Are you in need of a morale boost for employees within your organization? If so, you’re not alone. One of the major factors in the Great Resignation is employee morale, and rightfully so.
For years, people in some positions and industries have been putting up with unfair treatment, less-than-professional working conditions, and several other issues. These were often chalked up as being just “part of the job,” but that’s no longer cutting it.
People are leaving jobs in droves. Moreover, they’re refusing to return to jobs that aren’t going to treat them fairly and value them for all that they bring to the company. When people don’t feel like the company cares, they’re going to struggle to care, too.
Morale isn’t just about how happy everyone is—it’s a metric based on your company culture, leadership, and communication. Employees want a strong, inclusive company culture. They want effective managers, transparency and communication, and to be properly recognized and rewarded for their accomplishments.
Without that, morale will continue to suffer. When morale is low, people leave. Those who stay will likely be doing the bare minimum to get by. That can impact your customer service and satisfaction, your sales and revenue, and many other aspects of your business.
Here’s how you can build a strategy to boost morale for your employees and what you stand to gain when you do it right.
Ongoing Feedback Offers a Morale Boost for Employees
The first thing that organizations need to do is create a feedback culture that promotes ongoing, 360-degree feedback as a regular part of the workday. This includes casual check-ins as well as formal one-on-one meetings and performance reviews. This type of environment is much more conducive to high morale.
In the past, annual reviews were standard. Some companies implemented more frequent one-on-ones and reviews, but that was more the exception than the norm. It may have been limited to certain departments or projects, or just something that wasn’t standardized and seemed arbitrary.
In any case, that needs to change. Companies that want to succeed need to embrace the principles of a feedback culture. You need to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable discussing performance, goals, opportunities for development, etc.
When people don’t know where they stand, they may be anxious, disengaged, or stressed at work. They could struggle with performance or be distracted simply because they’re worried about how they’re viewed by management. This is unnecessary stress that is affecting your bottom line—it would make sense that you want to eliminate it if you can.
That starts by making sure that everyone knows where they stand.
Equip Your Team with the Tools to Grow
Some organizations expect people to grow and develop in their roles on their own. They assume people will find their own resources, or simply ask about development opportunities when they’re interested. That’s not enough if you want to have the best employee morale.
Make sure that equipping people with the right tools and resources is part of onboarding, training, and continuing development in the workplace. This includes making sure that they know how and when to ask for feedback. It also includes providing them with the tools to master new skills and further their growth.
Give People Ownership of Their Roles
One of the best ways to equip people to grow and thrive in their roles is to give them ownership. A lot of employees are torn because they may feel like they want to take accountability and ownership of their role, but they’re not sure if they’re “allowed.” On the other side, managers are expecting this of employees without saying as much, creating a gray area that needs a little more attention.
Give your team ownership of their roles. When you’re doing reviews and giving feedback, make sure that you hold people accountable and support their development in any way that you can. People aren’t just here to work for you—they’re here to further their own professional and personal development. Help them do that by allowing them to take ownership of their responsibilities and their position.
Train Managers to Be Coaches, Not Bosses
Some managers are natural coaches in their roles. Others default to “boss” mode and often forget that their main duty is to coach employees and help them to develop further in their roles. Teaching leaders to cultivate the unique talents of their employees and create a better team will help the business remain agile yet focused on the goal.
Managers should be coaching employees with their job descriptions, personal and professional development goals, and more. This will increase productivity, engagement, and even employee morale, which is going to make a big impact on the overall culture of the organization.
Offer Professional and Personal Development Assistance
It’s not just about getting people to meet their work-related goals. Employees are human beings. They have both personal and professional development goals, as well as ideas about what they want out of life. In addition to training people for their roles, you should also consider what kind of development resources or tools you can offer.
This could be training and upskilling courses, free access to online learning resources, or even just the ongoing support that lets people know it’s okay for them to pursue their own career goals and objectives.
Employees aren’t just here to serve the organization. They are also living and developing personally and professionally on a daily basis and you need to recognize that. This will ensure that people are better in their roles and their daily lives, including with soft skills like communication and emotional intelligence.
If you’re cultivating the next generation of leaders, this is even more important to have on your to-do list.
Show Appreciation and Recognize Contributions
The best teams are the ones that are supportive and that show appreciation for the contributions of each employee. It’s not enough just to say thanks for a job well done—while that’s a good start, you really need to hone in on the particulars.
Recognize accomplishments and contributions. Show people that you value their input and their existence within the organization. Share appreciation as much as you can. Then, watch how quickly it spreads and becomes the norm.
Delivering regular recognition and support will help remove some of the stress in the workplace, both from personal and professional aspects. This means employees will be more relaxed and feel more capable in their roles. You’ll have less anxiety, fewer low performers, and a better environment overall.
Relax and Have a Little Fun
Work needs to be done, that’s not in question. However, there’s also a need for connection and a little bit of “letting your hair down” once in a while. Just as you want to encourage employees to be their true selves, you should also be yourself. Let people know you’re human too, and that you want to support and connect with them however you can.
The best leaders are the ones that know how to balance leadership with light-hearted fun. They know that a strong company culture comes from employees who feel connected. This human connection can be a huge morale boost for employees of all kinds.
What You Get in Return
When you do it right, that morale boost for employees can become one of your best business decisions. Employee morale affects everything from performance to attendance, creativity, and even problem-solving and customer service. When people aren’t happy, it will show in their performance.
In the worst instances, poor morale could cost the company a lot of valuable business. Even worse, it could create turnover that costs a small fortune to keep up with, let alone get back on track. Fortunately, when you improve employee morale, you’ll also see:
- Less absenteeism
- Improved employee retention
- More innovation and creativity
- Better problem-solving and critical thinking skills
- More confidence in decisions and roles
- Better customer service across the company
- Improved health and well-being for everyone
- Fewer costly mistakes and poor business decisions
- Increased revenues and profits
- Increased productivity
- Improved employee culture
- Increased loyalty
When you have employees that feel valued, it makes a difference. Even just a small change in morale could go a long way to helping people feel more like a part of the organization. That can make them work harder and strive to achieve their goals (and the company’s goals), too.
Morale Boost or Bust
As you can see, it’s important to keep employee morale high. Today, more than ever, people want to work for organizations that create a positive, focused company culture that embraces employees for all that they have to offer. Creating the perfect morale boost for employees will vary from one organization to the next, but the tips here can definitely help the process.
Start thinking about how you can better appreciate your employees and increase company morale so that you can continue to outpace the competition. If you don’t appreciate your employees, someone else will.