The Importance of Morale in the Workplace
We spend a third of our lives at work.
That's a lot of time dedicated to our chosen careers. So, the last thing any of us needs, is to feel under appreciated at work.
Unfortunately, this is easily done.
In big companies in particular, with managers ambitiously pushing their employees to go the extra mile in a highly competitive world, the regard for these employees can be forgotten. Their good will can be taken for granted. Their hard work isn't properly rewarded - If at all!
This results in low office morale.
According to the Robert Half online article, a recent Officeteam survey revealed that 84% of HR Directors are concerned about losing top performers.
When probing into why these employees leave, morale in the office seems to be widely overlooked. Perhaps this is something some managers feel they don't need to address. With employment rates falling so dramatically over the last few years, it can be easy to think that morale at work doesn't need to be considered. Employees should feel lucky they have a job; they could be much worse after all. It might be tempting to even point this out to disgruntled employees.
However, the bigger picture must always be considered. Without experienced staff to maintain performances, companies will deteriorate and lose business. And while finding new employment might be more competitive in an unsympathetic world, there is still an abundance of opportunities for any experienced hard worker.
If an employee feels under appreciated, and their morale at work is low; a sense of self preservation will eventually kick in, and they will seek out somewhere better.
Somewhere they will feel valued.
This is why morale in the workplace is now becoming an important issue.
So, what is the answer? How can managers boost morale and keep their employees?
The answers are many and varied, but they are also simple; often requiring nothing more than a little personal effort on the manager's part.
First and foremost is communication. Without knowing what is causing your staff to be demoralised, how can you possibly make them feel better? Understanding what is causing your employees to be disgruntled, and having them involved in the active resolution will in itself uplift them, simply by knowing that the situation is being actively resolved.
The next step is recognition, which is highlighted in the Robert Half article. Your employees work hard every day, and always give their best for your company. Simply recognising this is often enough to boost morale. Consider the employees perspective: You're hard at work from the moment you get into the office. You're entitled to tea breaks, but things are just so manic right now, you power through without anything. You even take a shorter lunch break so you can catch up, and you do eventually. Feeling drained and exhausted, the working day has been nothing but a blur. Finally with a moment to breath, you skit back and chat with colleagues about the day. Now imagine your manager coming out of their office. They know what the situation is; they've seen you hard at work. Yet all they do is survey the area, make a barbed comment about unnecessary chatter, then disappear. Morale after that would certainly be low.
Sometimes, all it takes is a simple thank you; whether at the end of the day or in the middle of a busy run; a moment to let employees know that you see them work hard, and you appreciate the effort their putting in.
There are many other different ways for managers to show their employees recognition, a list of which is contained in the Robert Half article; and range from suggestions such as bringing in cakes or treats for them to enjoy, to organise activities such as Christmas parties or outdoor team bonding excursions. Sometimes entrusting employees with a challenge outside their usual working practice, buoys them into feeling valued and important. Having an individual relationship with an employee is important too, and recognising what their career ambitions are, to supporting them in their advancement, all contribute to boosting morale.
Needless to say, the mood of the workplace has a great impact on productivity. By introducing morale boosting methods, productivity will inevitably improve as well. Effective managers will not only introduce these methods, but will create and vary different them to maintain and strengthen morale and will soon find that the business as a whole has undergone an effective and happy transformation.
Yes, morale in the office is that essential to an effective business and should be treated as such by all managers in all companies big and small. At the end of the day, who needs the added stress of being down at work?
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