Employee morale is determined by your people’s views and opinions towards their work environment and their overall level of satisfaction towards serving as an ambassador of your company. Employee morale has a direct effect on employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
When employee morale is high, satisfaction and productivity rise. When employee morale is low, progress sinks, and it’s time for employers to reevaluate how they can better connect with and motivate their teams. Communication, collaboration, feedback exchange, recognition, and social bonds are all crucial features of a company culture that values its people and can move them to achieve their best work.
1. Streamline work responsibilities by your people’s talents and skills
Boost employee morale by allowing your people to concentrate on doing work that drives them is a win-win for both the employee and the employer. Marissa Dragoo, an attorney at Littler Learning Group, where she develops and facilitates training on effective team management, remarks on the importance of streamlining your team’s unique talents and skillsets and letting team members specialize.
“In order to get your team to be not just productive and efficient, but actually doing their work in a way that brings them satisfaction, help them focus on doing more and more of what they want to do and what they are good at. In other words, let the copywriter concentrate on copywriting and let the sales team focus on making the sale.”
2. Give them room to grow through professional development opportunities
Meghan M. Biro, founder of TalentCulture, advocates for helping your people grow by providing opportunities for professional development, career advancement, and upward mobility within your company by investing in growth opportunities such as resources and industry events.
“The more engaged in work and in life your people are, the more their intrapreneurial impulses will be encouraged and nurtured. When we engage in activities and learning that feed our passions, we bring that passion to work with us. So pay for courses, classes, and activities that spark curiosity, build confidence, and may well lead to ideas and innovations that will boost performance and profits.”
3. Recognize employee achievements with genuine appreciation
Employee recognition keeps your workforce motivated and can help boost employee morale. When you create an environment in which good work is appreciated, your people will feel empowered in their ability to contribute to your company. Management and organization development consultant Susan M. Heathfield advises employers to give gratitude to employees for a job well done, as making them feel recognized for their accomplishments through reinforcement can go a long way.
“The purpose of employee recognition is to reinforce what you’d like to see the employee do more of… Offer employee recognition as close to the event you are recognizing as possible. When a person performs positively, provide recognition and a thank you immediately... This positively affects the employee’s confidence in their ability to do well in your organization.”
4. Be transparent with your company’s vision and goals
Jacob Morgan, author of The Future of Work, believes strongly in transparency in leadership in allowing your people to see and understand the full scope of the bigger picture and thereby gaining their buy-in into your grand vision and support in reaching your company’s goals.
“One of the most valued aspects of corporate culture across the board is transparency. Employees tend to feel much better about their organization when management is transparent with the company’s progress, goals, and actions. The more transparent a company is about its actions, the more employees will feel comfortable.”
5. Open the floor for feedback and listen to your people
If your employees know their voices are heard and they’re considered an integral member of the company, you will sustain their trust in the company and boost employee morale. Amy Durant, a writer for the graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns, promotes the importance of encouraging an open door policy when it comes to taking in their feedback, concerns, ideas, and suggestions and listening to your people.
“If employees do not feel like they can share information with you, then you risk an ‘us versus them’ office, where employees only share opinions (and frustrations) with one another, and you feel increasingly alienated from your own team. As well as team meetings, make time to speak to each team member one-on-one, and encourage their feedback on the work environment and their job role.”
6. Create and promote a lunch culture at the office
Due to flexible office hours and the need to always be available, people are reluctant to leave their work areas. Kimberly Elsbach, a professor at the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management who specializes in workplace psychology, shares her insights on the positive impact and restorative effects of employees’ taking real lunch breaks away from their desks and how it’s important for leadership to lead the charge.
“Creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment... staying in the same location is really detrimental to creative thinking… You need to get the top managers to be part of this community of taking time off in the middle of the day to eat lunch, to go for a walk, to have a coffee break. They need to be included in the community and model that behavior for the rest of the workforce.”
7. Build a strong team by giving back together
Margaret Jacoby, SPHR, president of MJ Management Solutions, Inc., recommends programs of corporate philanthropy and corporate volunteerism as an effective way to establish an engaged, purpose-driven, and team-oriented workforce.
“Productivity increases when employees work together toward a common goal. As a result, every employee feels empowered and inspired to do their part, to not let the team down. Workplace giving and volunteering are effective methods for fostering that desired team environment and the resulting productivity.”
8. Promote an atmosphere of celebration and team spirit
“Work” and “fun” don’t need to be mutually exclusive—provide causes for celebration and fun in the office. Meghan M. Biro brings attention to the importance of showing you care for your people as human beings by celebrating birthdays in the office and acknowledging personal achievements such as graduations and work anniversaries. This will have a positive influence on raising your company’s team spirit.
“Employee performance soars when people are happy and healthy… Celebrate success and milestones that happen outside of the workplace. Everyone will have a lot more fun if they feel they can be themselves at work.”