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How To Boost Employee Morale In The Workplace

By Natalie Wilson

December 7 2021 2021 - No matter what people say, morale is what keeps a workplace running. Workplace and individual employee morale is what keeps everyone motivated and engaged. It keeps employees in their roles and helps them to deliver exceptional performance and work day in, day out. But, what happens if that morale dips?

If you’ve ever worked in a business or organisation where there is low employee morale and where everything feels unorganised and chaotic, you’ll usually find that the employees are not only unproductive, but unhappy too. This has a huge rolling impact on the employee’s day to day life and can affect everything from their personal home life to their relationships with coworkers.

Often, unmotivated employees feel a lack of morale and motivation simply due to the workplace and it is typically the role of the employer or HR department to ensure that employees are working well and avoiding the risk of burnout. With this in mind, here is an insight into employee morale and what factors might affect employee morale in the workplace.

What Is Employee Morale?

Employee morale is the outlook, confidence, attitude and satisfaction that employees have whilst at work. Often, an employee’s motivation levels are indicative of the company culture, how well employees feel supported and listened to in their roles and how engaged employees are with their roles - poor motivation and low morale can be a sign that something, somewhere, is wrong.

Whilst employers can’t physically give employees positive morale, they can create an environment where it grows organically. When employees feel taken care of and appreciated, this shines through in their work, outlook and personality, but remember that sometimes employees feel low morale for reasons other than company culture. Home struggles or worries can be factored in, however, these are usually isolated incidents and don’t reflect company morale on the whole. If employees are visibly struggling due to personal issues, employers can still provide support and care options to help boost morale.

What Factors Can Affect Employee Morale?

There are many different factors that can negatively impact employee morale. Simple things, such as lack of proper equipment, can be enough to make an employee feel disheartened, especially if it is day after day. Factors that can affect employee morale include:

Lack of Opportunities

Employees that are lacking the opportunity to develop and progress in their careers may soon start to develop a noticeable lag in their morale. If an employee can’t see any career progression, then they’ll become monotonous and their work will be impacted.

Unmotivating Work Environments

If employees are coming to work every day and are working in uncomfortable or unsightly conditions, then this will hugely affect their motivation levels. Unclean, unorganised and drabby work environments can be dull and uninspiring and hugely impact an employee’s motivation and morale. Avoid asking employees to take responsibility for the whole of the workplace cleaning tasks, as this can only cause further resentment.

Lack of Incentive and Recognition

Employees want to know that their work is being recognised and appreciated and if their work continues to go unappreciated and unnoticed, this can cause workplace motivation to spiral. Managers who have a consistent pattern of only noticing mistakes, rather than offering praise, only creates a breeding ground for low motivation.

How Can Employee Morale Be Measured?

There are many different ways that you can monitor and measure employee morale in the workplace, other than just outright asking your employees how they feel in the workplace. These can include:

Morale Surveys

You can carry out company-wide surveys to get an indication of how employees feel about the workplace and their individual morale levels. Be sure to ask the right questions, such as "does our company make you feel important" and create a scale for which employees can answer. Using this method, as opposed to open questions, can make it easier for employees to state how they truly feel, without potentially exposing themselves.

Conduct One-to-One Interviews

Conducting regular one-to-one interviews is a highly effective and insightful way to see exactly what your employees feel and think about their job, workload, employees, managers and the overall company. In order to conduct effective one-to-one interviews, put together a list of questions beforehand so that you can get through anything you want to ask, but be sure to leave time at the end to answer any questions your employees may have, or if they want to discuss something more in-depth with you.

Monitor Performance

If your company provides data and insights for each employee, then you should be able to follow and monitor their performance in order to spot any patterns, such as how many clients they’ve signed on, customer retention levels and their work output levels. If you are noticing consistent patterns where there is poor performance, then this is where you can have a conversation with employees about what changes both you and your employees can make to help them feel more productive and ensure that the work they are doing is meaningful.

How to Boost Workplace Morale

Now that we understand why workplace morale is important for your business and the wellness of your employees, here are some ways that you can boost workplace morale.

Learn and Understand Your Employees

One of the best ways to boost workplace morale is to get to know your employees and understand what they would consider as meaningful. You can then use this as a foundation for their future work responsibilities and future growth plans within the company.

Provide a Welcoming Workplace

A workplace that is welcoming and inviting will provide an environment just so. Ensuring that a workplace is clean, tidy and organised will mean that your employees will be encouraged to be so, too. Warm colours, soft lighting, comfortable seating and meeting spots and perks such as healthy snacks, tea, coffee and water are all small things, but can make the world of difference.

Take a look at your office space and, if there are old, dated and worn office furniture, then this could be having a huge effect on your employee’s motivation. Comfortable and ergonomic office furniture may seem small, but to your employee’s motivation and work ethic, it can be a huge improvement.

Look After Your Building

If your employees are coming into a workplace that is untidy, unkempt and messy, then they will be reminded daily that, if employers can’t look after and maintain the exterior of the workplace, which is seen be members of the public, clients and customers, then they won’t be able to look after employees either. If your workplace needs some much needed TLC and would benefit from exterior building cleaning, window restoration or high-level cleaning, then be sure to enlist the help of a specialist cleaning company.

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