or failure. Not communicating something or keeping the employees uninformed about the happenings can be demoralizing and pull them down.
Using a powerful social intranet platform, like Empuls, is a great solution to address this. The intranet platform creates a communication hub for all employees to come together like a community while establishing a strong two-way communication between the organization and the employees. While the leaders can keep everyone in the organization up to date about the organizational happenings, employees can react to the shared communication, share their viewpoints and thoughts.
6. Demonstrate the wider impact they have
One final way to make workers more engaged with the organization they represent and less prone to becoming disillusioned is to make sure they understand what their contribution goes towards. The simplest way to do this is to regularly share updates on how the company is faring, where it is gaining traction, and what difference their department is making in this context. Feeling like you are part of a wider whole and have a key role to play will encourage anyone to keep on trucking, even in the most challenging of circumstances.
Genuine approaches are needed, and the success of your business is at stake.
By: Robert Roy Britt, Contributor
Improving employee morale fuels better engagement, which leads to greater teamwork, more productivity, fewer sick days and higher levels of employee retention.
But efforts to boost employee morale with symbolic acts or token gestures can backfire. To be successful, morale-boosting thoughts and actions must, at their core, be genuine. While business owners and managers may think this is hard, employees say it’s pretty easy.
“Morale is critical to employee performance and productivity, ultimately shaping the quality and success of small businesses,” said Daphne Pedersen, PhD, a professor and chair of the sociology department at the University of North Dakota.
One crucial key to morale is simply making sure employees know that they are valued, appreciated and that they can play an important role in the company’s future.
What’s really behind employee morale
There are four central emotional and cognitive factors behind employee morale, Pedersen told CO—:
- Support, including resources and relationships.
- Views of leadership ability and actions.
In fact, a little thanks goes a long way, studies have shown. When managers simply express gratitude, employees are more productive. Also, employees perform better when they feel respected and appreciated by their team members. And decades of research has shown that happy, psychologically well employees are more productive.
But there’s a big gap between the appreciation managers feel for their employees and how appreciated those employees feel, according to research led by Kerry Gibson, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Babson College. Many managers acknowledge that they struggle to communicate their appreciation. So Gibson and her colleagues turned to employees for solutions, and came up with several, which they detailed in the Harvard Business Review:
- Touch base early and often. A simple “good morning” can make a difference.
- Address growth opportunities. Discussing stretch goals or assignments acknowledges an employee’s value.
- Offer flexibility. Allowing an employee to set their hours or work from home signals trust.
Employees crave both kudos and developmental suggestions, so balanced feedback is vital, Gibson and her colleagues found. But don’t smush positives and negatives together into a feedback sandwich — that just confuses employees. Finally, the researchers suggest making positive feedback a routine and create a culture of appreciation in your company. While expressing your appreciation for employees must feel natural and genuine to you, it’s important to set time to do it on a daily or weekly basis.
Morale is critical to employee performance and productivity, ultimately shaping the quality and success of small businesses.
Daphne Pedersen, PhD, a professor and chair of the sociology department at the University of North Dakota
How to get started
Rarely has it been so important for small businesses to focus on employee morale, given all the pandemic-induced grief, uncertainty and exhaustion. To thrive, small businesses must evolve into more “human organizations,” experts now say. That means putting people first, empowering them to act like owners and helping them pursue their passions.
Among your roles in improving morale is to build trust, which means you’ll need to be a little vulnerable and actually engage with your employees to foster relationships.
Meanwhile — and now more than ever — keep your eyes open for signs of burnout and get in front of potential problems by making sure all your employees take quality time off to truly get away from their work and the texts and emails that tether them to their jobs 24/7.
Importantly, don’t expect that you have all the answers for each individual on your team. There are several useful survey tools and other programs for both determining and improving employee morale.
Pedersen offers one easy way to begin addressing all aspects of employee morale, a simple question that appeals to the cognitive and emotional aspects of it. Ask your employees what you can do to help them do their job even better.
“Then be prepared to listen and follow through,” Pedersen said.
CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.
Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners’ stories.
Give more responsibility
Giving more responsibility versus wanting them to take initiative are 2 entirely different arts and skills.
Humans by design to be natural explorers, curious and ultimately want to perform at the highest levels possible.
However, individuals do not want to have items piled them on without compensation, title, or recognition. Think of every frustrating school project that required you to pull more weight while slackers earned the same high mark.
To make someone else want to do something, share the objective, resources and ultimate goal that is to be achieved when finished, then let them run with it.
Let them take ownership and make the project or responsibility theirs.
This ensures that they have the choice to succeed or fail (provided you ensure they have the resources to accomplish it).
Allow them to create and share
Curiosity and creativity is something we all posses and strive for on a daily basis whether we know it or not. The goal for you is to help free up the confines of job title and responsibility by allowing your employee to be an entrepreneur within the organization.
Giving them complete autonomy and flexibility and creativity in their position opens up a new world of opportunities and avenues for the organization.
If employee morale is low, non-existent or people look as if they are part zombie, then giving them control of their environment will help boost the enjoyment of their role.
Observe what they come up with, how successful or not successful it is, then let them bring that positive energy and morale to others in the organization.
Here is an example:
Let’s say your new project manager is quickly becoming unmotivated, disconnected and just overall a decrease in morale.
Chances are it is because they feel as if they do not have control in their current environment or have a supervisor that is a micromanager.
No one enjoys coming in each and every day to have someone breathing down their neck, checking their work or whereabouts constantly.
The quickest way to alleviate this and boost morale is to give them the ability to create processes, workflows and ideas.
It is a simple, quick injection which leads employees to improving the ownership and pride of their work.
Allowing employees to OWN their work and projects is a win-win for employees and supervisors…
Let them be independent
We see this happening in some of the largest companies in the United States today.
Autonomy vs. Productivity vs. Happiness
All data and research would point to those employees losing their ability to work remotely.
While we understand the managers predicament, it can be an antiquated way of running a business or section and they have to adjust or adapt to such changes.
So what we do to improve morale the employee?
Provide the tools needed for them to be independent, efficient, and the ability to create for themselves.
Don’t provide tools just to have them and don’t try to integrate complicated programs and software, but that can help strengthen the momentum of new ideas.
Give them room to grow
- Promotions and title changes
- Financial growth through salaries and bonuses
- Supervising of junior or associate employees on projects
- Take on new company expansion projects and revenue opportunities
What one employee considers a high priority or “carrot” can very well be low on someone else’s priority list. This is nothing new, but know your employees goals and ambitions before presenting them with a plan to help meet those goals.
Ensuring they have the simplest and most effective tools to accomplish their own vision will help provide satisfaction and pride in their work and employer.
Let them reinvent the wheel
You have heard it once, you have heard it many times
This is the way we have done it for all these years
Every employer, manager or family member
Sometimes the solution to a problem is left for a new set of eyes, new employees or outside consultants.
Tunnel vision with problems and methods cause processes and workflows to become stale, monotonous and draining on the team.
Instill and encourage employees to try new methods, routines, workflows and processes that have been part of your organization for a long time. Deploying new tactics created by a new set of eyes can bring a new excitement and energy to the team.
Not always easy
Perhaps you got to where you are by having complete control over all aspects of your business or life. You are right thinking that this won’t be easy to hand over responsibility and control, because it wont.
However, you hired and brought these people on your team because you saw they were capable of performing the duty you hired them for.
They are capable of doing so much more and most workers want to break from the chains of job confinement.
Employee engagement is low in Australia, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are several simple ways to boost morale in your organisation.
Look around you. Are your employees happy? Unfortunately, for many organisations, the answer might be no. According to Gallup, Australian employee engagements sits at just 24 per cent. And it seems all too easy for companies to simply accept the low levels of engagement in this country, assuming that only businesses with huge budgets like Google can afford to invest sufficiently in workforce happiness.
However, the business impact of having an engaged workforce is clear. Gallup data shows that businesses with high employee engagement are 21 per cent more productive than their bottom-quartile counterparts. And you don’t have to have a Google-sized budget to improve engagement. In fact, there are many simple things businesses can do to boost employee morale:
1) Introduce an employee rewards and recognition program
Two thirds of employees would quit if they felt unappreciated, according to Forbes. If you want to boost engagement, it’s essential that your team feel their work makes a difference to their colleagues, direct managers and the company as a whole. The easiest way you can show an employee their job matters is by rewarding them for it.
Introducing an employee rewards and recognition program will enable you to directly link recognition to a certain behaviour or task, showing how much you appreciate the work your team do for you on a daily basis.
Just make sure you’re offering rewards people actually want. There’s nothing worse than working really hard on a job but receiving a poor reward in return. That’s why at Power2Motivate, our global rewards gallery gives employees a choice between thousands of different prizes, including electronics, travel, event tickets and household appliances.
2) Get everyone involved
Managers, colleagues, directors. to really feel appreciated, employees will ideally be recognised by everyone in their company. So getting everyone to buy into your rewards program is essential. Creating a system whereby employees can nominate each other when they feel someone’s done a great job on a project will promote a broader culture of recognition that will spread beyond your rewards program. This will eventually enter everyday discourse in the office.
Meanwhile, getting managers and directors involved when someone has had a particularly important achievement will show your company that those at the top care about their employees and the work they’re doing.
3) Link employees’ jobs to the company’s mission
Central to ensuring your team believe their work matters is showing them how it links to the company’s wider goals. For example, how does their job directly impact revenue or the company’s brand image? Showing employees this will help them feel like they’re making a difference. You can even do this within your rewards program by saying why someone has gotten a prize and how it has linked to the company’s goals.
4) Offer charity days
Another way to boost morale is by offering your team the chance to make positive contributions to their communities. One of the easiest methods of doing this is by offering days or half days where your people can go out and engage in charitable activities. This will work particularly well if it’s related to their jobs. For example, consider if a bank were to encourage its employees to take an afternoon off every month to teach people about saving money and financial literacy.
You can also link this to your rewards program by offering prizes to those who have performed well in whatever charitable activity they’ve chosen.
This will also give your company a PR boost, as well as helping to improve morale by giving your employees the chance to do something good in their communities.
Rewards and recognition with Power2Motivate
Here at Power2Motivate, we have years of experience creating rewards and recognition programs that work. From manager involvement to peer-to-peer recognition, we can ensure your whole company is getting involved with your rewards program.
For more information, reach out to the team today or request a demo.