Have you ever accidentally fallen asleep at your desk? Ever zoned out whilst making a cup of tea, only to realise you’ve been staring at a boiling kettle for ten minutes? Or maybe you’ve looked around at your team, only to see a sea of disengaged expressions?
Guess what - we’ve all been there.
Not every job that you’ll have is perfect for you, and that’s natural. You might expect to feel unmotivated and tired out in a job that you’re not well suited to. But these kinds of things can happen even in your dream job - those days when you just can’t muster the energy and enthusiasm up to complete the tasks you need to do. Why is that?
That’s because sometimes, employers don’t pay enough attention to employee morale. Employee morale is the level of confidence, enthusiasm, and self-esteem that your employees feel in the workplace. It’s often a communal feeling, or one that can be shared and spread: when some employees feel their morale slipping, it can really affect those around them.
Likewise, when morale is high, it can perk up the whole team and really push productivity forward. It plays a powerful influence on employee motivation, satisfaction and - perhaps most importantly - it can massively influence productivity levels, which is why it’s so important to keep morale up.
That’s what we’re going to be talking about in this post: looking at the kinds of things that can affect your work force’s morale, and the best and most efficient ways to keep it high, so you can keep your employees happy and your company’s targets right on track.
There are a whole host of factors that might affect your team’s morale. Morale might be high after a successful client meeting or might be low if that meeting didn’t go quite as well as planned. There might be a feeling of low morale in the office after a round of lay-offs, or it could fluctuate after bonuses or promotions are announced.
Some companies go as far as installing nap pods in their office or have a team of puppies visit the workplace to boost everyone’s mood. But it doesn’t actually have to be as complicated - or distracting - as having some fluffy friends running around your feet. A simple employee reward system can do wonders for affecting your team’s morale - but we’ll get to that later.
Low morale is more than just having a bad day. It’s a feeling that can build up over a long time, and really take its toll on your work ethic and productivity. The most common reason for low employee morale is a feeling of dissatisfaction in your job, which can often stem from not having your hard work recognised sufficiently. It makes sense: there’s only so much satisfaction you can take personally from your work without having your team, clients or managers acknowledging the skill and graft it’s taken to do. And when levels of satisfaction, engagement, and morale start to dip, it can have more impact than you might think.
Without that crucial feeling of recognition, employees can feel demoralised and dissatisfied with their work. Did you know that a whopping 61% of employees in the U.K. feel disengaged with their work, and suffer from low morale as a result? That’s a pretty hefty percentage. You might be even more surprised to hear the knock-on effect of that low morale - it costs the UK economy a jaw-dropping £340 billion a year.
How does such a massive loss happen? Well, that’s because when morale is low…
If morale is low in your company, and employee satisfaction is down, you might see more people than usual walking out the door. And it doesn’t matter how big a boss you are - if your employees walk out, so does your business.
Recruitment can use up a huge amount of resources. It takes time, energy and money to recruit new employees - and that can sometimes be quite a hefty sum of money. What’s more, it can be incredibly disruptive to the team dynamic you’ve been building when the members of that team are constantly changing. That’s why retainment is the third key principle to having an outstanding and productive workplace.
Employee morale isn’t just about making your employees satisfied and happy in their jobs - it’s a cornerstone of a company’s productivity and profits as a whole. It’s a kind of domino effect: the morale of your employees determines their level of engagement, which directly translates to the level of output of work during their time in the office, and that in turn is reflected in your company’s development and success. When morale is low, so is productivity - and so is profit.
If this is ringing some alarm bells in your head, and you think this could be a problem in your company, you can use our handy Employee Disengagement Cost calculator to find out just how much employee disengagement could be costing you.
This all might sound a little scary and hard to overcome, but the answer to keeping up morale is actually a relatively simple one.
It all starts with praise. Research has shown a strong correlation between managerial praise and employee morale, and proven that those who receive regular praise are more productive, more engaged and more likely to stay with their organisation than those who do not.
The simplest - and easiest - form of praise is verbal. Saying well done, or just giving a pat on the back, can go miles for employee morale. It shows your team that you’re taking note of their hard work, and keeping track of their development, even if it’s just with a small gesture.
One way to make those gestures really count can be to make sure you do them in front of higher management, or in front of the clients you’re working with - that way, your praise will instill a real sense of pride and accomplishment in your team.
Ensuring good morale is all about creating a work environment where praise is both meaningful and consistently given. We all know what it’s like when work starts piling up, and stress levels are high - giving praise can easily get buried at the bottom of your to-do list. That’s why there are employee reward systems like Perkbox Recognition making it easy to incorporate giving praise into your everyday work life.
Perkbox Recognition lets you identify, recognise and reward the great work your team is doing with a variety of handy tools. By using Perkbox Recognition, you can give credit where it’s due; and by giving consistent praise and positive feedback, maintain an office environment where morale is always high.