Building morale in the workplace is one of the bigger challenges faced by organizations today. This is because of the problems and costs of retaining employees. While many complain that people go where the money is, studies show otherwise.
According to an international survey, compensation is not the major reason why people leave their jobs for supposedly greener pastures. In fact most often it is because people crave advancement, both in position and stature, responsibility and opportunity within their jobs. If there is constant whining among your employees, it could well be a symptom of low morale in the workplace.
When your employees aren’t smiling, you have work to do! Typically, morale in the workplace is down when employees believe their efforts and accomplishments are not appreciated. Absence of morale leads to reduced productivity, absenteeism and dissatisfaction among staff. Your inability to build a stimulating work environment can risk the activity levels of your team members. Books such as “Building A High Morale Workplace” available on www.amazon.com deal with questions like how to make an organization a better place to work in. But you can make a quick start by implementing some of the ideas below.
Employees will be more committed to the organization’s success and derive greater satisfaction from their work when they feel they are trusted and respected. Creating trust and respect in the workplace is therefore critical for building morale. The most effective way to boost employee morale is to provide an optimum working environment, of which every employee feels an integral part. That won’t happen unless you have a well crafted policy and process in place aimed at building morale.
Building morale in the workplace begins with enhancing communication between the top management and the front line employees. This means not only telling them what is expected, but also instituting a feedback mechanism. Research shows that people leave organizations because they haven’t received the recognition they want. Hence, the first step in creating an environment that will motivate employees is to express appreciation. Show pride in your staff. Go that extra mile and publish news about an employee’s extraordinary contribution to the organization in your company newsletter. Rewarding performance is probably the best morale booster, provided it is done in a fair, transparent and consistent manner. Celebrating today’s achievements results in building morale, and that will provide the inspiration for tomorrow’s effort.
Nurture an open door culture, so that employees do not hesitate to reach out to senior management with concerns that they cannot share with their immediate superiors. Once they get a fair and patient hearing, employees contribute much better as they feel valued by the management. This is also important to your organization from a tactical perspective, especially if you want to avoid a situation where grievances are aired freely at lower levels, or worse, with customers!
Train employees on how to deal with the tensions in the workplace. According to a recent poll, 90% of all Americans live in a state of chronic stress. People can handle just about anything as long as they know what is expected of them. Do not pressure employees to meet impossible deadlines, as this will lead to burnout and the erosion of self-confidence. Cross-training not only helps improve skill sets but also brings out the natural competitiveness of employees to outdo their peers; thereby building morale.
There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of programs and initiatives to build morale in the workplace. The best sign is a drop in absenteeism. Another is increased productivity and improved work quality, an obvious sign that people are enjoying their jobs.