Every organisation faces the problem of low morale. As a leader, you need to identify the problem and pick up the pieces as quickly as possible before things take a downward spiral.
Business can’t run smoothly if your employees are unhappy, and although many organisations usually overlook this aspect. Employee morale plays an essential part in the success of a business.
Luckily for many, spotting low morale at work is not rocket science. If you are keen enough, you will quickly pick up on some subtle signs.
Some of the early symptoms of low morale at the workplace include high turnover rates. (Don’t be fooled by the word high in this phrase. It’s the percentage of employees in a company that leave during a specified period.) lower development conversations among employees, eye rolls, diluted performances, and decreased collaboration.
Below are proven 21 ways to boost your employees’ morale.
According to a study, about 92% of staff experience increased heart rate and blood pressure after opening an office email. So, instead of making email as a main communicating channel in your organisation, try looking for other options such as integrating other staff communication applications like Slack, Asana, Basecamp, and Trello.
Email as a means of communication wears on the well-being of employees by spiking the stress levels and requiring high reactivity levels.
2. Ask For Staff Inputs
You can crowd-source the ideas for the next company event from your staff. Instead of leaving everything to the human resource department, consider asking for anonymous nominations for the company trip destination and let your employees vote for their favourites.
Including employees inputs, will show them that you are keen to serve everyone and that their opinion counts.
3. Eradicate The “Jerks”
Don’t you love the sound of that? But who are the jerks in your company? According to many executives, the jerks are employees who:
- demean intimidate
- behave rudely
- belittle people in front of others
- act sexist or racist
- always gives negative feedback
- withhold crucial information
- refuse to own up for their mistakes
- blow up staff meetings
- spread rumours
- use fear as a motivator
With the length of the list, chances are every organisation has one or two jerks. And the best and easiest way to enhance employees’ morale is by weeding them out.
4. Ask For Feedback
Encourage your staff by using the following strategies:
- skip-level meetings
- survey your employees
- conduct exit interviews
- establish confidential complaints line
- ask for ideas
- perform workplace reviews.
When you depict the posture of openness, your employees will feel free to contribute to a positive change.
5. Establish Sharp And Clear Promotion Tracks
This is very important, primarily because of the current generation of employees.
A study showed that around 40% of millennials expect a promotion at the workplace every one to two years.
The best way to sustain morale among your new generation staff is to put in place the right promotional tracks and communicate regularly about the upcoming growth opportunities.
6. Recognise The Small Wins
Celebrate the small achievements when a project your staff was undertaking isn’t going according to plan.
Recognition will create a feeling of accomplishment and success in your team, and thus boost their productivity and keep everyone smiling.
7. Quickly Acknowledge The Elephant
Don’t pretend that everything is fine in your company when it isn’t. As a leader, you need to recognise what is wrong and involve your team in solving the problem with alternative solutions.
When a team overcomes a hurdle, they will tend to feel empowered, and that enhances morale.
8. Increase Vacation Days
Many employees tend to shy away from taking a vacation despite its significance in boosting morale.
I know, like many other organisations, offers unlimited vacation days. But as it turns out, that is not an ideal solution.
I’m not saying have endless vacation days which may sound fantastic on paper, but in reality, sometimes less is more.
The best solution is to increase holiday days alongside bonuses for employees who take a time-out completely.
9. Encourage Lunch Breaks
It is common for employees to hesitate to step away from their desks during lunch time. The research found out that only one in every five employees takes lunch breaks. While it further states that white-collar workers rarely step away from their desk for lunch breaks.
You can encourage your staff to take lunch breaks away from their desks. Because staying in the same location that’s inside for a long time negatively impacts creative thinking.
Start with management and get them to encourage everyone to take coffee and lunch breaks. This will massively boost your staff morale.
10. Recognise Personal Achievements And Losses
You can be sure to increase your staff morale by recognising your team as people first and employees second. You need to accomplish this while maintaining privacy.
According to research, 78% of employees spend more of their time with co-workers than they do with their family.
With that in mind, enhancing a supportive community in the workplace will go a long way to boost morale.
11. Celebrate Work Anniversaries
According to O.C. tanner, there is a 49% increase in employees feeling like their company cares about them when there is a celebration for service anniversaries.
For this reason, it is crucial that you identify the best way to honour work anniversaries in your company.
Celebrating your company’s birthday with your employees is a great way to enable you and your team to reconnect with your goals and mission.
12. Offer Discounts And Sponsored Programs
Many companies utilise this strategy. You can offer perks like subsidising such things as childcare, transportation, gym memberships, or technology.
If you are a company with a service like this, you can partner with other businesses to offer both your employees, and there’s a mutual discount.
13. Give Substantial Bonuses
Providing employees with financial gifts increases high morale at the workplace, as well as boosting performance.
The Balance Careers have a great article on bonuses and why you should pay them.
14. Bring Your Family To Work Day
Incorporating ‘bring your family to work day’ will help connect the personal and professional worlds. Families feel pride upon seeing one of their own at work, sharing appreciation and connection.
15. Introduce Play
Play will help diffuse low morale by including humour, meeting other’s needs, collaborating, and compromising.
You can add a Ping-Pong table to the break room, encourage staff to undertake art projects for office decorations. Bring a karaoke machine to work maybe once every month.
16. Limit Office Hours
Sometimes staff can put in extra hours to appear productive, especially new employees, which can overload them and eventually reduce their productivity.
As a leader, you need to take action and empower your team with time-management training as well as providing peer support and clear boundaries around office hours.
17. Improve Communication
Communicate effectively, especially while setting clear, manageable goals. This can boost employees’ morale while setting unambiguous; huge goals can have opposite effects.
18. Recognise Signs of Burnout Early
Every organisation faces the dangers of staff burnout. When this happens, your employees can become disengaged and can damage morale. It is therefore critical that you check on your team most often in one-on-one meetings and ensure you are well placed to identify the signs of burnout.
The key symptoms of burnout include emotional and physical exhaustion and increased negativity.
19. Offer Sabbaticals
Draw inspiration from big companies such as Deloitte and Adobe, who offer their staff sabbaticals as a method of increasing the quality of life and reduce the turnover rate.
Your company should also adopt this method to allow your employees to pursue their personal goals. By doing this, your employees will have no reasons to quit or take offers from a different company.
20. Encourage Outsourcing
When deadlines are approaching, leading too much work around the office, instead of letting individuals put in massive hours.
Consider outsourcing some of the tasks to virtual freelancers, or delegate them to individuals who have a less hectic schedule. We did a mega post on outsourcing to VA’s.
21. Include Occasional Surprise
I can’t think of any field that being spontaneous is a bad thing. Mixing up the way you operate and deal with your staff is one of the best ways to boost employee morale.
For example, you can do this by letting your staff leave early on a Friday.
However, the point of being spontaneous is to elicit the elements of surprise, so you should be careful not to turn it into a regular thing to curb your employees’ expectations.
Do you have these your workplace?
Which one would you like to have at your work?