Morale is the collective set of attitudes, emotions, and satisfaction exhibited by employees. Achieving high morale among employees is important for several reasons including increasing productivity, loyalty, retention and teamwork.
As an employer, it is crucial to build and maintain employee morale. Throughout this article, I will share how you can help your organization perform at the next level.
Recognize Your Employees’ Achievements and Contributions
Employees work hard every day to ensure the organization can achieve its goals and desired outcomes. While it is their job and they do get remuneration for it, your appreciation as an employer goes a long way in ensuring they remain motivated. To boost their morale, you should take time to recognize their contributions and achievements through various means. Even a simple “thank you” from management is great and goes a long way. However, going the extra mile to recognize an individual or team achievement through gifts, monetary bonuses, and public acknowledgment is more effective in building your organization’s morale. Aside from building employee morale, recognizing and incentivizing your employees’ performance will lead to better productivity, higher levels of engagement, increased loyalty, and improved employee satisfaction.
Communicate Often and Value your Employees’ Opinions
Organizations often have new developments; they reach milestones and experience challenges. As an employer, it is important to communicate both positive and negative developments to your employees. Through my experience, I have found that a lot of employers attempt to conceal challenges from employees. They especially attempt to avoid holding these candid conversations with their employees when they sense morale is low; instead putting superficial programs in place in a futile attempt to “make people happy.” However, most employees simply want to know what’s going on and how or if they can help.
In these cases, transparency is strongly advised to boost employee morale. Incorporating their ideas and opinions when coming up with solutions will make them feel like a valued part of the organization. It is also important to check in regularly with your employees. Find out if they are happy with their jobs, whether they are facing any challenges of their own and have conversations that directly affect them. By boosting their morale, employees will increase their productivity at work, which will ultimately lead to your organization’s success.
Develop Trust by Giving More Decision-Making Power to Your Employees
If you want to establish a culture of trust, creating a safe environment that welcomes your employees to share their ideas and opinions is vital, as it has a direct correlation to employees feeling valued and satisfied. The type of culture that accords employees the responsibility and latitude to make structured decisions enables them to see and know that these decisions directly impact the success of the organization.
With that being said, not only do you build trust and increase morale, but your employees are better empowered to deliver at a higher level. You will subsequently build longer-lasting partnerships while retaining your best employees.
Create Growth Opportunities
Giving your employees a specific goal to work towards will boost morale within your organization. By genuinely providing opportunities for them to advance their careers, you are showing you care about them as more than just an employee. Take the time to create an individualized growth and development plan for your employees. Then align that plan with the overall organizational goals and metrics. This is critical to set your employees up for success by identifying their strengths, weaknesses, skills, and capabilities. The plan should lay out a base for what the next three opportunities will look like for your employees. This process not only benefits the individual but the company as a whole; invest in the future today!
It is also essential to define growth opportunities since competencies must align with role and timing. These may differ based on company needs and employees’ skill set. Growth opportunities may vary by promotion, bonus incentives, new assignments, leadership roles, appointments, more decision-making authority, reporting lines up/down and across, travel, training, etc. All these things create a sense of professional growth and offer added development opportunities within one’s career. These are clear indicators to an employee that you value them and, in return, creates loyalty and boosts morale while fostering an environment of belonging.
While your employees need to maintain a high level of productivity in the workplace, incorporating connectivity, engagement, and fun goes a long way in boosting employee morale. Team-building activities are a great way to do that. They create a space for people to bring another side of their personality into the workplace, and colleagues connect on a more personal level. Getting to know each other better, fosters understanding, trust, and camaraderie, all of which ultimately lead to better innovation and creativity. Ideas or solutions that come from colleagues that know each other well, eliminates the risk of being judged, feeling threatened and fear of one being negatively perceived.
Team building activities also promote a competitive spirit, which improves productivity. These activities allow the team to view each other in a different light and improve communication, problem-solving, conflict-resolution, and planning.
Employees often have to find a balance between both their work and their personal lives. It can be a challenge; working continuously without taking some time off often leads to burnout and low morale. Therefore, it is crucial to encourage work-life balance. While many organizations have policies for PTO, sick, and other emergency leave, it is just as important to encourage your employees to take time to participate in other important activities in their personal lives.
Allow your Employees Sufficient Time Off from Work
Encouraging (and if necessary, mandating) time off, will build employee morale. The benefit of your employees having mental clarity and balance when they are away from the pressure that often comes with their daily tasks is immeasurable. They return to work focused, more engaged, happier, and more productive, which is vital to an organization’s success.
Every person in the organization has the personal responsibility to ensure that their own morale remains high, thereby helping to influence the organization to which they belong. It’s the Leader’s responsibility to recognize when it has fallen and take the appropriate steps to help remedy it.
When you’re looking to build organizational morale, it is worth considering the services of a qualified HR professional. Insights from an HR professional will help steer you in the right direction to improve productivity, trust, collaboration, work-life balance, and reward & recognition, so that you can build and maintain the morale necessary for your organization’s growth.
If you have questions regarding building your organization’s morale, please feel free to contact me. I will be happy to go on this journey with you.
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OAIB is a full-service Human Resource and Executive Consulting firm helping private, non-profit, and public sector organizations create committed, effective, and sustainable cultures distinguished by a deep sense of belonging.
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