Effective Ways to Increase Employee Morale

co-workers laughing at desks
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A high morale work place is essential to long-term business success. Low morale can quickly take your business off the rails, causing costly errors, and leading ultimately to business failure. The root causes of low employee morale can be numerous including job security issues, unclear expectations, lack of communication, lack of recognition, limited upward mobility, lack of trust, unreasonable workload, high tunnover, lack of fair pay (perceived or real), and much more.

To increase employee morale, you need to understand that a diversified approach to remove morale blockers and enhance staff motivators will work best.

Impact of Low Employee Morale

What does low morale cost to your business?

Like a disease, poor morale can infect every aspect of a business. It can lead to reduced productivity, reduced revenue, high staff turnover and more. The Gallup Organization estimated that there are 22 million actively disengaged employees costing the economy as much as $350 billion dollars per year in lost productivity including absenteeism, illness and other low morale issues

11 Employee Morale Boosters

Morale boosters can take the form of recognition, compensation, special perks or simply terminating employees who are "resisters". Here are 11 low cost morale boosters:

  1. Welcome Ideas: Employee morale improves when staff feel they are valued. Solicit, share and implement their innovations and ideas.
  1. Recognize and Reward Achievement: Visibly let employees know when then have exceeded expectations. Consider putting something extra in their pay as well.
  2. Help Them Succeed: Let employees know the company's goal, how it is measured, what each of their roles is in achieving success. Have regular updates. Give employees the training and tools they need to succeed.   
  1. Thank You Notes: Send a special thank you letter to your staff’s family or spouse, praising their good work and efforts.
  2. Huddle: Have a daily morning huddle to highlight tasks for the day and to cheer yesterday’s wins.
  3. Open Up: Provide an open forum or one-on-one time to allow employees to express their concerns and feelings can be an easy means to boost morale.
  4. Have Fun: Special events and outside work activities can take the pressure off the day-to-day grind in the office.
  5. Show Charity: Get your staff involved in a bigger cause to help them see there is more to life than work.
  6. Add Perks: Use low cost perks such as a Foosball table in the lunch room.
  7. Let Resisters Go: Sometimes the root cause of low employee morale can be a staff member whose negativity brings down the group. Even a top performer can bring down staff behind your back.
  8. Measure It: Keep tabs on the levels of morale in your business by regularly measuring employee satisfaction.

The backbone of business success resides in the productivity and output of your employees. Those companies who remain vigilant to the signs of low morale and who focus on improving morale can thwart off the impact of a low morale workplace.