Boosting employee morale increases productivity because people who feel appreciated and fulfilled at work develop the ownership spirit and remain committed to their job. Morale refers to the general outlook and attitude of employees with regards to their job and the work environment. It is that feeling of satisfaction, fulfillment, and confidence that employees have that their career goals are being met in some way. When morale is high, employees tend to stay focused on the mission, taking the initiative to meet or exceed stated goals.
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Key Factors in Improving Morale
Employers play a significant role in creating the kind of work environment that engenders positive employee morale. Employers, managers, and the entire organizational structure contribute to boosting employee morale, which leads to increased productivity. Effective managers who have the skills to manage day-to-day interactions with employees, resolve conflicts as they arise and remain supportive in the face of adverse conditions can contribute to improving morale. Ensuring that employees feel safe in their work environment is a morale booster. This strategy includes resolving safety issues in the physical environment and work processes. It also means making sure that all employees have adequate training to cope with their jobs, including having the right equipment and tools and the ability to work with them efficiently and safely.
Employees respond positively to incentives whether these are monetary or other material bonuses that can be perceived as rewards for a job well done. It is important to define benchmarks and standards and provide achievable goals to maintain employee morale. Employees who trust management and corporate leadership tend to stay positive about their jobs. They support the company’s mission, believe in the direction that the company is going and see themselves as part of an evolving organization.
How to Boost Employee Morale
Employees have a wide range of strategies that can be deployed to boost employee morale, but the simple and more direct approaches usually have the most impact. For instance, simply showing that the company cares about employees as individuals can do a lot to fostering morale. Recognizing them on their birthdays and other life events such as weddings, the birth of a child or academic achievements can be morale boosters. This extends to meeting and exceeding work performance standards.
Life-work balance is often cited as one of the reasons that employees feel satisfied with their jobs. Provide opportunities for employees to pursue interests they are passionate about. Encourage them to volunteer individually or as a team to do something for their co-workers or for the community. Make it possible for employees to take time off for family activities, and make them feel that companies care about their families, too. This can take the form of scheduling family days and company-wide events that involve employees and their families.
Talent management strategies are critical to boosting employee morale. These are strategies that have to do with hiring, retention, and promotion. The prospect of job loss stresses employees and affects morale. A study from the Pew Research Center found that 26 percent of workers are concerned about possible job loss due to mismanagement, 22 percent worry about the shrinking industry and 20 percent are aware of the possibility of being displaced by workers who will accept lower wages.
Boosting employee morale to increase productivity takes many forms and requires initiative from employers and managers. The strategies can be as simple as commendations for a job well done, fostering team spirit through special events or providing a work environment that encourages creativity and recognizes individual and group accomplishments.