Are your employees happy in their jobs and at your place of business, or do they need some improved morale? Unfortunately, you will find that across the country, many people are dissatisfied with their employer for one reason or another. Maybe they do not feel appreciated, or they don’t see a way they can advance in the company and follow the career path they want. There could be countless reasons that you might see low morale in the workplace.
Below, we will be looking at some of the signs of morale issues, the types of problems that stem from low morale, and some simple tips your leadership team can employ for improved morale at work.
Signs of Low Morale
While it might go unnoticed in some companies, low morale tends to be relatively easy to see when you know what to look for. Once you realize there are problems, you can then start to find ways of addressing them, as discussed later in the article. First, of course, you need to make sure you understand some of the common signs of morale issues in the workplace.
Work Performance Suffers
Naturally, this is going to be one of the first things that most managers and business owners will tend to notice. If they aren’t happy with their employer and the work they are doing, they certainly won’t put in much effort. You might start to notice things like an increase in the number of mistakes made, or a lower level of service reported by your customers. Others might have a higher rate of absenteeism than usual.
Why does this happen? There aren’t just one or two reasons, as they can vary from one person to the next. In some cases, an employee might grow bored. They know their job inside and out and they feel as though theirs is nothing else to learn and nowhere to go in the company… so why bother putting in the effort? They might want new challenges.
Of course, the opposite could be true with other employees. They might feel overwhelmed with the work they are expected to do. That feeling of too much to do and not enough time will cause stress. It can make them feel unmotivated and they might end up struggling just to reach their normal productivity levels.
Lots of Rumors
Communication is important in the workplace for the entire staff. This is especially true during signs of change in the company. If it even appears that you are hiding any sort of important information from the employees, there is a good chance the rumor mill is going to get going. Naturally, your employees are going to come up with the worst-case scenarios in their minds.
Even though nothing they say might be true, the misinformation is going to spread quickly. When this happens, as you can imagine, the morale of your employees is going to drop. After all, they’re going to believe what the rumors say.
Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure you keep your team members up to date with things happening in the company whenever possible. Of course, we know that this is not always something you can do.
Something else you might notice is a negative attitude that doesn’t go away. It sticks to the employees, and it seems like it is more and more difficult for them to have a good day at work. In some cases, these might be temporary problems. In other cases, they might be more severe, and the negativity could become chronic. When a person’s attitude suffers, their work is not far behind. This could also be an indication that one or more of your employees is considering leaving for what they hope will be greener pastures.
It is a good idea for your managers to learn how to monitor the level of morale in the workplace. Are there any issues that they are seeing with employees on their teams, and if so, how bad has it gotten? Below, we’ll be looking at some of the important things you can do that will help to ensure improved morale.
Tips for Improved Morale in the Workplace
Now that you have an idea of the sorts of things that can happen when morale is low, it’s time to learn more about ways you can boost the morale of your employees. You will find that it isn’t quite as difficult as you might’ve imagined, and it can make a world of difference to your company’s success.
Encourage Employees to Ask for Feedback
Often, the managers are the ones who are responsible for actively providing feedback to employees, so they can grow and improve. While this can be helpful when done correctly, you will find that it can be even more powerful when the employees are the ones asking your managers for feedback.
Employees who have the tools and option of talking with the managers and asking for ways to improve and asking for clarification on processes are important. This ensures they don’t feel as though they have been left in limbo by their employer.
Listen to Your Employees
One of the major reasons a lot of people end up unhappy in their jobs and looking for new work is because they feel they aren’t important. They don’t feel as though their employers are listening to what they have to say and their suggestions. This will make them feel less connected to the business. Rather than feeling as though they are part of the organization, they feel like they’re just there to pick up a check.
This needs to change. You should always make it a point to listen to what your employees have to say. They could have some insight into why they and others aren’t happy, and they might have some suggestions on how things could be made better.
Help Managers Learn to Become Coaches
A lot of times, managers have only a limited amount of training when it comes to teaching and coaching employees. The skillset of a good coach is not always the same skill set as a good manager, but you can fix that.
Encourage your managers to become better coaches. This will help them to be more well-rounded, and it can help make their interactions with employees a lot easier. They will know how to talk to, train, and encourage the employees to overcome their issues. This will help to boost productivity, as well as provide improved morale.
Ongoing One-on-One Meetings
One of the best ways to connect with employees and ensure improved morale is by providing frequent communication. Having one-on-one talks with the management about work can help to provide people with the support they need. For some companies, having a weekly meeting is a good idea, but this is not always feasible depending on the size of the company. By keeping the meetings short, though, such as 15 minutes or less, it may be possible.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to a weekly schedule. It might also be biweekly if that will work better for you.
Provide Development Paths for Employees
Employees who feel like they don’t have a way forward or anywhere to go in the company aren’t going to be happy. They want to know that there are development paths that can provide promotions and learning opportunities. You will want to make sure they always have all of the resources and tools they need to do their jobs well. It is also a good idea to provide professional training for them.
In addition to providing training for hard skills, you can also offer training for soft skills that can help them in and out of work. This shows that you care about their development, and it can help improve morale.
Show Your Appreciation
You should always make it a point to show your employees that you appreciate them. While a good, livable salary is always the start, there are other things you can do for them, as well. For example, you can offer rewards to those who show exceptional progress or skill. Whether it’s a monetary or physical reward, or just a thank you, it will make a difference.
Have Some Fun
Work is serious, of course, but it can also be enjoyable. Sometimes, rather than getting stressed out, it’s better to have some fun at work. Find ways that fun can be incorporated into work without hurting productivity. You will often find that happier employees are going to be more productive.
With these tips, you should be able to get a better handle on the mood and morale of your company. Although some of these might seem like “little things”, they really can make quite a difference when it comes to your success and the happiness of your employees. If you don’t take action, you will find that your employee morale continues to dip, and you could see some people leaving your company.