If your organization suffers low morale, employees are going to feel it every single day. And they are going to express it every day in a variety of ways that ultimately are going to affect your bottom line.
According to sociologist Alexander Leighton, "morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose."
For your organization to thrive, it's essential to take the time to develop good morale.
Almost by definition low morale will produce unhappy employees. Instead of puling together, low morale will them apart…it eats away at employees over time. Once they start feeling they they are giving more than they are getting, their productivity will fall, they find new jobs and they quit, they start calling in sick more often, and bring others down by speaking openly and negatively. Working for an organization where morale is high feels great, but when it’s low it feels bad.
Why Morale Suffers
Morale can decline for several different reasons and the most reasons that we have found in our employee research across all industry types are as follows::
- Poor leadership.
- Poor communication.
- Lack of autonomy.
- Inflexible working conditions.
- Loss of benefits.
- Damage to the organization's reputation or public image.
- Difficult co-workers.
- Heavy workloads or stress, with no reward or gratitude.
- No sense of social value to the work being done.
Signs of Low Morale
Clues that morale is slipping include:
- Obvious unhappiness.
- Increased complaints about work, or other team members.
- Increased absenteeism.
- An increase in conflict between team members.
- Disorganized work environments.
- Increased employee turnover.
- Decreased productivity
- Lack of enthusiasm.
If your team's morale needs rebuilding, you need to start by understanding the problem. Our 4Cs Employee Survey can often be the most valuable first step in identifying your weak spots which will help you choose strategies to fit your situation. These may include:
Reconnecting With Your Employees
Connect: Morale is higher in situations where team members feel close to their managers. This is achieved by developing good relationships and connecting with your team. Touch base with your employees by walking around, establish regular contact and communication so you can establish trust and rapport with the people you work with.
Appreciate: Feeling valued is priceless in any relationship. Lack of appreciation is often cited as one of the key causes of low morale. It is vital that leaders show their people they appreciate them. Saying thank you for a job well done, offering benefits like days off or being open to flex work schedules when goals are met and providing positive and regular feedback will go along way to building morale.
Improving the Environment: Sometimes, morale can suffer because of the physical environment that employees have to work in.
It is important that employees work in a safe and clean environment. Evaluate where you work and look at whether your workspace is healthy or not. Is the air quality good, are offices conference rooms and break rooms attractive, well-lit and energizing? Do employees have access to the supplies and tools they need to do their work efficiently? Do employees have the opportunity to get away from their desks to avoid sitting all day? Do they have the freedom to design their own workspaces and personalise them?
Improve Communication: Poor communication is one of the most common causes of low morale and a key cause of low employee engagement.
Employees deserve to have accurate timely information especially if sales are down. Otherwise rumors can spread quickly through the workplace, and they can destroy morale.
Ways to keep employees in the loop can be handled in a weekly email with important updates and regular team meetings. When changes and decision are made in a company, its important that managers keep their employees informed so they know what’s going on. Employees should feel they can go to their manager when they have questions. If managers listen actively to what their employees have to say and they respond in a timely matter, the upshot is employees will feel valued and respected.
Set Measurable Goals: Morale can fall when employees are unclear about what job they should be doing. This lack of direction causes confusion and can be very disheartening.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure employees know your mission, vision and values and understand how their work contributes to these. In this way employees have a clear view of what their organization expects and help them think about ways they can contribute to helping their organization achieve its mission. Setting clear, realistic and achievable goals will help motivate people and reinforce what they should be doing.
Build Confidence: One great way to do this is to give employees more autonomy to make decisions. Empowering people is a declaration of your faith in their ability to make good decisions. Delegate tasks and encourage employees to work towards challenging and achievable goals. Then, when someone has success, celebrate it!
Morale can suffer for many reasons. In order to rebuild it find out where the problems are by conducting an employee survey and then create your action plan. There are several strategies you can use to help:
- Focus on the level of morale of your managers and the people who are leading your employees first.
- Make a plan to reconnect with employees.
- Improving the workplace.
- Improve communication.
- Setting measurable goals
- Rebuild confidence.
For more information about employee surveys and employee research please get in touch with us. We would be happy to help!
Contact Lynn Gore at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 866-802-8095 ext.705