Are you wondering how to boost the morale of employees in your company? Don’t make the common mistake of confusing morale with happiness, though. Morale goes much deeper than that.
Morale is an umbrella term that is made up of several things, including:
- Company culture
- How people communicate with each other
- Leadership styles and relationships
- Effectiveness of management practices
Employees who are taken care of, respected, encouraged, and supported, are more likely to have a positive view of themselves and the company. This is more important now than ever in the light of all the difficulties in our world.
There are many ways you can boost employee morale. You might dabble in some of these already! Read on to learn how to easily dedicate time and effort to creating emotionally healthier employees.
How to Boost the Morale of Employees in Six Easy Ways
Each of these steps to increase employee morale is possible for any manager, in any company, at any time. You don’t have to concentrate all your time and effort on these. Even small additions to your company routines and culture will bring big benefits.
One of a manager’s most important roles is communicating with their employees. This is necessary for both big-picture ideas and day-to-day tasks. Employees who have regular, direct communication with their bosses are more likely to feel supported and ask for help when they need it.
You might have dozens or even hundreds of employees under your eye, though. It can seem impossible (or even be literally impossible) to check in with each of them each day. Therefore, you need tools and systems in place to utilize so that you aren’t overwhelmed.
Try a few of these ideas and expand on them as they work for your team:
- Keep an open-door policy where your employees can “just pop in” whenever they need.
- Make daily rounds (either morning, mid, or late afternoon) and do check-ins with people.
- Put a “mailbox” on your door for team members to leave signed or anonymous notes about topics they’d like to discuss or comment on.
- If employees have daily calendars, lesson planning books, or bullet journals to keep track of their tasks, make it a point to jot down or leave sticky notes with simple feedback once or twice a week.
Companies that have larger teams usually delegate leaders to smaller groups or teams. Give them the same tools that you as a manager use and encourage them to give their teams regular connections.
Make Feedback Part of the Company Culture
Another important part of a manager’s job is to give feedback. Feedback is important for encouraging employees and recognizing a job well done. However, it is also crucial for noticing areas of improvement and helping team members grow.
Employees should expect to receive positive and constructive communication from their leaders. However, they shouldn’t simply wait around until someone tells them what to do or not to do. Instead, they need to seek out feedback themselves.
Asking for personalized feedback is an empowering experience. This is probably a new skill for many people on your team, so make it clear that you expect and encourage them to ask you for your opinion and guidance.
Make requests for feedback the last step of any project. This demonstrates that you care about the tasks your employees are completing and that you are an engaged leader without needing to micromanage every person on the team.
Help people take ownership of the fact that they need help or support to meet a goal. This leads them to take measured risks, master new skills, and improve behaviors that are holding them back. Besides, when people recognize their progress and it is paired with praise from their boss, it motivates them to continue.
Guide Mid-Level Managers to Coach their Team Members
You aren’t capable of overseeing the everyday tasks of all the members in your company, especially if you have a mid- to large-sized office. Instead, you likely have mid-level managers who lead smaller teams. These managers need the training to coach their sections effectively.
Think about the skills and areas of growth that each of your mid-level managers has, and work with them to bring the rest of the employees up to par. They should also notice their team members’ strengths and weaknesses so they can structure their professional development opportunities.
This is a place where the company culture comes into play. Environments that encourage people to play to their strengths and teach others their skills are encouraging.
As a manager, ask your employees to write out detailed job descriptions. Then instruct them to line up their particular passions with the mission and vision of the company. This helps them see the point behind their productivity and encourages engagement, which boosts employee morale.
However, training managers and employees isn’t just about boosting performance or bringing in higher profits. It’s about learning to help people:
- Discover their talents
- Play to their strengths
- Support one another
- Ask for guidance and help
- Implement constructive feedback
- Work together for a larger goal
Don’t Separate Personal and Professional Development
Employees who take on personal development will improve in their professional lives. Similarly, people who increase their professional knowledge implement those skills in their personal lives. (At least, this is the ideal scenario.)
To move along the professional and personal development ladders, though, people need accessible tools. Your job is to set them up for success by providing resources.
Your company’s best practices should include:
- Regular professional training
- Online modules and courses
- A library of applicable resources
- Peer-to-peer support groups
- Regular feedback
Make sure that the same resources are available for remote employees as you provide to the in-office team. The training plans and assistance for those working out of the office should be even more clear and in-depth so that nothing is lost in translation.
You want employees to feel encouraged in developing their strengths. Therefore, it’s important to place value on personal situations and individual happenings. Check in with your employees, let them know that what is happening in their lives matters, and ask questions that show you care.
When you value and show soft skills, your employees know that they should place importance on developing them, as well. Soft skills are those such as:
- Non-verbal communication
- Emotional intelligence
You want to invest in your employees so that they become leaders in the company. People who can’t grow and move on to higher roles struggle with morale. Preparing your team members for future leadership roles shows that you value them. Then, you are seen as a manager who leads by example and expects the best.
Appreciation Breeds Respect and Morale
Even people who say that they have a hard time accepting compliments or praise still want to know they are appreciated. Creating a culture of support, praise, and encouragement breeds a high-performing team.
Leaders have the important task of recognizing strengths and acknowledging contributions, even in the face of struggle. Doing this creates employees who are:
Appreciation is a skill that brings about exponential benefits. This is because giving thanks and recognition is contagious. Appreciation is a ripple effect that keeps going; it’s as simple as a passing comment or verbal pat on the back.
For example, let’s say you tell an employee that you appreciate them having the foresight to create a comfortable desk space for a team member coming back after surgery. They know that their efforts are valued.
Then, this person is likely to turn around and say thank you to someone else for cleaning up the kitchen from the welcome-back luncheon. That employee feels uplifted and has the emotional energy to listen more compassionately to clients struggling with company changes.
All Work and No Play Makes for Low Morale
Of course, work is a place where people often have to buckle down. Taking care of tasks, pushing forward to make goals, and overcoming obstacles isn’t always easy. However, laughter, connection, and taking time-outs makes the hard parts a lot easier.
Don’t be afraid to bring in some lighter aspects of your personality into the workplace. Encourage your employees to do the same thing.
This is as simple as posting a (tasteful) joke-of-the-week on the breakroom refrigerator. Or, take fun photos of people around the office and put them on the walls. Chat over coffee breaks about real-life happenings.
Knowing that other members of the team are human beings who have whole personalities keeps people real and tangible. This encourages teamwork, mutual understanding, and confidence in each other. All of these bring about higher morale.
When you know how to boost the morale of employees, it’s easy to implement little things that make a big difference. Your team members are responsible for their thoughts, feelings, and choices. However, you as a manager create a company culture that makes it easy for people to enjoy coming to work, be themselves, and put their best foot forward.