Category All, Best Practices 10 Ways to Boost Employee Morale in the Workplace: Actionable Tips Follow these simple tips to boost your employees’ morale and learn about how your company can profit from high employee morale. June 5, 2020 By Martin Angjelkoski We have recently seen how important employee morale is to the workplace. During COVID-19 and with the emergence of remote work, many companies faced tough decisions and tried to lift their employees’ spirits amidst times of uncertainty. Why? Because low workplace morale reflects in decreased productivity, disengaged employees and more. Overall, it has a negative effect on the workplace and, consequently, on the business results. In this article, we will show you what are the benefits of high employee morale, how to detect low workplace morale and how to boost it. 🔎 Before we start, make sure to get our Employee Recognition Playbook and start appreciating your employees’ hard work. What is Employee Morale Not to be confused with moral or morality, employee morale can be described as employees’ capacity to keep their faith in their organization and its goals. It is especially prominent in the face of hardship, like many employers have seen during COVID-19 crisis and now that they are back to work after it. However, low workplace morale can be present during “regular” times, and it is detectable in employees’ behavior. Employees that complain about company’s policies, work facilities management or something else related to the workplace are usually the ones with low morale. In that sense, extremely low morale is easy to detect and it will probably go hand-in-hand with high turnover and decreased productivity. More commonly, employee morale is neither at its highest nor at its lowest. However, boosting employee morale is always a good idea as it has very apparent benefits for your company and your workforce. How to Boost Your Employees’ Morale If you want to boost your employees’ morale, you must be aware that it is not a one-time event. As low workplace morale takes time to form, so does elevating it. In that sense, it is best to apply numerous strategies for optimizing your overall workplace culture in order to give your employees the experience they want and deserve. Note that in order for all these strategies to work, some basic conditions need to be met. If your employees do not receive fair wages or if their work environment is improper, it is not likely that any of these strategies will work. Your baseline of decent working conditions should be solid if you want to build up on it. 1. Recognize your employees Employee recognition has numerous benefits for the workplace. The main logic behind it is simple – people like to be reassured that they are doing a good job and be appreciated for it. Nobody works in a vacuum, and both peer-to-peer and top-down recognition have significant power to boost your employee morale. In fact, 58% of employees say that their leaders could engage them better by recognizing them. Therefore, try appreciating your employees’ work simply by thanking them. Even better, propose to set up an employee recognition program in your company and see your employees become vibrant and productive. Have a look at these resources to help you boost your workplace morale: 🔎 9 Employee bonus ideas 🔎 20+ Employee rewards that your workers really want 🔎 Everything you need to know about recognition and rewards 🔎 Why you should encourage social recognition 🔎 How to balance compensation and benefits 🔎 Thoughtful employee gift ideas. 2. Give regular feedback Your employees get demotivated and their morale drops if they do not know if their performance is good. Continuous employee feedback has numerous benefits, and companies that apply regular feedback policies enjoy the presence of constant improvement culture. In other words, by taking interest in your employees’ work and giving them your honest feedback lets them know that you want them to advance. In such supportive environment, employee morale peaks. Here are some positive feedback examples you could use to increase workplace morale. Pro tip: they will be extra motivating if the feedback is public. 3. Organize team building Many HR Professionals believe that teams that play together, work better together. There are numerous examples of companies that continuously organize out-of-this world team building activities. Obviously, there is a reason for that. Team building activities in a form of games and friendly competition push your employees to work together in order to win or solve problems. Also, the relaxed team building atmosphere creates a sense of community. Overall, fun and games lift peoples’ spirits and effectively boost your employees’ morale. Try organizing team building events they will love remembering. 4. Facilitate wellbeing In some cases, wellbeing is crucial for your employees’ morale. For example, during COVID-19 crisis, employees were worried, stressed and uncertain about their future. That’s why many organizations go an extra mile to boost their employees’ morale. Employee wellbeing initiatives like mental health workshops or friendly competition in fitness goals among teams will create a sense of belonging in your employees. Furthermore, your employees will appreciate your organization’s interest in their wellbeing and the proposal of such initiatives. 🔎 Check out how our Employee Wellbeing Platform Healthain can help you boost your employee morale. 5. Remote work Many employees want to have a remote working option. Allowing remote work is becoming the most desired work perk out there – and employers should follow. Research shows that employees who work remotely at least one day a month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive. This is because by working remotely, employees can achieve better work-life balance. Of course, there are other numerous benefits of remote work. All of those advantages show that employees are happier and more satisfied when they have remote work option, which helps to improve workplace morale. 6. Give opportunities for growth When your employees’ do not see themselves advancing their careers in your company, they might feel stuck and less motivated to work. Consequently, they will not believe in an organization that does not help its employees grow with it. Therefore, promote from within! Your employee morale and motivation for work will be at its highest if people know they are at the company that will recognize their effort and promote them. Moreover, newest research on Millennials and Gen Z in the workplace shows that they are motivated by employee development opportunities the most. 7. Set clear goals One of the major obstacles to high employee morale is not knowing in which direction employees should go, what their goals are and how do they fit into company’s vision. In a sense, you have to contextualize your employees’ work and give it purpose. If they are orienting their work towards goals, employees work to meet them and derive a sense of pride and happiness in fulfilling their goals. Furthermore, setting goals gives them criteria to self-evaluate their own work and makes their evaluation sessions with managers more productive. 🔎 Check out these employee evaluation forms that can help you give useful feedback to your employees. 8. Communicate company’s values and vision Without seeing a bigger picture, employees will feel like their actions are directionless and lose their faith in your company. Therefore, when setting your employees’ goals, you need to tie them to organizational ones. Your employees need to know how exactly they contribute to your company. Furthermore, you can communicate your company’s values and vision to employees on a regular basis. This helps your employees align their values to organizational ones and, consequently, keep their belief in your company’s mission. 🔎 Pro tip: check out what are employee communication basics and boost workplace morale by sending great employee newsletter. 9. Include leadership in your communication strategy Including leadership in your communication strategy is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to boost your employees’ morale. Employees seek senior leaders to guide them in times of crisis and provide strategies for improving their situation. An email, video or virtual talk with your company’s leaders could do wonders for your employees. A majority of 81% of employees believe that CEOs who engage on social media are better equipped to lead companies, and 84% think that CEOs can build better relationship with employees by having social media presence. 10. Show empathy The recent COVID-19 outbreak has taught us all about the value of empathy. In companies worldwide, leaders understood their employees’ worries and gave them emotional support. By showing their human, empathetic side, they gained loyal employees who know their leaders stick with them through hard times. Therefore, ask your employees what they need from you and how you can support them. Besides, regularly checking your employees’ pulse allows you to detect your employee morale levels and react if needed. In that sense, showing your employees that you do not only care for their performance, but also for their wellbeing and happiness, is a great way to raise your employees’ morale. Your employees want to belong to a community more than to a company. 5 Benefits of High Workplace Morale As we mentioned earlier, low employee morale has a profound effect on your workplace. Employees with low morale are less motivated and productive. On the other hand, high employee morale goes hand-in-hand with many aspects of high-performing workplaces. Take a look at what benefits you can expect if you boost your employees’ morale. 1. Improved productivity When people believe in your company’s mission and see themselves developing their careers with you, employee productivity is higher. More specifically, highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. 2. Decreased absenteeism Absenteeism is costly – and a major cause of unplanned absenteeism is low employee morale. If your employees’ lack vision and motivation, they are more likely to avoid work in general. High employee morale significantly increases your employees’ motivation to come to work and do their best. 3. Higher retention According to research, highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than disengaged employees. Knowing that high employee morale leads to employee engagement, it is clear that you need to amplify your employees’ morale if you want to optimize employee retention. 4. Better customer service When their morale is high, your employees are more satisfied and happier with work. This shows in your customer service employees’ patience and will to solve your customers’ problems. On the other hand, when your employee morale is low, your employees might be uninterested to do their best and please your customers. 5. More creativity and innovation In a company with high employee morale, employees are motivated and eager to contribute to a company’s success. According to research, 59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas compared to only 3% of disengaged employees. Survey Questions to Evaluate Your Employees’ Morale Extremely low employee morale is fairly easy to detect, as well as incredibly high morale. However, you have to survey your employees to find out the exact state of employee morale in your company. 🔎 Find out how our Employee Survey Platform SurveyRocks helps to actively listen to your employees and better understand their engagement and morale levels. Here are some of the questions you can use to test your employees’ morale. Do you like coming to work? What do you like about your workplace the most? How connected do you feel to your colleagues? Would you say that the office atmosphere is friendly? Is there anything that is stopping you from working the most productively you can? What are our company’s values? Do you feel that your personal values are reflected in our company’s values? What demotivates you at your work? Do you feel like your work is recognized by your colleagues and superiors? Do you believe in our company’s statement? Are you aware of how you contribute to this company’s success? Do you feel respected in your workplace? Do you feel our organization cares about you? Do you have goals you are working towards in your job? What do you think is the state of employee morale in our company? How likely are you to recommend this organization to your friends and colleagues? Why? What do you think our company could do to raise employee morale? Do you feel like you get enough feedback on your work? How meaningful do you find your work? Are you satisfied with your work-life balance? Finally, as employee appreciation is the best way to raise workplace morale, find out how to implement an employee recognition program. That way, you will reap all the before mentioned benefits of a vibrant workplace with high employee morale.