35 Ways of Improving Employee Morale in the Workplace

You may have noticed some tell-tale signs of low morale. Here are 35 ways of improving employee morale in the workplace that will give your teams a boost.

9/29/2022

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Eloise Osborne
Eloise Osborne

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35 Ways of Improving Employee Morale in the Workplace

Having motivated, engaged, and happy employees is key to business success. A study found that employees with high morale are up to 20% more productive than employees with low morale. Low morale can lead to unengaged employees that may struggle with health problems or employees that may not stick with your company for the long haul. As an employer, you need to pick up on signs that your employees need a boost in happiness and engagement and take action for an all-around more successful team.

It’s also worth noting that it is beneficial to do check-ups on employees. We use howamigoing for anonymous insights into how the EqualTo team is doing.

What are the signs of high morale in the workplace?

  • Team success. Your teams are meeting or getting close to their targets.
  • Long-lasting employees. Your employees are with your company for the long term and are looking to grow within the team.
  • An enthusiastic atmosphere. Your team is energized and excited about work and responsibilities.
  • Strong company culture. Your employees are eager to socialize together after work and be part of the company culture.

What are the signs of low morale in the workplace?

  • A high turnover rate. Wondering why you can’t keep your workers? There’s a chance they found another job that makes them feel happier and more satisfied.
  • Attitude changes. Your once lively team now seems a bit doom and gloom or at least lacking energy. You may also notice that employees aren’t participating in meetings as much, or coming up with new ideas.
  • Unsatisfactory performance. Your team isn’t quite hitting the targets or performing at the rate you expect.
  • Gossip. You may find there is a lot of talk going around and exaggeration of the company’s actions. 

You may have noticed some tell-tale signs of low morale or have had feedback from your team stating so. Now is the time to take action. To help you with this, I’ve compiled a list of 35 ways of improving employee morale in the workplace that will give your teams a boost:

1. Give Effective, Positive Feedback

While it's important to give constructive feedback, it is equally important to send your team positive vibes and let them know how much you appreciate their work. Organize one-on-one feedback every month or so with your team members to let them know how they are doing and raise any issues. While it is important to come from managers, it is also great if the feedback comes from colleagues. Encourage your team to give positive and constructive feedback to help their colleagues grow.

2. Take Time to Talk to Your Team

It is also important to get feedback from your team. Talk to them about how their work environment could be more effective, what strategies they find helpful, and if they need any more training or investment. No one knows the working process more than your team. This exercise will help you to improve the processes within your teams and also make your employees feel listened to and valued.

3. Invest in Training your Employees

People want to develop their skills and grow. Investing in employee training will help them be excited about their role and their professional development. Consistent employee training is also a great incentive to increase the longevity of your team.

4. Encourage Career Building

Where possible, allow employees to try out different roles and projects to find their niche, expand their knowledge and skills, and let your team explore their options within the company.

5. Be Transparent about Promotion Opportunities

Furthermore, to keep people engaged in their work, they should have the opportunity to grow within the company and take on new responsibilities. Be transparent to your team about the potential opportunities in the company and what they can do to receive a promotion. Furthermore, stick to these guidelines so as not to reduce trust.

6. Make Use of MBOs

A Management by Objectives (MBO) model lets your employees help set their own goals that lead to overall company success. This model makes them feel more connected to the company and more likely to want to achieve the goals they have set out. It also allows them to understand their role in the bigger picture of the company.

7. Provide Performance-Based Bonuses

Bonuses can be given as a spontaneous reward when employees go the extra mile in reaching business-related goals or simply for a job well done. This bonus can come in the form of pay but can also be a holiday bonus. It is also important to set clear guidelines for bonuses so your employees feel equally rewarded. 

8. Try out Team-Based Incentives

Team-based incentives are a great way to highlight the importance of teamwork and team culture. It encourages people to share ideas and skills with each other and put their minds together in order to reach a common goal and prize.

9. Hold Healthy Competitions

You may also choose to hold fun, healthy competitions within teams like our Ocean Race which rewards on an individual basis. Try a mixture of team competitions and individual and see which your team responds to best.

10. Implement an Awesome Sales Commission Plan

An effective and transparent sales commission plan can be a great incentive for reps to aim higher and be motivated by knowing how much they will receive at the end of the month. Having an automated system also reduces the chances of errors and increases the trust of your team. Furthermore, your finance team will thank you for implementing a simpler and more effective commission process, and your tech team will love the integrations.

11. Assess Your Sales Territory Map

A sales territory plan can provide clarity and focus for your teams, as well as make sure they all have different objectives. It also allows you to see which geographical areas need more attention and which are oversaturated. The best sales territory maps offer equal opportunity for reps to hit quota. Make sure this is up-to-date for your sales team as it will provide them with a clear process and help them to do their job more effectively.

12. Implement a SPIF

Short-term incentives that are paid on top of commission are a great way to give your team an extra boost when morale is low. SPIFs are an effective way to reward the right behavior when it comes to short-term goals. You can find out more about what is a SPIF and how to implement one here.

13. Prioritize Feedback after Big Projects

Another example of how communication is key is when evaluating big projects with your team. Big projects provide a steep learning curve for teams and, therefore, it is important to address any of your teams' concerns and adjust your process for the next project. Also, make sure you track metrics from the project and discuss with your team what went well and what didn’t so your team is all on the same page for the next event.

14. Identify Signs of Burnout

Notice when your team is burning out, they may display symptoms such as physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, and increased negativity. A burned-out team won’t help your business and you are seriously decreasing the team morale. Once you have established your employees are experiencing burnout, talk to your team about what can be done to solve this problem. It could be prioritizing and decreasing their workload, expanding the team, or simply giving them the day off after an intense project.

15. Take Action to Avoid Turnover

Sometimes letting go of employees is necessary. But if you have a continuous high turnover, either from employees being let go or quitting, it isn’t going to be good for your other employees’ morale. If some employees aren’t meeting your expectations, try to understand why– it might just be that they need some extra training. If your business is going through a downturn, only let go of employees as a last resort. Furthermore, to prevent employees from quitting, offer perks, fair pay, and an attractive commission plan.

16. Encourage Team Members to Share their Achievements

Create an environment where employees feel comfortable announcing their achievements to their team. Encourage your team to support and praise each other as they are all driving towards the same goal.

17. Acknowledge Excellent Performance

Likewise, brag about your employees. Point out star performance in team meetings and praise exceptional work when an employee has really gone that extra mile.

18. Encourage Employees to Take Sick Days

Often employees will feel pressure to work when they are ill or in a situation where it is hard for them to work. Respecting this time off and encouraging them to rest when they need to will result in happier and healthier employees.

19. Plan an Off-Site

Go the extra mile and plan a company getaway for your team. It’s a great way to both offer a perk to your employees and for them to get to know each other. An off-site can take place in many forms and places, but it is important to have a balance between rest and fun, and company work and team building.

20. Create a Fun Work Environment

If you have an office, make it a fun and relaxing place. Allow people to bring their dogs to work, have a football table for the lunch break, and make sure the office is a bright, welcoming, and comfortable space. Office or remote, you can still hold after-work team events like taking your team out for dinner or hosting a virtual games night if you have employees spread across different cities and countries.

21. Organize the Occasional Surprise

Maybe your teams have been going through an exceptionally busy week or have been performing well. Surprise them with some sweet treats in the office or a night of karaoke. Also, if it’s someone's birthday make the effort to acknowledge this.

22. Assess Your Overall Company Culture

Do you have a strong company culture that sets a precedent for the future of the company? To create a company culture, make sure your team is aware of the values of the company and allow them to see that they all share a common goal. To strengthen this, regularly get your team together, and even get your employees to input what they think the company values should be. Remember, company culture starts at the top, so it is important for leaders to set an example of the company culture they want their employees to follow.

23. Regularly Get the Whole Company Together

Hosting All Hands meetings gives a reminder to employees that they are part of a bigger team and culture with a shared goal. It also gives a chance for better communication from managers to employees about company news and also the opportunity to praise a job well done.

24. Invest in Excellent Tech

Good quality tech helps your team work efficiently without the constraints and frustration of out-of-date or slow technology. Make sure you are paying for up-to-date software and providing quality laptops that do the job.

25. Offer Flexible Working

It’s 2022 and flexible working is all the rage– for good reason. Many people work more efficiently at home than at the office or work better at different times of the day. Don’t micromanage your employees, let them work how they think is best, as long as you are seeing results.

26. Consider a 4 Day Working Week

To take flexible working even further, get involved in 4 day working week trial. 4 Day Week Global shows that a four-day week can, amongst other things, increase productivity, well-being, and engagement of employees. Countries such as Scotland, Australia, and New Zealand are already creating trials with positive results.

27. Prioritize Employee Health

Well-being is key to good morale and efficient workers. Providing generous sick days or perks like gym membership and counseling services can be a great improvement. Headspace has launched Headspace for Work where all employees can have an account and much more.

28. Host Health and Wellness Events

Furthermore, host events that promote a healthy lifestyle and can also be a chance for a fun get-together for employees. Examples of this can be, a healthy office breakfast, afternoon yoga, or dog therapy.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

29. Offer Family Caregiving Perks

A study has shown that the better maternity and paternity leave options a company has to offer, the more likely its employees will have job satisfaction and stay with the company. Some parents also said that parental leave was a larger incentive to stay at their job than increased pay. It is also important to respect that employees may need to work different hours to make room for childcare needs and work with them to find the best solution.

30. Promote Work-Life Balance

Respect employees’ wishes to leave on time for work and try not to expect them to do overtime too often. When overtime is needed, make it clear that it will be compensated on another day. Give employees knowledge in advance if you want them to stay longer or adjust working hours so they can plan accordingly. Not only that, encourage your employees to take breaks, not work too much, and take vacation time.

31. Pay your Workers Well

At the end of the day, your employees deserve to be paid what they deserve, and if they don’t receive adequate pay they will lose morale really fast. Reward hard work and loyalty by being open to conversations about pay-rises.

32. Support Employee-led Initiatives

Supporting employee-led initiatives really shows that you care about what your team has to say. This could be donating to a charity box your team has organized or sponsoring the team's fun run.

33. Set Realistic Targets

Don’t overwhelm your team by setting unrealistic targets. It’s okay to push your team, but listen to them if they feel the targets are unfair. If they are consistently not hitting targets, work with your team to find a solution. Also, acknowledge constraints, like dips in the market, that are stopping your team from hitting targets, and re-set targets accordingly.

34. Show you Value Feedback and Suggestions

Ask your team for feedback on a project and even leave open feedback opportunities to those who are not directly involved. Also, create a work environment that is welcoming to feedback and suggestions to make your employees’ voices heard.

35. Pay for Public Transport

Supporting and encouraging employees to take public transport may reduce the stress of driving to work in rush hour and also help decrease carbon emissions. Acknowledging the effort and cost of coming into the office by paying for employees’ transport cards can be a nice perk.

Taking steps to improve employee morale can produce great results for your company. You will have employees who work harder and are more loyal to the business. Improve your employee morale in the long run by putting some of these tips into action. Remember to check in with your employees and ask them what will improve their morale and ask for feedback on the new steps you are taking.

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