5 effective ways for boosting employee morale

Last updated:
August 9, 2022
August 19, 2022
min read
Rebecca Anderson
Recruitee
Martina Di Gregorio
Recruitee
boosting employee morale
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Employees play a very crucial role in any organization. They are considered the backbones of an organization and significantly impact the outcome of almost all aspects. The morale of employees can dictate many things, including productivity. 

What happens in your organization most often relates to your employees' morale. So if you are sensing there is low morale in your organization, it’s time to make a change. 

This guide covers effective tactics for boosting employee morale: 

What is meant by employee morale?

Employee morale refers to employees' attitude or mindset, which significantly determines their willingness and ability to work. In other words, it indicates employees' attitudes towards their jobs, colleagues, and employers. 

People with high morale are confident in what they do and feel their work is worth doing. They can efficiently work under pressure and always aim to meet the organization's objectives. 

Employee morale is tied directly to many things, including job satisfaction, employee engagement, employee retention, and productivity

What factors affect employee morale?

Below are some of the most common factors that affect employee morale.

Systems and tools

Employees who have access to working systems and tools can perform tasks on time without struggling, leading to higher morale than those who are ill-equipped. 

Employees who can't access the right systems and tools may have difficulties completing tasks and meeting their goals. Collaboration might also be difficult for such employees, and these misunderstandings/complications within teams may lead to low morale.

Work-life balance

Employees who enjoy a good work-life balance are happier and have higher morale for working. They don't have the pressure to work without resting, developing burnout. They also don't have to bring office work home and skip on family time or time to take care of their personal matters.

This is not true for employees who are pressured to work even when they should not. These employees may feel frustrated for not being able to take care of their personal issues or being able to take some time off, which lowers their morale. 

Training opportunities

Employees who work for organizations that don't provide training opportunities might start feeling stagnant with time, which lowers their morale.

Additionally, employees struggling to get things done due to a lack of knowledge in some tasks may also feel frustrated, which erodes their morale. Organizations must provide platforms for training and career development in general. This can ensure that employees will grow at your organization, and feel supported in achieving their goals. 

Leadership

The kind of leadership an organization has plays a role in its employees' morale. Employees working under leaders who make them feel appreciated are open to communication, empathetic, and have high morale.

On the other hand, employees who feel that their leaders disregard them and don't listen to them have low morale. Right or wrong, there’s even a saying that goes, people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers. Retaining talent becomes difficult when employees do not feel supported by their leader. 

Workplace culture

The culture of a company also dictates the morale of its employees. For example, if a company has a culture of teams struggling to collaborate, or a high turnover rate, low morale will prevail. 

Companies with a good culture have employees with high levels of morale. That's why managers and other people in leadership positions should aim to build a good company culture

What are the benefits of high employee morale?

There are many benefits of having high employee morale, including: 

Improved productivity

Morale affects workplace performance significantly. When people have high morale, they have the zeal to work hard and help meet the company's goals. This improves productivity which in turn leads to increased profitability.

Increased quality of production

Low morale can make employees less keen on focusing on details, leading to low production quality. Employees with high morale are more focused when doing their work and are careful not to make mistakes. This increases the quality of production. 

Reduced absenteeism

Unsurprisingly, employees take sick days not only because they are sick but sometimes to avoid work. Loss of enthusiasm may drive them to lie about being sick.

Employees with high morale don't have to lie to take a day off from work. They are more likely to communicate when they need time off and set boundaries to protect their work-life balance.

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Employee absenteeism affecting your bottom line? Read our tips to reduce absenteeism and improve your employee engagement.

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Higher retention

High morale eliminates the need for employees to switch companies. It means the employees are happy and satisfied with their current employer and less likely to leave. High retention is good for organizations as it saves them hiring and new-hire training costs.

How to increase employee morale

Below are some tips that have been proven effective at increasing employee morale:

  1. Help your employees develop professionally and personally

Helping employees develop professionally and personally is one of the most effective ways of boosting their morale. 

For professional development, you can do things like providing them with learning opportunities. These may take the form of professional coaching and access to learning programs paid for by your organization. 

On top of that, whenever you have new hires, ensure they get properly trained to handle their roles. And it should not end there. Provide learning opportunities as they continue working to help them grow professionally. This will be helpful in their current roles as well as future ones. 

Remember, the personal aspect of employees also matters, and it may also affect their morale. Encourage them to learn personal skills such as empathy, critical thinking, and communication. 

  1. Promote work-life balance

Supporting work-life balance as part of your company culture is another way of boosting employee morale. Unfortunately, many employers struggle with finding this balance. 

One of the easiest yet effective ways of promoting work-life balance is by letting your employees take breaks. Breaks are necessary; don't praise workers for working continuously without taking time off. That may do more harm than good. 

Also, you should understand that work-life balance means different things to different people. If possible, let the employees have the option of choosing the schedule that works for them. For example, working from 9-5 may not suit everyone. Allowing employees to choose another schedule that integrates seamlessly with their other lives may be a solution (like flexible start hours or a four-day work week!)

Promoting a healthy work balance comes with other benefits, such as attracting and retaining employees. 

The ultimate guide to flexible work schedules
  1. Encourage employee feedback

Ensure employees know and feel you care about their feedback. Let them give their opinions frequently; don't just give them a chance during the annual general meeting or a few times a year. 

Basically, let them feel that they can give feedback anytime. Open up communication channels by having a suggestion box and allocating some time for feedback during meetings. 

And don't just receive the feedback; take action too. And communicate later on what that action was so those who give feedback can see the value they have brought by giving input. By doing so, the employees will feel seen and heard. 

  1. Appreciate your employees

According to Harvard Business Review, recognizing the people who work for you is the simplest form of boosting morale. Appreciating employees make them feel valued and their efforts recognized. Appreciate employees from time to time and make them feel that their actions are noticed and valued. You will encourage them to do even better. 

This doesn’t have to be something extravagant. Even a simple thank you note can instantly boost their morale, as long as it’s personal.  

  1. Organize team building activities

Team building activities can foster better connections within teams and between colleagues and bosses. Additionally, it encourages critical thinking and healthy competition, among other benefits, for your entire team. 

Why it's important to focus on employee morale

Thriving companies take employee morale seriously, as they understand the effects low morale can cause in their organizations. They are always looking for ways to boost employee morale, which benefits them greatly. 

It is essential to focus on employee morale, as failure to do so can have the following implications: 

High employee turnover

Employees who are not excited to be at your organization may not wish to stay at your organization. While it’s unrealistic to think that someone will always enjoy their job, focusing on initiatives to create a culture that is more inclusive and supportive of its employees will help prevent the high employee turnover that can result from low morale. Otherwise, when an employee is presented with an opportunity to join another organization, they may jump ship at the first opportunity. 

Low creativity and productivity

Employees with low morale are not as dedicated to their tasks, lowering productivity. They may also lack a creative drive, which can impact productivity in the long run.

Poor health

Low morale is often associated with stress. Stress is known to greatly affect the mind and the body by causing health problems. Poor health not only affects employees; it also makes organizations suffer due to absenteeism. In today’s increasingly hybrid workplaces, this may also result in digital presenteeism, where you have employees who go to work when they are unwell or burned out. 

Poor customer service

In extreme cases, employees may pass down their frustrations to the customers. This, of course, will hurt your organization. If customers feel they are not treated well, they can cut off ties with you and run to your competitors. 

Conclusion 

Employee morale greatly impacts organizations. If you ignore it, your organization may suffer from low profitability and high employee turnover, among other implications. It is your duty to ensure your employees have high morale by doing things such as promoting a work-life balance and organizing team-building activities.

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