Are you struggling with keeping your staff motivated and looking at how to boost employee morale?
If yes, then you are focusing your efforts, time, and attention on the right subject.
Whether you are the owner of the business or a team leader, you should be interested in stepping up the morale of your employees.
This is because moral or motivation directly influences and affects their level of productivity.
Sometimes, it might be that your employees are overworked within a particular time period and are suffering burnout.
Or it could be that the company is just recovering from a major work challenge, which is taking its toll on your staff.
There are also times when the problem is beyond your immediate organization.
For instance, a nationwide crisis or disaster such as a recession or a pandemic might be impeding the morale of your employees.
They might be struggling to feed their families at such difficult times.
Worse still, an employee might even be mourning the loss of a dear one, and as such, might have low morale.
Additionally, some actions or inactions from the management of the organization might be responsible for this.
Whatever the reason, employee morale is not something to be treated with negligence or levity.
As a business owner or the leader of a team, you would need your employees to be at the peak of performance in other to get results.
If you aim to continue generating revenue and growing the business, you must pay attention to this aspect of staff management.
You need to worry, though, as we will guide you on the procedure to boost employee morale.
What is Employee Morale?
The word morale refers to the amount of confidence or enthusiasm a person has towards a particular task, duty, or responsibility.
It describes the emotional condition with which someone handles a job, project, or assignment.
With that in mind, employee morale refers to your employees’ overall outlook and attitude while working with you.
Do they usually demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm and commitment to work, resulting in deep satisfaction?
Or could it be that your employees generally lack commitment and are uninterested in the activities going on in the workplace?
Whichever scenario best describes the attitude of your employees, whether as individuals or as a group, indicates their morale.
If your employees approach their job and responsibilities with the utmost dedication and enthusiasm, you can say they have high morale.
On the other hand, if you have employees who lackluster in carrying out their duties and do not exude excitement or joy while at it, you can describe their morale as low.
Indeed, your employees’ morale determines their level of productivity and performance.
This is the more reason why you should be devoted to boosting your employee’s morale at all times.
Your business will only gain from it.
Boosting Employee Morale – Why is it Important?
Truth be told, the steps you can take to boost your employee morale at work might demand time, energy, and other resources.
Due to this, some employers might not really be giving this aspect of employee engagement the attention it deserves.
However, whatever you invest in getting your employee’s morale at the optimum is well worth it.
This is because there are so many benefits of having a team of dedicated and committed employees.
More so, when you have your staff operating with the highest level of enthusiasm, there is no limit to what you can achieve together.
If you are not yet convinced of the importance of employee morale, the following benefits might change your mind:
It Increases Productivity
It would interest you to know that your employees’ morale directly affects their level of productivity.
Productivity in the workplace refers to the output or results an employee gives, considering the available resources.
In other words, it is the productivity of your employees that indicates whether or not they are adding value to the organization.
When you have unmotivated employees with low morale, there is the risk of a decrease in productivity.
This is because with low morale comes laziness, lack of commitment, and inactivity.
Also, when all these negative traits are present in an employee, there is a limit to what they can achieve.
They might even do things the way they should be done, but without the needed commitment and enthusiasm, the results will not come.
An example would have a salesperson within your organization who has low morale.
How many sales can such a person complete, in all honesty?
The greatest salespeople in the world will tell you that you need to have a level of confidence and belief for you to close sales.
Therefore, having a dampened zeal or morale will not help the cause.
Fewer Customer Complaints
Employees with high morale in the work environment are usually the best friends to customers.
This is because they are always happy and ready to assist customers, either be face-to-face or over the phone.
Their excitement and enthusiasm easily rub on the customers who contact the firm, which puts them at ease.
Not only that, when your employees have high morale, customers are less likely to complain bitterly.
This is because many of the problems that would have warranted customers’ complaints due to negligence are avoided.
Increased Customer Satisfaction and Retention
If you are the business owner or the manager of your organization, you would agree that customers cannot always speak with you.
Your employees are the ones who interact with the customers the most.
This is the more reason why you should work at boosting the employee’s morale.
The way an employee relates with a customer might be the little difference between customer retention or loss of a customer.
Overall, this means you won’t lose customers abruptly.
Instead, your customer retention rate increases.
It Increases your Chance of Getting Top Talents
Gone are the days when job seekers just jump at every job opportunity without conducting a proper background check on the organization.
One of the things potential employees check for is engagement and job satisfaction in the workplace.
You can be sure that a job environment that does not encourage talent development and isn’t exciting won’t attract people.
Most especially, the top talents in the industry will not want to work where the morale is low.
Hence, if you can dedicate your time and other resources to boosting the morale of your employees, you increase your chance of getting the best hands around.
Improvement in Work Attendance and Punctuality
Have you noticed a trend among some employees in your workplace of missing work regularly on flimsy excuses?
Could it be that they do not feel adequately motivated to work and have lost enthusiasm?
That is a possibility, and it points to low morale.
If your employee’s morale receives a boost always, they are more eager to come to work.
In fact, they wake up every day looking forward to arriving at work early and doing what they love best.
No doubt, when you boost your employees’ morale, you reduce the incidence of late-coming and absenteeism.
Employee Retention is Guaranteed /Less Turnover
Did you know? Many workers today are willing to trade a huge percentage of their salaries for a happier work environment.
This comes as no surprise because the orientation of people, most especially those with skills and talents, has changed over the years.
These valuable employees are no longer just satisfied with earning big bucks in their places of employment.
Instead, there is now more focus on establishing where their contributions matter and feel valued.
We are not asking you to underpay your employees, but more focus should be on building engagement and morale.
If you do this, you might find that you are more likely to retain employees and not lose them.
It Reduces Friction and Conflicts in the Workplace
Usually, when people are low in spirit and have lost motivation and enthusiasm, they cannot function at their best.
At such times, tiny things or minor issues might easily provoke such ones and cause avoidable conflicts.
The same is true in the place of work.
However, when you have highly motivated employees and high morale, you promote unity on the team.
People will go around with a smile on their faces, and it is easier to make a joke out of actions that would have caused friction or conflicts.
So, put simply, boosting the morale of your employees can help you forge good working relationships among employees.
Increased Income and Revenue
All the decisions and actions you take daily as a business owner are geared towards one goal.
The goal is to generate revenue and increase your profit.
To reach this goal, the impact and contribution of your employees cannot be belittled.
Unfortunately, when they are not adequately motivated and pushed on, they cannot help you attain this goal.
Sometimes, this is not a deliberate plan to sabotage your efforts.
Instead, the lack of zeal and confidence, plus a lack of job satisfaction, would definitely result in poor input.
Also, it is this poor input that will ultimately handicap your chances of increasing income and revenue.
On the other hand, organizations that commit to boosting employee morale will often reach their business goals.
The employees stop seeing the company as ‘his company, her company or their company,’ but rather as ‘our company.’
They will give their best in all they do, resulting in increased income and revenue for you.
Signs to Show that an Employee’s Morale is Low
Of course, not all negative traits exhibited by an employee can and should be linked to poor morale.
However, there are some obvious indicators that show a lack of self-motivation or low morale in employees.
It is good to recognize these signs because you can only solve a problem that you understand.
This is because you have to ascertain that there is an issue with employees’ morale.
Then, you can start devising ways to address it.
Here are some of the most common signs that indicate that your employee(s) have poor morale, and you need to act immediately:
Toxic or Hostile Work Environment
Having a work environment characterized by arguments, complaints, and a hostile or even violent spirit might indicate poor employee morale.
Just as we saw earlier, when you have high moral level employees, the work environment is a haven of peace and tranquility.
On the other hand, when the morale of some or all of your employees is low, you can’t avoid frictions and constant squabbles.
Poor Productivity and Work Quality
Highly motivated employees operate at the premium level of productivity.
They usually give their best in all they do, and they even go to great lengths to surpass expectations.
This is what makes them more productive and gives good output.
However, when you notice that the output of some of your employees is beginning to drop, that’s a red flag.
It is a signal of a decline in the morale of such employees, and they surely need a push.
When your employees’ morale is high, you need no soothsayer to tell you; you can feel it.
One of the things you will notice is that they communicate freely among themselves and management.
However, when you notice a communication breakdown between co-workers or between them and you as the employer, something is wrong.
This lack of communication might be during work hours or even in meetings organized between staff and management.
There is a high chance that their engagement and motivation have dropped, resulting in poor morale.
Mistakes are Becoming More Frequent
Mistakes are indeed inevitable, as even the best talents are not perfect.
However, when the mistakes are becoming too frequent and becoming a trend, there is a problem.
One thing you should know about employees with high morale is that they are also cautious.
This is because excellence is what they go for, and as such, they try as much as possible to avoid mistakes.
Therefore, a trend of consistent avoidable mistakes in the workplace might be an indicator of poor morale.
Increased Absenteeism and Lateness
Another sign that indicates poor employee morale is increased absenteeism and frequent lateness to work.
These are not just isolated cases of coming late or missing work for unavoidable and convincing reasons.
Rather it is making a pattern of missing work and not reporting on time without credible excuses.
When you notice this, it is most likely that such employees wake up and spend the next hour rolling on their beds.
This is not because they are sick and unwell, but because the thought of coming to work tortures and irritates them.
The zeal is not there because their morale is low.
Poor Attitude Towards Work
You can also tell that one of your employees is suffering from low morale when the attitude toward work is just piss poor.
They prefer spending time on their desks playing games, watching movies, or being on social media.
Sometimes, they might decide it’s best to sleep off at work than carry out their duties.
Except there is a good excuse for this, such as ill-health.
If not, such an attitude denotes a lack of morale from the employee.
Increase in Loss of Employees
How many employees have you lost in the last few months or years, not because you fired them, but they resigned?
Is it becoming a trend in your organization that staff walks away after spending just a short period of time with you?
You need to understand that a better offer for employees doesn’t always have to be about their income.
Sometimes, your employees leave because they get a new opportunity to showcase their skills more, and they are more engaged.
The bottom line is that if you do not boost the morale of your employees and keep it high always, you run the risk of losing them.
Factors that Affect or Influence the Morale of an Employee
Around the work environment, certain factors can directly or indirectly influence the morale of your employee.
These factors might either boost their morale or drop it.
Also, some of the factors are external factors, while others might be peculiar to the individuals.
Some of these include:
This is one major factor contributing to employee morale: keeping it high or dropping it low.
Your employees generally would be well motivated and work with enthusiasm when they do what they love and love what they do.
On the other hand, if you have an employee who doesn’t think about what he is passionate about, it can dampen his spirit.
Leadership and Management Style
The style of leadership and management you deploy in your organization also affects your employee’s morale.
Employers or managers with a more inclusive approach to employee engagement and management would have more employees with high morale.
However, when your management style does not support teamwork, speaking up, sharing ideas, and expressing oneself, you can dampen the morale of your employees.
Also, your recognition of good work or lack of it, coupled with whether or not you give employee rewards when due, can affect morale.
Work and Leisure Balance
You must create a work environment where there is a balance between work and social life.
The truth is that even your most dedicated and hardworking employees also have their social lives outside of work.
If you do not help them to get this balance, or if the employees themselves don’t strike a balance, it can affect their morale.
After all, the saying goes: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
We will be the first to admit that the salary an employee collects isn’t a major determinant of employee morale.
However, it has a part to play.
At the end of the day, the main reason why a lot of people, if not all, seek employment is to make money to fend for themselves and family.
If an employee feels he is not getting the wages or salary that his work, qualifications, and contributions deserve, it can dampen his morale.
Having to Work Remotely
When employees have to work remotely either due to an unfortunate incidence like the 2020 pandemic or as a choice of the organization, it can affect morale.
While in the office space, it is easier to stay motivated and active as you have to work with time, and others could see if you are working.
It is often not the same with remote work.
There are lots of distractions around, and it can really affect the morale of the employee negatively.
Availability or Unavailability of the Right Tools and Systems
Work is easier when your employees have the right tools and resources at their disposal.
If you do not have the proper system to support employee relationships and customer support, you might frustrate your staff.
The result of this is a shot on their morale, and this could drop so easily.
Whereas, with the right tools to work, your employees are more likely to get more motivated.
The sort of relationship between your employees in the workplace also influences the morale of each employee.
So ask yourself: “In my workplace, do I have a team that supports one another and works together unitedly?”
Or could it be that your work culture is poor and there is no unity between co-workers?
The quality of the relationship between your employees will determine whether or not their morale is high.
Another thing that might affect your employees’ morale is that the management is inconsistent.
These inconsistencies might be in setting priorities, expectations, job descriptions, and processes.
It could also be in the way you address disrespect and problems from employees.
Your employees need to see that you have a working structure and system, and you stand by it.
They need to know what happens when rules are broken and not have to get confused because you are not consistent.
This can also affect their morale.
How to Boost Employee Morale
Having seen just how important boosting employee morale can be for your business, here are some ways you can do this starting now:
1Identify the Cause of Low Morale
Of course, diagnosis is always the first step in the treatment of any ailment.
If you do not understand what is responsible for the low morale suffered by an employee, you won’t know where to help.
Sometimes, it is beneficial to call a meeting with the employee or the team if all are affected.
Ask them the reason why the morale has been low and get feedback.
The answers you get will let you know where to start from in boosting your employees’ morale.
2Maintain Constant and Open Communication
One way you can boost employee morale is by always communicating with your employees.
They are a part of the company, and they should feel that way.
Whether it’s new products or services, a customer review, feedback on job performance e.t.c., be sure to keep them in the loop.
When you do this, your employees feel relevant, and it can help to boost their morale.
3Practice Employee Appreciation and Recognition
The last thing an employee wants is to go head over heels for the company, and his input is not recognized or appreciated.
There is nothing that kills an employee’s morale and drive as quickly as this.
We know you are very passionate about giving corrections and scolding your employees when they go wrong.
Why not channel the same energy to appreciating them and applauding their achievements.
This will make your employees feel valued and boost their morale.
4Encourage Employee Growth and Development
Another reason why an employee might begin to lose morale is if that employee’s growth is stagnated for a long time.
While you might think it is not your primary responsibility to offer personal development for an employee, but you can still do that.
When was the last time you sent your best hands out on training or register them for an online course?
The conscious efforts you put into helping individual employees to develop themselves and get better on their career path don’t go unnoticed.
When you do this, you show them that they are not objects to be used but valuable assets.
Thereby boosting their morale.
5Don’t Stunt their Growth Within the Company
Aside from personal growth and development, it is also important that you allow your employees to grow in your company.
How would you feel if you are an employee working in a company for many years and do not get promotions?
It could even worsen when people from the outside fill senior positions within the organization.
This can really be a big blow to the morale and commitment of employees.
6Create a Balance Between Work and Social Life
There are some organizations where you have very hardworking staff who might even be the ones seeking to work overtime.
They might work so hard that they hardly have time to spend resting or with their family.
You would need to encourage your employees to create a work-life balance at the top of their game.
Working too much without leisure activities can create burnout and an eventual drop in morale.
7Don’t Micromanage your Employees, Give them Responsibilities
One other cause of frustration for employees, especially those with years of experience behind them, is micromanaging.
Micromanaging is when you seek to control every aspect of the business and do not trust your employees enough to make good decisions.
You might think that you are trying to prevent things from going wrong and get the best results, but it can backfire.
If you micromanage your employees, it can give them a sense of distrust, keeping their morale low.
On the other hand, when you entrust them with more responsibilities, you are helping to boost their morale.
8Discipline Employees When Appropriate
Do you know that the morale of some employees might drop when there is no enforced discipline in the workplace?
Imagine that there is a particular employee who is fond of disrespecting authority and breaking all office rules.
However, this employee always seems to get away with such misconduct.
This can create a very bad culture within the office environment and can affect the morale of even the best employees.
If you enforce discipline, though, it keeps everyone on their toes; you earn the respect of your employees and boost their morale.
9Provide the Right Tools and Resources to Simplify Work
There is no point in making the jobs of your employees difficult when you can actually lessen it.
If your organization is stuck in the archaic method of doing things, it might be the reason why some of your employees have low morale.
You as a business owner must provide the needed tools, resources, and system that makes work easier for your employees.
This could be applications, software, or even the hardware used for work.
For example, you might want to automate some processes in the business and watch how this might boost your employee’s morale.
10Organize Team Bonding Activities
Another thing you can do to boost the morale of an employee or the team is to organize activities for bonding.
As an employer, you should be interested in seeing that your employees are not just co-workers but best of friends.
When that is done, they look forward to working more and enjoying working because they spend time with their friends.
However, you cannot build these friendships if the only thing they do together is the routine work.
Aside from the job duties, work on other creative yet fun activities to make your staff bond.
Such activities might include hangouts, parties, get-together, boat cruises, games, lunch e.t.c.
These activities have proven to be effective in keeping employees happy and, in turn, boosting their morale.
Conclusion on How to Boost Employee Morale
There is really no limit to what employees with high morale can achieve for themselves and the organizations they work for.
If you are an employee struggling to stay motivated in your workplace, the points discussed so far will help you.
On the other hand, if you are an employer looking at ways to keep boosting an employee’s morale or the entire team, you will also benefit.
Having a team or an individual with low morale is not a disaster.
With the right strategies and application, you can create the right workspace where everyone is high spirit and high productivity.
You can only watch with satisfaction in the long run as this propels your business to greater heights.