Employee morale is a nebulous quality that can be extremely hard to measure. But, when morale is low, both you and your team will feel it.
Their performance will suffer, and they may even develop dissatisfaction with their job. Because of those bad feelings, low morale can even lead to increased turnover and attrition. That’s bad for business.
Obviously, every manager would prefer high morale over low morale. But that begs the question: How can you improve the morale in your company?
In this article, we discuss the most effective ways to improve employee morale for a better work environment.
Effective Ways To Improve Employee Morale
1) Assess Your Own Morale
One of the first things to do when considering ways to improve employee morale is to assess your own.
If you suffer from low morale, your team members will pick up on those feelings and, very likely, develop low morale as well. On the other hand, if you feel good about your job and have high morale, your behavior will show it, and those emotions will rub off on your employees.
Think of it this way: Morale is like a waterfall — it starts at the top and works its way down through your organization until it hits the bottom. Improve your own morale, and employee morale will follow suit.
2) Build An Organizational Chart
It doesn’t matter if your business has two employees or 200, everyone will benefit from an organizational chart and the clear hierarchy of responsibility that it creates.
How does this improve employee morale? Here’s an example.
If an employee has to get approval from a manager to move ahead on their task or project but they don’t know whom to approach, it can be very frustrating and create a serious speed bump in their workflow. That can significantly lower said employee’s morale.
If, on the other hand, the employee knows exactly whom to approach — because they consulted the organizational chart — it cuts down on the frustration they feel and keeps the work moving forward. That’s good for employee morale.
3) Take The Pulse Of Your Team With A Survey
A good way to find out how your team is feeling is to administer a survey.
Surveys are sometimes better than talking face to face because of the anonymity involved. Employees may feel more comfortable sharing their true feelings on a written form than they would sharing their feelings when talking one-on-one or in a group.
To get the truest sense of employee morale in your business, ask questions like:
- How meaningful is your work?
- Do you enjoy our company culture?
- How challenging is your work?
- Do you feel connected to your coworkers?
- How often do you feel stressed at work?
- Do you feel our business is open to change?
- Do your managers value your feedback?
- Do you feel that we appreciate your contributions?
The answers to these questions — and others like them — can give you insight into your team’s state of mind and reveal new ways to improve employee morale.
4) Draw On Employee Strengths
Each employee in your business has their own strengths. Drawing on those strengths produces higher-quality work and also improves employee morale and engagement. How so?
Take two different employees for example. Employee A is more of an introvert who focuses on details, while Employee B is more of an extrovert who enjoys interacting with people.
If you assign Employee A to be the head of client relations on a big project, they probably won’t feel very comfortable in that role. Similarly, if you assign Employee B to monitor the expenses of the big project, they probably won’t feel very comfortable in that role.
But, if you draw on each employee’s strengths and switch roles, both individuals will be in their element, will feel more comfortable, and will likely do a better job overall.
5) Be Clear When You Assign Tasks
Doling out unclear or confusing assignments can be a serious impairment to employee morale — not to mention a major speed bump to workflow. To prevent misunderstandings, be as clear with your task instructions as possible.
Establish defined, achievable tasks. Set realistic goals and deadlines. Explain the scope of the work to each team member. And, if necessary, create guidelines and regulations to prevent employees from overstepping their responsibilities and doubling up on the work.
6) Reward Good Work To Improve Employee Morale
Another effective way to improve employee morale is to reward good work whenever it occurs.
Recognize a job well done doesn’t have to be at the conclusion of a project or the end of the year. And it doesn’t have to be a grand, exorbitant gesture, either.
In fact, small rewards on a more regular basis go much further toward improving and maintaining employee morale over the long haul.
For example, maybe you take a few moments to stop by an employee’s desk to commend them on the way they completed a recent task. Or, maybe you arrange for a catered lunch while your team is deep into a difficult project.
Whatever you choose to do, think about what your team members need to keep their spirits high, get creative with small, frequent rewards, and watch employee morale soar.
7) Create Standard Operating Procedures
Standard operating procedures are the bedrock on which your employees operate. They also have a very real effect on employee morale.
Create clear policies, procedures, and instructions for everything your team does during their time at work. These policies and procedures serve as a framework for your expectations and give your employees a better idea of how to do their job well.
Standard operating procedures are very much like the yellow and white lines on roadways across the country. Without them, driving would be infinitely more difficult and the likelihood of being involved in an accident would increase dramatically.
8) Grant Your Team Autonomy
Employee morale depends, in large part, on how free your team members feel to try new approaches to common problems. To encourage this freedom, give your employees the autonomy to choose how they get things done.
Avoid the impulse to micromanage and watch your team’s every move. Instead, give them a clear assignment and a reasonable deadline, and then step back and let them work.
Giving your employees autonomy proves that you trust their abilities. That sense of trust then helps them feel better about their job and lends itself to improvements in employee morale.
9) Give Your Team The Tools They Need
Few things are more frustrating than not having the tools necessary to complete a task effectively and efficiently. You can avoid this pitfall by making sure your team has the tools they need to do the job right for each and every project.
For example, think about your own job. If you didn’t have X or you had to always do Y before you could do Z, how frustrating would even the simplest task be?
It’s the same for your team. If they don’t have the tools necessary to get their job done in a timely manner or they always have to recreate the wheel before getting to the actual work, their morale will suffer.
10) Hire A Diverse Team
Hiring a diverse team plays an important role in making employee morale the best it can be. Business as a whole is becoming more global every day, and diversity gives you access to those markets like never before.
Because employees from different walks of life have access to unique points of view, novel experiences, and broad cultural knowledge, your team will also have the tools necessary to broaden their horizons and push your business to new levels of success.
Diversity also challenges your team to explore new avenues of thought and set goals they might not have considered before. This can have a hugely positive impact on employee morale and the way everyone works together.
Boost Employee Morale With Inch
If you really want to boost employee morale, focus on communicating with everyone in your employ.
It doesn’t matter if that communication revolves around scheduling, task assignments, clocking in and out, business strategies, or just getting to know your team better. The more — and more effectively — you communicate with your employees the higher their morale will be.
But, for the best communication possible, you need the right tools. The Inch app can help. We developed Inch to simplify communication and improve employee morale in your business.
Inch is a suite of integrated tools that makes scheduling, tracking labor, assigning tasks, and building employee morale extremely simple. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
For an all-in-one solution to help you improve every aspect of your workforce management and implement the ideas discussed in this article, incorporate the Inch app into your workflow today.
And, for more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit TryInch.com today.