Consider this warning by Larry Alton of NBC News: “If you’re not actively working to improve employee morale, then you’re neglecting it.”
Employee morale is the overall mood in your workplace, and includes their outlook, attitude and job satisfaction. Low morale is bad for business. It cuts productivity because employees feel unhappy and unmotivated. Employees with low morale often do subpar work and look for new jobs, which can increase your turnover rate.
Mike Kappel, author of “How to Boost Workplace Morale at Your Business,” said businesses depend on employees to survive, expand and exceed customer expectations. Companies with high morale are more likely to thrive because their workers make customers feel appreciated. Likewise, they feel encouraged and work harder to help the business reach its goals.
To determine your company’s morale, watch how your employees act. Do they smile and laugh, or do they look like zombies completing tasks? Ask yourself, “Is there more fear and anxiety than joy and optimism in my company?”
If your employees have low morale, you must acknowledge it. More importantly, you must work to improve it. Use these tactics to get started:
Focus on your employees, not just on sales and customer satisfaction. “Objective metrics and goals matter, but so do subjective, sentimental issues like feelings,” Alton said.
Show your employees you care about them and their well-being. That’s part of being a good manager. When employees don’t hear feedback they usually assume the worst. Kappel said employees who don’t know how they’re doing might lack the confidence and morale to succeed. By providing regular feedback and coaching, you help employees feel secure. It also helps them develop and fine-tune their skills.
You should also teach staff new skills to boost their confidence – and your business. Consider offering a CPR, first-aid or archery-instructor certification course. By investing time and money in employees, you help them feel valued and appreciated. They also feel more motivated and engaged in your business, which boosts profits and productivity.
Management styles influence the work atmosphere and how employees feel. Your efforts, attitude and behaviors affect your team. “Lighthouse,” a blog offering leadership and management advice, said managers cause low employee morale in five ways. Managers who ignore feedback, bully or allow bullying, don’t praise employees, assign tedious work, and don’t adapt their management style to each employee generate low morale. Managers must listen, make smart decisions, offer support and guidance, and keep workloads fun, exciting and challenging. Take charge but remember: You’re in control of your business and, ultimately, how your employees feel at work. Be the change you want to see.
Good communication is clear, even if the news is unpleasant. Photo Credit: Unsplash
Poor or irregular communication fuels anxiety and insecurities, while brash or aggressive communication frightens or intimidates employees. Talk to employees in respectful, considerate tones, no matter what the topic. Good communication is clear, even if the news is unpleasant. By being open and honest about workplace policies, procedures and happenings, you reduce rumors, gossip and miscommunications.
You can also reduce business blunders by letting employees know your door is always open. Encourage them to talk to you. If they know they have an open invitation, they’ll more often bring ideas, questions or concerns to you.
If your employees continually work hard, give them a break or small bonus to show appreciation. You can extend their lunch hour, let them leave early, or designate a half-day off. If you can afford it, you could reward their efforts with a cash bonus. These acts show employees you notice hard work and reward hard workers.
In contrast, you might want to give breaks to employees who are tired, disengaged or unmotivated. Time off might provide the boost they need to rest, recharge and re-energize. If you don’t have a paid time-off policy, it’s time to create one. Vacations reduce stress, improve mental stamina and improve relationships. Plus, your employees will see that you care about them personally and professionally.
Although breaks and bonuses are great, you can offer other great incentives for top performers. Alton said casual Fridays, catered lunches, free donuts in the breakroom, and “employee of the month” awards often get people moving.
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By making employee morale a priority, your business’s profits will likely soar. Photo Credit: Unsplash
By making employee morale a priority, your business’s profits will likely soar. To find more ways to overcome low morale, check out this Entrepreneur.com article: “Seven Ways to Boost Employee Morale.”