From time to time, workers get drained. They don’t want to look at another report, computer screen, or spreadsheet. If your employees look like zombies at your small business, they might be suffering from low morale at work. It might be time to take a look at your company and boost workplace morale.
I’ve seen people with consistent low morale. Before I was an entrepreneur, I had an engineering job at a large, industrial manufacturing company. And on the factory floor, the workers absolutely hated going to their jobs every day. They looked like lifeless drones when they came to work at 7:00 a.m. If this sounds like your small business, you need to implement employee morale boosters.
What Is Workplace Morale?
Before you can fix something, it helps to know what it is. Workplace, or employee, morale is the job satisfaction, attitude, and outlook that employees have while at your business.
Why Is Workplace Morale Important?
Without high morale in the workplace, your company will suffer. A business depends on its employees to survive, expand and exceed expectations. If your employees have a poor attitude and outlook at your business, they will only do a subpar job. And, you could face higher employee turnover rates if they are not happy with their position.
Productivity goes down the drain when employees aren’t encouraged. Your business’s financial health could be jeopardized due to lack of teamwork and decreased sales. You could end up missing out on many benefits of employee engagement if you aren’t mindful of building team morale.
Ways To Boost Employee Morale
Knowing how to increase employee morale is a great step to improve productivity, overall worker satisfaction, and teamwork in your organization.
1. Encourage Communication
If you don’t know why employee morale is lacking, it’s time to talk with your workers. Maybe there is a simple underlying issue that you know nothing about.
Try to have employee reviews at least twice a year to nip problems in the bud. During a review, you can find out how satisfied an employee is working at your company.
Have regular meetings where you get your team together to talk about what works and what doesn’t at your business. Keep your door open and encourage employees to come in and talk to you at anytime.
My door is always open to my employees, regardless of what they want to talk about. Questions, comments, concerns? No problem. I’m here to listen.
2. Recognize Employees
If you don’t already, take the time to recognize your employees. People want to feel appreciated. Employees who don’t know how they’re doing might not have the confidence and morale needed to continue succeeding. Thank workers for their dedication.
I like to show my employees off at my business. Whenever possible, I try to spotlight jobs well done and work anniversaries.
Employees who are appreciated will work harder and stay longer at your business. Bring in pizza or bagels one day. Surprise employees with spontaneous company parties and food. Have fun with it!
3. Give Employees A Break
Most times, when morale is low, it means someone needs a break. Employees who feel like they’re stuck in the same day over and over (think Groundhog Day) will benefit from a vacation or even just a day off.
Adopting a paid time off policy will help avoid burnout among employees. Employees who can’t relax and unwind will have low morale. Without some time for themselves, employees will feel like an overworked pack mule.
I like to give my employees a couple weeks of paid time off so they can enjoy their personal lives. And, I find that they return more refreshed and energetic than ever—their spirits are lifted and they exhibit increased productivity in the workplace.
4. Accommodate Employee Schedules
Do you have an employee who needs to get their kids to school after business hours begin? Would working remote help an employee reach a better work-life balance? Maybe lack of accommodation is what is separating an employee from having high morale.
Make an effort to work with your employees. Their whole life isn’t at your business. They have families, friends, personal interests, and obligations of their own. If it’s within your power, give employees the opportunity to work remotely, or allow them to have flexible work arrangements.
At Patriot Software, I have a few home-based workers who are grateful they can work from home. Therefore, they are high-producers. I also work around my employees’ schedules. If there is a conflict with working 8-5, I let employees change their hours. However, this doesn’t work for all positions.
Employees who feel like you are working with them will be grateful and, in turn, put more effort into their work. And, an employee able to tackle their personal life will have more focus when it comes to their professional work.
5. Build A Work Family
Your employees don’t need to be best friends. They have lives outside of work. But, if you encourage communication, teamwork, and camaraderie, employee morale has room to grow.
Employees don’t want to feel uncomfortable or agitated because of co-workers. Instead, they want to be uplifted and enjoy talking to those they work with.
Encourage company get-togethers (during business hours) so your workers can really get to know one another. By becoming familiar with the people they work with, employees can project positive energy among themselves.
6. Help Employees See Their Position’s Purpose
People need a purpose. Every human being wants to do good and make a difference. It’s in our nature.
At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual to feel a sense of pride in their work. You can help them get to this point by casting your company’s vision. Show employees why their position matters and how they are helping your business achieve its goals.
Patriot Software’s mission statement is aimed at helping small business owners. I believe it’s important for my employees to know that what they’re working on every single day matters. My employees know they are helping normal, everyday people. They know that their work matters.
What is your company’s mission? How do your employees help achieve that mission? Whether your employees provide customers with coffee, insurance or mowed lawns, help them see their purpose in the lives of others and in your company itself.