The Importance of Employee Morale and How to Improve It
Never underestimate the importance of employee morale when it comes to building a successful business. Follow these tips on how to improve employee morale before it’s too late!
Successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with the best people for every job. Employees with the right attitude and drive can mean the difference between just getting by and blossoming into a thriving business.
It’s far too easy to undervalue the importance of employee morale and it’s impact on your business.
If you think that simply providing a job is enough to win employee loyalty and provide incentive to motivate sales and leads — you’d be wrong!
You simply can NOT afford to undervalue employee morale when building your business, because poor morale will lead to lack of cooperation, low productivity and increased turnover ultimately hindering your business from reaching its goals.
In fact, in a recent post about corporate culture, I discuss how the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact directly impact outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, however it is safe to say that corporate culture is a direct progression of employee morale. A company’s culture will be reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of clients, client satisfaction and every other aspect of operations. This isn’t something you want shaped by unhappy or disgruntled employees.
No matter what business your company is in, your employees are the lifeblood of your operation. The higher the morale of your employees, the better their attitude towards work will be. They will also be more confident and satisfied. If you want to ensure your company has the best chance of thriving, you need to ensure employee morale is as high as possible.
How to improve employee morale
While you can’t simply wave a wand to boost the morale of individual employees, you can ensure they are in an environment that is conducive to positive morale. Read on for a few tips about how to accomplish this.
Show you care
Although it’s important to have boundaries, you should be fully involved with the lives of your employees to the degree that you send them cards for their birthdays, gifts when new babies are born and congratulations whenever they are in order. You know… professional but personal. Doing so shows that you value them not just for the work they do for your company but also as human beings in their own right.
If one of your employees or their loved ones has an accident outside the workplace or is diagnosed with a serious illness, do everything you can to show your concern for their well-being. This might include allowing them to work more flexible hours or even helping them to secure appropriate legal advice, for example, the services of Jacksonville slip and fall lawyers in the case of a trip that’s caused serious illness.
Make Employees Feel Like Their Work is Valued
Everyone wants to feel that the work they are doing is valued. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, but it’s also not that difficult to offer up a little praise for work well done — even on simple tasks. It’s not just simple praise that can boost your employee’s morale in order to make them feel that their work is valued, it’s also about giving them a voice in decision making.
“Let them make decisions that matter and can impact the company. Verbal appreciation is important, and bonuses or other perks are appreciated, but ultimately, showing someone that you trust their opinion and expertise is far more valuable.” – Drew Thomas, chief creative officer, Brolik
This ties right into…
Fully Recognize Employees Skills and Abilities
Whenever one of your employees goes above and beyond the call of duty, make sure you publicly recognize the fact. By doing so, you will boost not only the morale of that individual but also your entire workforce as it will become clear to them that the efforts they make are being noticed at the highest levels within the company.
You should also give those employees with the necessary skills and experience the power to make important decisions about aspects of your business without deferring to upper management. Boosting their morale by showing you both trust and acknowledge their abilities will work in everyone’s favor.
Be Supremely Capable
A key factor behind employee morale is how confident they are in your capability as a leader. An extreme example of this can be seen in military circles when generals lead their troops into battle. When soldiers believe their leaders are competent and know exactly what they are doing, they will willingly follow them anywhere. If soldiers believe their leaders are foolhardy and ill-equipped for leadership, their morale will plummet, and they will be more likely to rebel.
Ensure your employees understand your vision for the company so they can better appreciate the logic behind any decision you make.
Be Extremely Clear
Clear communication and letting your workers feel as though they are part of the larger picture will also help to boost morale.
If for some reason your employees have failed to meet expectations, provide them with clear feedback to give them an opportunity to improve. You might also consider offering them further training, coaching or mentoring from you or another member of staff.
It’s important to note that any critique of an employee should be one-on-one and not a spectacle that takes place in front of other employees.
It’s also important to not only address issues clearly, but do it immediately. Waiting to address an issue is one of the worst things you could do, because the problem will certainly happen again and may even multiply causing a domino effect of bad practices and increasing the likelihood of BAD morale.
Show your employees that you genuinely want them to succeed and they will be more highly motivated always to try their best.
The effort it will take you to ensure employees morale stays positive is minimal compared to the effort you’ll put into correcting the effects of negative morale. The benefits of increased productivity and a positive corporate atmosphere you will experience with a boost in employee morale will be your greatest reward.