It happens in every work environment at one time or another. People walking around grumbling, not being very productive, missing work days, and having a general bad attitude about things. What are we talking about here? It’s low employee morale. It sneaks in like a virus, infecting one employee and then over a matter of a few days or weeks, takes hold of the entire workplace. Over time, low employee morale slows down the progress of the business, even to the point where customers and profits suffer.
What can be done to improve low employee morale? Today, we’ll be talking about ways to eliminate a negative workplace and how to restore one that is already dealing with this plague.
Get to the root cause of employee morale problems
One of the ways to find out what’s causing low employee morale is to listen to what employees are griping about. They generally do this in a number of ways, from social media posts and emails to nasty comments made in meetings. Conduct a workplace survey and ask employees confidentially what they like about the company and what they don’t like. Ask managers to start opening up the floor for conversations about workplace satisfaction. This effort will help you pinpoint any causes of upset.
Identify trouble employees who are spreading the disease
While you are listening to feedback from employees, some of your most vocal employees may need some extra attention because they are spreading negative ideas. Your management team can work with them to see what they are unhappy with. Come up with a solution to give them more of what they ask for and reduce the stressors that are causing problems. For example, an employee may be taking on too many work duties, so a temporary employee can be brought in to alleviate the stress on this person.
Give employees a reason to enjoy their work again
If you have poor employee morale, it could be time to update your pay for performance or incentive programs. PayScale advises that the number one reason employees become disengaged in their work and eventually leave their jobs is due to low compensation. Setting up a stronger compensation package, coupled with an incentive program that is tied to workplace performance and positive attitudes can be a way to boost morale.
Work on developing better leaders and managers
It’s been said many times before, but people become unhappy and leave jobs because of poor management. Your managers may seem to be doing a good job, but they could lack the training or insight that’s causing some employees to become disheartened. Provide ongoing training for your managers and help them focus on making the workplace more positive every day.
Make a renewed effort to clarify expectations
Employees often become confused about their jobs, what they are supposed to be doing, and how their work is connected to the objectives of the company. Make it a point to clarify these expectations often at staff meetings and company events. Let employees know how much you value them and the hard work they do every day on behalf of the company. Show them proof that their efforts are making a difference.