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Do’s & Don’ts of Employee Morale in the Workplace

A happy staff is an engaged staff.

Lots of factors play into whether an employee is satisfied with their job. Workplace happiness can impact everything at your organization from company culture to affecting overall productivity.

Did you know?

According to research by the Dale Carnegie Institute, 80 percent of employees who aren’t happy with their supervisors claim that they’re disengaged and ultimately, less productive.

And, the Harvard Business Review says that happy workers have 31 percent higher productivity, generate 37 percent more sales, and are three times more creative than their disengaged counterparts.

Generally, you can look at your staff and tell if they have high or low morale. What you can’t see is why.

Improving morale is not an easy task. One thing that will help you move in the right direction is reflecting on what you’re doing that is not helping the process.

6 common reasons for low employee morale (the Don’t list)

  1. Lack of communication & respect– Clearly communicate your expectations. Show consideration by listening to their feedback demonstrates you respect them.
  2. Stifling creativity– When an employee does not feel empowered, they may begin to think their contribution is not valued.
  3. Not being open & transparent– This plays a part in defining your perceived culture across the organization. Upper management, to middle management, to your entire staff, must trust that management is leading them in the right direction.
  4. Being denied a sense of purpose & autotomy– Provide your employees with choices whenever possible. Giving them the reigns where it makes sense offers them a sense of ownership and can help give them purpose.
  5. Not feeling connected or appreciated43% of people leave their jobs due to lack of recognition. Making recognition a part of your culture helps employees feel connected and communicates everyone is in support of them. When an employee takes pride in their work, it transfers to pride in the companies they work for.
  6. Not feeling equipped to handle their jobs– If workers don’t have the training they need to do their jobs efficiently or the workload is too high, they will become burned out. When they have less passion about their work, it will result in low morale.

For additional resources, check out this employee morale advice on the American Management Association’s site by vocational shrink, John Schaefer

Of course, the above list is not all-encompassing. Every organization is different and will have different needs when it comes to improving morale. However, if you look at companies whose employees have higher morale, you can begin to see patterns that if applied will help to increase employee morale.

6 common reasons for high employee morale (the Do list)

  1. Culture of Collaboration– This reinforces shared vision and will deepen the connection with your company. Workers who help one another come together to achieve common goals. Jobsite of the UK, reports that 70 percent of polled employees say that cultivating friendships at work generate a positive influence on their productivity and happiness.
  2. More Recognition– You may recognize here and there but having a plan in place will help you to remain consistent. Did you know organizations who have a strategic recognition program, report an employee turnover rate that is 23.4% lower than retention companies without a recognition program?
  3. Value work-life balance– This is not only important for your team but your entire business. Research shows higher productivity when we use time more efficiently. For example, take a look at this CNBC article that talks about why working more than 50 hours a week makes us less productive.
  4. Fair treatment-Employees value equality. It communicates to them that if they work hard, they will be rewarded fairly or if they have an issue it will be handled It also helps them to be more vulnerable and lets them know you value their trust.
  5. Opportunity for growth– Help them reach their goals. When a staff member feels they can move up, it gives a goal and it’s a bonus if management sits down with them to help them map out a plan for how they can get there.
  6. Fun-Give your team an outlet from their sometimes-stressful responsibilities. Have lunch together, have themed days and go on group outings.

Check out this post from SHRM, if you’re looking for more ideas on how to boost company morale.

We wish you the best of luck on your journey to improving employee morale in your organization.

If you have questions, we have several experts on hand who would love to help you. Or if you have other ideas you think we should include in this post, let us know in the comments below.

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