How You Can Boost Employee Morale at Work

Morale is everything in the workplace. As the leader of your business, you should really be serious about the wellbeing and happiness of the company’s staff and take steps to improve morale. Improving morale should be a priority as low staff morale can result in poor staff engagement and cooperation that may lessen company productivity and negatively impact turnover. That is because a team that doesn’t like where it is will do the minimum required not to get fired and no more. They don’t care about your company or whether it’s going well. That’s the sad reality of larger companies where upper management doesn’t seem to care about its employees.  

Here are creative and proven approaches that you can adapt to your company to boost employee morale and build your company success:

1) Don’t forget to have fun

With mountains of work to get through each day and deadlines constantly looming, it can be easy to fall in to the ‘All Work, No Play’ mentality – but this is only going to take its toll on your employees. Ultimately, staff go to work to get a job done, but spending over 40 hours each week doing the same tasks day in, day out can get extremely dull. So, whether it’s a quick round of drinks on a Friday afternoon, or a big team building day out every quarter, your staff will appreciate the break in monotony.

2) Be prepared to take the bullet

When your people are facing challenges and morale is sinking, be willing to step up to the mark and tackle particularly difficult issues yourself. Whether it’s dealing with a challenging client or handling an awkward confrontation, showing your team that you’re willing to put your neck on the line to save them hassle will undoubtedly increase morale and team spirit.

3) Give praise where praise is due

Everybody loves a bit of positive recognition every now and then, so stop overlooking staff members’ good work. Regular positive feedback and recognition may just be the key to unlocking exceptional performance and improving employee morale – and the key word is here ‘regular’. Leaving it to yearly review meetings just won’t suffice.

4) Let them speak

Meet with each of your team members one-on-one to allow them chance to vent any frustrations or voice any concerns privately. Take what they say seriously and make sure to act on anything within your power. Employees that trust you and feel able to talk and be listened to will be more willing to put the work in, knowing their opinions are valued.

5) Authentic care

Whether it’s a simple birthday card or a bunch of flowers for a staff member going on maternity leave, these relatively inexpensive demonstrations show that you genuinely listen to your employees and care about their lives – and not just within the office walls.

This can go a long way towards making employees feel connected to their team and the business, and create a happier staff body overall.

6) Make work meaningful

When employee morale is taking a bit of a bashing, take the time to return to the vision on which the business was built in the first place. Ask yourself why the business exists, and how the work of employees influences this purpose. Then, communicate this back to your staff. Emphasising the importance of their work both as individuals and teams is bound to improve morale and motivation.

7) Give your staff a chance to get along outside the office

Creating friends out of your workforce will do a lot for company morale. Not enough attention is paid to encouraging people to connect with each other. You want to bring people together. And it can be as simple as spending lunch together. The working lunch should be a thing of the past.

People need time to get to know each other and they need time to recharge. There are many ways you can avoid people taking lunch at their desks. Ban it and eat in the cafeteria with your staff. You could even take your team out to a restaurant every Friday. Little things like this can do a huge amount for morale because people are talking to each other on an informal basis.

8) Amaze your team members with occasional surprises

Why not surprise your staff with a company retreat? Company retreats are where you take the entire workforce away from the city to the mountains, on a luxury cruise, or to the beach. These retreats are not about work but about forging stronger connections between team members. The goal is to improve morale. They should never be a drag. They should be something people look forward to. Make it light-hearted and try to keep serious business out of the picture.

Staff morale can make or break your company’s success. Your team members are your most important asset but at the end of the day, your employees are humans! They have goals and feelings too. If you invest time and energy into ensuring your staff are happy then you’ll assist your business by improving productivity and employee retention. There are many ways to boost employee morale but first stop and listen to what they have to say. If you do that, you’ll soon have the entire team rowing in the same direction towards the organisation’s ultimate goal.

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she's a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. You can find her tweeting on her coffee breaks @SarahLandrum

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