According to an article by Harvard Business Review, having a positive work culture leads to greater productivity within the workplace, as well as lower turnover and healthier employees. One of the easiest ways to improve work culture is by boosting employee and staff morale, but how can you do this? Read our guide for 7 ways you can boost employee morale in your workplace!
1. Compliment employees and recognise their efforts
The most straightforward way to boost employee morale is to recognise them for a job well done or any other successes they’ve accomplished. However, it’s important that you don’t just mindlessly give out compliments: they should be meaningful, so be sure to take notice of when an employee has gone above and beyond in their work, or has made an improvement, and give a compliment accordingly.
If there is some work that needs to be done collaboratively, it’s also good to highlight the individual contributions of each team member. That way, by recognising their work, employees feel more valued and their morale is boosted.
2. Social events outside the workplace
Another good way to increase employee morale is to give your employees a chance to interact with each other outside of work hours, such as through organising a team dinner every week or monthly happy hours. By introducing these events outside the workplace, your employees have a chance to get to know each other on a more personal level, which can then benefit their collaboration in the workplace. Inviting newly hired employees to such social events also gives them an opportunity to become acquainted with the rest of the company and its inclusive culture, which can give a positive first impression.
3. Promote a work-life balance
Depending on the type of business you run, such as investment banking, late nights can be common, but it’s best to not encourage them among your employees. Working late can cause fatigue and burnout in your employees, which can reduce productivity the next morning, and more importantly, generate resentment towards the company and potentially lead to higher turnover.
You can track late hours by, for example, looking into the hours of email traffic at your company, and noting down who sends emails outside of work hours. You can then remind this employee that while you appreciate their efforts and dedication, they should spend their nights recharging for the next day instead, whether it’s spending time with family or friends or enjoying a hobby.
4. Provide opportunities for professional development
A great way to empower your employees is to provide them with opportunities for professional development. This can be as little as providing them with support and guidance on how to pursue or obtain a professional degree or qualification, or you may consider going the extra mile and setting aside some funds to provide discounts or reimbursements on your employees’ professional pursuits. Not only will this allow your employees to strengthen and develop their skills, which will reflect on their work, but it also helps your workforce become more competitive in the long run.
5. Develop clear promotion tracks
A survey of over 400,000 workers in the United States by the Harvard Business Review found that “when people believe promotions are managed effectively, they’re more than twice as likely to give extra effort at work and to plan a long-term future with their company”. Because of this, to maintain morale, it’s important to provide opportunities for promotions in the workplace so that your employees have an incentive to stay with the company, and to be transparent about these paths and their viability. For example, you can send out an email to employees with all the relevant information, or encourage them to visit you in your office so you can both discuss their steps moving forward.
6. Encourage employees to take real lunch breaks
Another great method is to encourage your employees to take real lunch breaks: that is, making sure that they don’t skip lunch or eat lunch at their desk while working. Studies have found that taking real lunch breaks lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity, so you should encourage all your employees to do so both for the benefit of their health and so they can work more efficiently and easily during office hours.
To encourage your employees to take lunch breaks, you can set an example by leaving your desk or the office during lunch times, or organising team lunches every so often. You can also implement rules to prohibit work emails and meetings during specified lunch hours.
7. Survey employees regularly
Surveying your employees regularly, such as every month, can be a good way to keep track of their morale. Some employees may be afraid to speak to you in the office about their feelings or the things you can improve on, so creating an online survey, anonymous or not, can be a good way for such employees to express themselves. By making yourself open to feedback, you’re allowing your employees to contribute directly to positive change and therefore fostering an inclusive work environment, therefore boosting their morale.
Low employee morale can lead to decreased productivity, higher turnover rates and more stressed employees in the workplace. To prevent this from happening, you can implement some of these methods to boost employee morale:
- Complimenting employees and recognising their efforts when they do a good job or show an improvement in their performance or work
- Holding social events outside the workplace so that your employees can get to know each other on a more personal level, such as through team dinners or happy hours
- Promoting a work-life balance, such as ensuring that employees do not work late hours
- Providing opportunities for professional development
- Developing clear promotion tracks so that your employees have an incentive to plan a long term future with the company and be more productive
- Encouraging your employees to take real lunch breaks
- Surveying your employees for to track their morale and ask for feedback that you can later implement