How to Improve Employee Morale

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Health Assured team

02 January 2020

How is your team feeling? What’s the atmosphere like in your office? Employee morale is an important part of a successful business. Here, we’ll walk you through what morale is, how to measure it—and how to improve it.

What is morale?

Employee morale is a measure of the satisfaction and motivation of an employee has with their job, their colleagues, and their work conditions.  When employee morale and motivation are high, things are positive, work gets done, and the atmosphere in the office is great.

What is low employee morale?

When the satisfaction and motivation described above is low, then low morale is sure to follow. Unhappy and dissatisfied employees might complete tasks, but they won’t be giving it their all—with low morale, a ‘that’ll do’ attitude quickly takes over.

It’s a good idea, then, to make sure you know how the office is feeling at any given time so that you can make adjustments to help boost morale—and reward teams when they’re riding high.

How do I measure employee morale?

Assessing employee morale isn’t really an exact science. There are lots of small things you can do to get a handle on how a team is feeling:

  • Ask: this is by far the simplest and most direct way to find out. You don’t have to do this in a big, ostentatious way—just ask people in one-to-ones how they think the team is coping. This can be especially powerful during times of great stress, as people open up and talk about issues.
  • Observe: simply watch, listen, and note how the office is acting as a collective. You’ll soon spot whether morale is extremely low or extremely high—and if you don’t spot either, that’s an indication that you’re neither here nor there.
  • Survey: once a month, send out an engagement survey that asks questions about how people feel things are going.

Hopefully, you’ll find your team buoyant, your office cheerful and your productivity goes through the roof. But it’s possible that there are issues. After all, it only takes a small amount of dissatisfaction to affect a team.

If you find that morale is low, the first thing you need to do is find out why—the reasons for low employee morale. Of course, every workplace is different as is every person. But there are a few common causes of low employee morale:

  • No communication: if managers and senior staff are unapproachable and don’t respond, then people suffer in silence, and resentment builds very quickly
  • No cohesion: individual efforts are important, but the bigger picture is vital—good teamwork means good morale
  • No positivity: negative attitudes and nit-picking can bring down the best teams surprisingly quickly
  • No incentives: people need motivation, goals, and reasons to do their best—when those are lacking, so is their disposition
  • No prospects: most people have ambitions beyond where they currently are—if those ambitions are denied, they feel trapped
  • No leadership: without well-defined leadership to look up to, people feel aimless and unmotivated
  • No consistency: constant changes to process and structure undermine morale—there’s a measurable impact of change management on employees morale and performance. The better change is managed, the lesser the impact
  • No autonomy: if people feel they’re not trusted to make decisions or complete tasks under their own steam, they feel undervalued—that’s how employee empowerment and decision making autonomy impact morale.

So, now you know what not to do. But what should you do instead?

How to improve employee morale and motivation

There are lots of simple ways to make a difference, increase positivity, and improve the morale of your people. Some of these are cheap—in fact, you can boost employee morale with no cost.

  • Share ideas: not just your own. Encourage people to voice their ideas and opinions. You don’t have to make changes according to every suggestion, but simply letting people have a say makes them feel much more valued
  • Offer advice: make it clear that people can progress at your organisation, and let them know how
  • Celebrate achievement: when people go above and beyond, let them know you appreciate it
  • Talk: encourage people to deliver short messages and question in person, rather than emailing every little thing. Getting up and walking around is healthy, and relationships are improved by in-person communication

Activities to boost employee morale

While you don’t want to create a culture of ‘enforced fun,’ it’s a good idea to provide activities for people to take part in often. These increase team cohesion, build relationships and, most importantly, boost morale:

  • Escape rooms
  • Volunteering
  • Litter picking
  • Go-karting
  • Sports days
  • Video game tournaments
  • Bake-offs
  • Arts and crafts

Keep these ideas in mind, and you’ll find morale skyrockets. Of course, if you have any questions, Health Assured are here to help—talk to us today to find out how our services can make your teams more cohesive than ever. Get in touch with our dedicated team today on 0844 892 2493.

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