A small business is only as strong as its weakest member so employee morale is a significant factor in success.
Your employees contribute when they feel invested in the company and when they feel like they are an important asset.
Many times employers overlook the obvious and focus more on money thinking that this is the prime motivator.
This is not always the case. However, there are some valuable insights into how you can maintain and/or improve your low employee morale.
Independence is critical in the workplace since this helps the employee feel in control.
The employee can make decisions about goals, projects, when or where to work.
The perception of choices is important and leads to a feeling of kinship with the company.
Give your employees some autonomy over their work.
Their job might be demanding but if they can make the decisions about how they manage their workload they will begin to feel invested in the company.
Mistakes and problems happen in a work environment and employers and employees must hold themselves accountable.
Not addressing a problem or a mistake will lead to discontent among employees and employers.
Some areas of difficulty are system generated and some incurred by an employee or a group of employees.
Instead of placing blame on one individual, group, or system, the business should have a protocol in place to assure that the root cause is determined and the action for resolution is appropriate.
An attempt to place blame where it does not belong will result in poor performance and morale.
Employees need challenges to experience personal growth.
Give them opportunities which will enable them to meet their goals and expectations.
Employees need to know that there is upward mobility and opportunities to learn and grow through programs, training, and through company sponsored plans.
When employees know that they can move throughout the company this is a great incentive to strive for a position that meets their skill set.
Employees lose when they are not included in communication about the workplace.
Good communication will keep the employees updated regarding company goals, changes, and performance.
When meetings are held and employees informed they have the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback.
Employees like to be recognized for their contributions to the workplace and the reward does not have to be money.
Despite the position an employee has they need to be valued for what they bring to the workplace.
Money does not always motivate, but being noticed and acknowledged for their hard work and contributions will improve morale.
Building trust and strong relationships with employees in the workplace will show them that you value them and their contribution to the workplace.
Morale moves from the top down based on the actions and behaviors of leaders.
For instance, paying attention to an employee's special life events, such as a birthday or an accomplishment outside of the workplace, creates a feeling of camaraderie in the workplace and helps boost morale.
In addition, when there are problems in the workplace, if leaders step up with the employees to address issues as a team.
Although money was not high on the list for a morale builder, just a discussion of poor wages and increased cost of living in the workplace will lead to poor morale.
Listening to co-workers complain about decreasing discretionary income creates a negative environment and affects those within listening distance.
However, if morale in the workplace is improved by non-monetary measures and employees are happy, they will perform better.
Happy employees improve productivity and profitability which can lead to pay increases in the workplace.
There are several methods for improving morale in a business, some of which have been listed. If you have questions or would like some information on a plan for improving morale please contact us and talk to one of our hr solutions experts.