Company morale can be difficult to determine. It’s based on a number of intangible factors like happiness and confidence which can’t be quantifiably measured. Companies know that when morale is high, there is less employee turnaround, high productivity, and a general atmosphere of support and positivity. When there is low morale among employees, it generally means that workers aren’t clear about what is expected of them, don’t have faith in the longevity of the business, or feel underappreciated. Taking a proactive approach to discern specific problematic areas, companies can achieve a high level of workplace morale.
Consider Generational Differences
One of the biggest issues companies face today is not just open communication but knowing how to communicate with employees effectively. As baby boomers start their exit from the workplace and generation Zer’s are making their way into it, businesses must remember that people communicate on different levels and in different ways. While a text message might be sufficient for a millennial, a baby boomer might appreciate a well-thought-out email much more. Being mindful of the employees as individuals, allows them to feel more appreciated.
Open Many Lines of Communication
Encouraging employees to utilize their ability to gain access to the HR’s ear, or to be able to talk one-on- one with a direct superior without judgment, is the first step in open communication. Remember, though that it also works both ways. When the company reaches a milestone or gets a glowing review, they should consistently praise employees with accolades for these achievements to help them feel a part of the team.
Recognize Hard Work with Acknowledgment & Incentives
Nothing says, “You are appreciated,” like acknowledgements, rewards, and incentives. Weaving these into the framework of the company will solidify a supportive and encouraging workplace culture.
- Regular Company Picnics or Retreats – Choose a day when most employees can attend and allow families, if possible. Including families is an integral aspect of bonding emotionally with employees and vice versa.
- Egift Cards – When a milestone or quota is reached, or simply for birthday or anniversary wishes, egift cards are convenient and always graciously accepted. Is the employee a weekend warrior who fixes his/her house up in their free time? A Lowes Egift card is right up their alley. Are they a foodie? An Egift card to an exceptional restaurant will be blissfully redeemed.
- Dependable Bonuses & Raises – Be sure to outline the exact metrics necessary for earning bonuses and raises. With no room for question, employees are more apt to strive to do their very best work.
Help Employees to Create a Work/Home Life Balance
Nobody is immune to stress, and when employees experience stress in their personal life, it inevitably spills into the workplace. Stress can be exemplified in moments of irritability, inability to meet deadlines, absenteeism or simply not being as productive. By offering an EAP, Employee Assistance Program, you are investing in your employee’s wellness by giving them the tools to resolve personal issues.
EAP’s can be used for:
- Establishing a career plan
- Making travel plans
- Managing coworker relationships
- Managing workplace stress
- Handling a career change
Offer Team Building Opportunities
The average American workday is 7.5 hours. That translates to a lot of time spent with coworkers. Whether they all get along or not is less significant than generating feelings of mutual trust and respect. Organizing activities that bring employees together will help raise their intrinsic confidence in not only coworkers, but also the company itself.
Positive employee interactions for the purpose of team building could include:
- A Scavenger Hunt – Split everyone up into two or more groups. Jot down funny tasks for them each to complete. It might be objects to collect like a fresh Maple leaf, or tasks like a selfie taken by a statue. When forming teams, consider putting names into a hat so cliques are broken up and new relationships are encouraged to form.
- What’s My Name Game – Use celebrity names and/or popular professions to list on Post Its or index cards. Everyone chooses one and sticks it to their forehead. They don’t know what they are choosing. Employees move around from one to the next asking yes or no questions to try and determine who or what they are.
- Desert Island Take-Along – Break people up into three or more groups and let them spend ten minutes choosing ten items around the office that they feel would be most helpful if their plane crashed on a desert island. Have them explain why their chosen items would be impactful and ask them to rank them in order of importance.
A company is made up of people, and people need to feel appreciated for who they are as well as what they have to offer. Creating a company culture that builds esteem and employee value will reap rewards in terms of employee tenure, optimism, and productivity.