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Have your meetings been filled with awkward silences lately? Are team members increasingly showing up late to work or missing deadlines? You may have a silent productivity killer in your workplace. Low employee morale can drag down productivity and dampen your team’s quality of work. It can also negatively affect workers’ mental and physical health. What impacts employee morale, and how can you create an atmosphere that lifts up your team members?
Team morale is the overall attitude and outlook your employees have at work. Workers with high morale feel they have adequate support in the workplace. They’re invested in their jobs and have generally positive relationships with those around them, including co-workers and managers. People with low morale at work, on the other hand, may experience frequent conflicts or feel unsupported, disengaged from their work, or socially excluded.
Employees with low morale at work are more likely to switch jobs in search of a better work environment. Those who stick it out at your organization may feel less enthusiastic about their job, which can affect their work quality.
High morale, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. A 2017 Gallup study showed that employees who were engaged with their work increased profitability by 21 percent. At the same time, absenteeism dropped by 41 percent and turnover went down by 59 percent.
Both employees and employers contribute to workplace morale. While you can’t control your employees’ contributions, you can use the powerful tools in your arsenal to build the type of company culture you want.
A few of the most common factors that dampen staff morale are:
Fortunately for employers, many of these factors are things you can control, or at least affect.
Is your organization struggling to build healthy team morale? Here are a few telltale signs to look for.
Boosting employee morale isn’t as simple as telling employees to “stay positive.” Employees shouldn’t suppress difficult feelings or avoid addressing issues to appear as though morale is high—that’s called toxic positivity and it takes a toll on both workers and businesses as well. Although you can’t control the attitudes your employees have toward work, there’s still a lot you can do. Here are a few ways to boost morale at work.
To boost employee morale, gather information about workplace attitudes and ideas about how to improve them from your employees themselves. You can do this through anonymous surveys, exit interviews, grievance reports, or monitoring productivity, retention, and engagement. Lyra Health offers assessments and tools to help you understand your team’s work morale and improve it if necessary. Once you’ve heard from your team, you’ll have a better idea how to address the problem.
Employee morale can spiral if workers feel they aren’t making a fair salary for their industry and job responsibilities. Make sure your compensation package is up to par for your region and industry.
Team members also may be seeking a different type of compensation: recognition. Research by Harvard Business Review suggests that awards such as public recognition, career development opportunities, and certificates can boost intrinsic motivation, performance, and retention rates.
Different industries have different limitations in the amount of autonomy they can grant employees, but most employers can find some way to give workers a greater sense of freedom. Consider flexibility in when and where employees work, how they complete tasks, the order in which they complete tasks, or what their deadlines look like.
No one wants a dead-end job. To improve employee morale, consider creating employee development plans to demonstrate possible paths to career advancement. This shows your employees not only how to advance, but that you care about their development. Growth plans can be individualized and tailored to match employees’ specific strengths and goals.
People want to understand why their work matters. How does their role support the company? How does the company create positive outcomes? It’s also important to keep a finger on the pulse of workplace inclusion. If interpersonal conflicts or exclusionary work policies are making workers feel unsupported, those issues need to be proactively addressed.
Morale can affect employee mental health, and vice versa. Workers with mental health conditions are more likely to take sick days and lose time to unproductive tasks. Offering mental health benefits and encouraging employees to use them can support employee mental health, boost satisfaction, and boost morale.
Managers can directly impact how employees feel about their jobs, so management training programs can be a staff morale booster. When managers learn about communication, psychological safety, and recognition, their teams’ job satisfaction, morale, and loyalty typically improve.
What if you could empower your employees to do their best work while boosting productivity and employee retention? These benefits could be just one workplace morale booster away.
Building morale is a strategy that pays dividends in the long run. Lyra offers assessments and tools to help you learn how to boost work morale and your bottom line.