Improving Staff Morale in The Workplace

There are many ways in which an employer can motivate their workforce and boost morale. Creating a positive workplace with a strong sense of team improves productivity. It will also reduce sick days and result in higher staff retention rates. Our guide looks at improving staff morale in the workplace and offers some ideas on how this can be done.

Reasons to Boost Morale at Work

It only takes a couple of people to start showing signs of low morale and it can then spread throughout the whole workforce.

That means it’s important for employers try to cultivate an environment which rewards performance, improves morale and in a setting which people feel comfortable working in.

How to Improve Staff Morale

There are many ways that an employer can look to improve staff morale, and create a more positive workplace.

These do not have to be things which have any cost attached. A little thought, and policies can be put in place which can create a big boost to staff morale.

Encouraging Open Communication

Many companies suffer due to a feeling of an “”us” and “them”” culture between the management and the workforce.

If workers feel there is a line between themselves and management, they will often become resentful. That means it’s important to have regular meetings between management and members of staff.

This gives an opportunity to discuss any new developments that may affect the workers. It also allows workers to express any opinions or problems that they might have with the work and how it is done.

Meetings should take place on a regular basis. However, an employer should also encourage an ‘open-door’ policy so that workers have access to management any time they choose.

Fostering better communication amongst all staff can help prevent negative issues like office politics. This can significantly reduce staff morale, and create a poor working atmosphere.

Staff Training Programs

Some jobs require more training than others. But not having recognised workplace training available to all workers is one of the factors that workers often cite in their decision to leave a job.

By offering training, they feel more valued, and it also allows them to increase their skills for career progression. This practice makes long-term staff retention far easier.

Consider Work Life Balance

Many employers tend to overlook the fact that their workers are people first and ‘staff’ second. They can forget that their workforce will have other commitments outside of work.

Offering things like Flexible Working patterns, Working From Home, crèches, and gym access can boost your company image and make you seem attractive to work for.

As a result, your workers are likely to reward you in return with increases in their level of performance or productivity. Your workplace will seem a much happier and motivated place to work in.

Teambuilding Exercises

The dynamic between work colleagues is often at the centre of a successful workforce.

It only takes one or two demotivated staff to bring the whole team down and affect morale. With this in mind, Team Building Exercises are a good way of making sure this doesn’t happen.

They can be fun days out too. Go-karting, paintball games, ropes courses, a night at the pub or a good meal all make a welcome break from the traditional working day. Even a well planned office christmas party can have a great effect on morale.

Doing this type of activity from time to time usually results in better team bonding and performance.

Recognition Schemes

If we’’ve done well at work, we all appreciate a pat on the back from our manager or employer. This is always good for morale.

However, by having a recognition scheme, it allows our peers to acknowledge our achievements. This make a worker feel even more valued. It also creates an environment in which others can aspire to achieve recognition too.

Suggestion Schemes

Workers often feel more of a kinship with their workplace if they are able to have some kind of input.

Suggestion schemes let workers come up with ideas that might improve the way in which a company is run. This can often flag something which the management team might have overlooked.

If implemented, the suggestion will then benefit both the workforce themselves, e.g. it could make their work easier and it will benefit the employer too, in staff morale improvements, and perhaps financial savings.

Rewards & Bonuses

We all go to work to earn money, yet it should be remembered that money and the potential to earn more via incentives, bonus payments, commissions is not always at the top of our lists of things we seek in an employer.

Balancing work and personal commitments, opportunities for career progression will often far outweigh money a lot of the time and employer’s should remember this. A well thought out staff gift can really enhance morale without a high cost.

Obviously, certain professions such as sales rely heavily on financial incentives to motivate the sales force but if you do decide you’’re in need of improving staff morale, don’t consider money even near the top of your options. You could find it doesn’t improve things much and, in some cases, can actually cause resentment.

One of the best ways of finding out how to boost staff morale if you are an employer is to speak to your staff first. Getting some feedback from them will usually show you the kinds of schemes or incentive programs you might wish to consider introducing to boost staff morale and increase motivation.

Further Reading

Our guide on creating peace & harmony in the workplace has more insight into improving morale.

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