Maintaining high employee morale is extremely important for long-term success in business. When employee morale is low, it affects productivity, performance, and employee retention. Recognising the causes of low employee morale will give you better insight into how to turn things around.
Lack of trust in leadership
Trust is at the core of a positive, well-functioning working relationship. If employees don’t trust leaders in the company, their overall attitudes at work will be negative.
Solution: Trust starts with communication and action. Have meetings to keep employees informed on company performance and plans. Keep your word and be consistent. Overtime, these actions will build trust with employees and boost morale.
No open communication
It’s not uncommon for employees to suffer in silence. They may have problems they feel uncomfortable sharing at work. Not feeling free to communicate will cause low morale with employees.
Solution: Be approachable with employees. Make a habit of getting from behind your work station to interact with them daily. Set aside time each week to have one-on-one meetings. Encourage open, but courteous communication among the group and with management.
Employees not feeling like a team
It’s important to help employees keep the big picture in the back of their minds. Their individual efforts are small pieces of a team collaboration to achieve a huge goal. Differences in personalities, values, and work methods can cause challenges with teamwork.
Solution: Get out of the office and do some team building activities. Change the scenery and help employees learn the benefits of working together. Scavenger hunts like team tactics treasure hunts are a fun way to instil teamwork in employees.
Negative employees being a bad influence
There’s always a Debbie Downer in the bunch. Their negative attitude and words seems to be contagious. They may not even be aware of the damage they’re causing to employee morale.
Solution: Take charge before the bad apple spoils the entire batch. Have periodic classes to teach employees the effects of speaking positively. Help them stay aware of positive and negative attitudes to manage work relationships and boost morale.
Lack of incentive
Going to work and doing the same thing for the same amount of pay everyday gets old fast. Employees need constant motivation to keep their morale high. They need a reason to stay productive between pay days.
Solution: Give employees the best benefits possible, and create a recognition program. Send an email to publicly thank employees for their top performance, teamwork efforts, or going the extra mile. Treat employees to lunch for working overtime to complete a project. Do giveaways for tickets to an event or time off. Be creative and consistent with showing appreciation.
Employees feeling stuck at a dead-end job
Most employees have bigger goals than their current position allows. They see a life and career for themselves that’s bigger than where they are. Things grow and change swiftly, and the internal team wants to be a part of that. If they feel stuck in a career rut, you risk having low employee morale and high turnover.
Solution: Whenever possible, hire internally first. Promoting from within gives them options to achieve their goals while staying with your company. This helps morale and retention rates.
Strategies will take some time to boost morale. The key is to be genuine and truly care about the wellbeing of employees. Those who feel good about going to work, trust their leaders, and are optimistic about their future will have high morale.
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