The Great Resignation completely changed the world of work. It has changed the focus of organizations, the importance of company culture and employee engagement, and shifted the focus to making sure that employees are happy, feel valued, and will stay with the organization. After all, with more people leaving their jobs than ever before, companies are often working two or three times harder to even find candidates, let alone keep them. It would make sense to start by improving the workplace so that people want to stay.
It’s been said that people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad management. That statement is absolutely true—most people who leave a job don’t do it because of the job itself. They do it because of the people, or the inability of the people to properly manage the business. A lot of people leave companies that have no culture because they want to be more than just another employee. Today, the main factor in job searches for those who are looking for work is company culture and employee engagement.
People want to know they’re working for companies and people who care about more than just making money. They want to feel like they’re a part of something and like they’re taken care of by the organization that they work so hard for. It’s critical to make sure employees have that support.
What Does “Culture” Even Mean?
Company culture is a topic that’s trending, but one that some people don’t even really understand. The culture of a company is based on several things. It’s a combination of the company’s mission and values, morals and beliefs, goals and attitudes towards business, and the way they treat their employees. It’s the behaviors of the people involved in the organization, the way people interact, and more.
A company that has a “good” culture has positive shared values and goals, a welcoming working environment, benefits that show employees they are valued, and that allows (and even encourages) people to have fun from time to time. When a company has a strong culture, employee morale will be at an all-time high.
Create an Ongoing Feedback Culture to Boost Employee Morale
Encourage one-on-one meetings and discussions regularly with your team members. People like to know how they’re doing. They want to get insight into their abilities and their work, but they’re often afraid to ask. Or they may not know how. It should be a priority for your organization to create a feedback culture where everyone is welcome to ask for and offer feedback, regardless of role or rank.
This will provide a transparent, open environment for people, which will build employee trust. When employees have more trust in the organization, they will work harder, be more efficient, and even be happier about their roles.
Improve Coaching Skills for Leadership
Some people are born leaders and managers. It’s just in their nature to take charge, delegate tasks, and take the team to the next level, whether someone appoints them to lead or not. Unfortunately, good leadership skills don’t always translate to good coaching skills. If you find that your leaders are struggling to provide the right coaching for your employees, you may notice a dip in morale as people feel like they’re not getting the training and development (both personally and professionally) that they deserve.
Managers should be trained to be coaches for all employees. They should be the first ones to embrace the feedback culture and be ready to help employees tap into their strengths and find their talent. This can create a whole new level of motivation for employees, and it can make leaders feel more empowered and connected to their positions and their people.
Boost Employee Morale with Appreciation
One of the best ways that you can boost employee morale is to appreciate your team and all that they do. Employees work hard and they often don’t get a lot of recognition for their efforts. Companies that show appreciation, even with just a simple “thanks,” will see much better productivity and morale from employees. Some organizations take it further and give people recognition and rewards for their efforts. Share people’s successes with everyone and it will become contagious. Everyone will be building each other up and helping boost morale.
Plus, with so much stress and tension in the world today, the occasional appreciation and recognition can help alleviate some of the worries for people and give them a minute to focus on the good things.
Professional Development Is a Must
People want to be more than employees. They want to be assets to your organization. They have their own career goals and dreams to fulfill, including those with your company and in other positions. Organizations that have the best employee morale offer all kinds of professional development support and learning opportunities for their team. Even remote employees should have access to virtual meetings and events that can help them develop soft skills like communication, emotional intelligence, and others that will prepare them for their own leadership roles eventually.
Even if you don’t have anywhere for employees to go, you need to allow them to go as far as they want. If that means eventually leaving your company, so be it. Hopefully, however, you provide the right tools and training resources that convince people to stay because of how valued and important they feel.
Have Fun, But Don’t Go Too Far
Having a “fun” culture doesn’t mean that you throw the rules out the window and have a party every day. It means that you find ways to work in enjoyable activities or a little downtime for your team when they aren’t needed for serious work. It’s having a free food truck lunch to show your appreciation for the latest project completion. Or taking a day out of the office to go bowling, to a museum, or even just to grab a bite to eat together after work.
It’s about gamifying projects and creating collaborative and competitive teams that want to work hard and play harder. Find fun ways to engage your people and make sure that you develop a culture where people like being present. Of all the things that you can do to boost morale among employees, this is one of the most effective options.
Understand How to Engage Your Employees
In addition to better coaching, more engagement is needed for employees today. They want to be treated like people and they want to work for people, not bosses or corporations or supervisors who can’t even remember their names. Companies that have the best morale will do things like:
- Taking the time to get to know your employees and learn about their lives
- Engage employees in conversations about the success of the company, growth goals, and more
- Support them in their careers and their development
- Encourage teamwork and collaboration
- Provide people with all the tools for success
- Allow them to grow, even if it’s in a direction away from the company
Above all else, leaders need to stop putting themselves on a pedestal, as if they can’t even be bothered to have a conversation with a regular employee. Yes, managers are superior to employees. When you have a positive company culture and better employee morale, you also have managers that are respected for their roles without having to force it on people.
Give Them the Tools and They Will Thrive
Essentially, companies that succeed with employee morale boosts do so by not only changing the culture and the communication approach but by making sure that every single employee has the right tools to do their job effectively and properly. It’s also about giving them the tools for communication, feedback, collaboration, and other areas. People need to know that they’re being supported and given the resources they need to do their best work in the best environment possible.
Employees are no longer staying in bad jobs for good pay. They’re no longer putting up with a bad manager because finding a new job is hard. People are leaving jobs in record numbers and they’re no longer putting up with anything less than the best. That means a serious improvement in company culture and employee morale for most companies. And it couldn’t come at a more critical time.
Help your people by giving them the tools they need. Show them the way and lead by example. Take advantage of professional development for leadership all the way down to your entry-level workers and embrace all the ways people bring diversity and creativity to your organization.
When people feel good about work, they feel good about themselves. They’ll work more confidently and strive for better things. And they will even help you find others when you’re looking to fill roles because they like where they work. In this day and age, that’s a rarity that not everyone can enjoy, so make sure that your employees can.