Workplace morale matters. If you’ve ever gone into an office that lacks motivation, you know how soul-sucking it can be. Work doesn’t have to be draining! You can make the changes necessary to build your employees up and boost their morale.
1. Talk With (Not At) Your Employees
Your employees have a lot to say about why they’re not happy. Many employers try to remedy the situation as quickly as possible, so they focus on talking at their employees with a quick pep talk. Pep talks are incredibly one-sided. Your employees may be energized for a day, but you’ll need to continue to give these same inspirational pep talks as soon as morale lowers again.
There’s a better way to connect with employees than constant pep talks. Instead of pep talks, you can set up individual meetings with your employees. Ask them about what’s bothering them, demotivating them, and putting them in a slump. Ask questions from all your staff and compile the answers to get a fuller picture of what needs to happen.
Alternatively, you can hire outside help to survey your office and how they feel about the work they do. Having an independent third party approach the conversation builds trust and helps your employees open up about what’s truly bothering them.
2. Remove Toxic People And Policies
If you want to boost workplace morale, toxic people usually cause more damage than they are worth. While firing an executive or a manager is controversial or maybe even costs money–sometimes the money you lose by firing them now is a drop in the bucket to what you’ll pay later on. When you employ toxic people, you are setting yourself up for disaster through lost morale, productivity, and lawsuits.
Alternatively, think about some of the toxic or harmful policies you might have at work. These policies stop your employees from loving the work they do and can make your employees feel demotivated over time. Take a look at your policies to ensure that the ones you have are there for a reason.
3. Make Sure You Have Enough Employees
Another big reason for low morale is being overworked. Did you know that 4 in 10 U.S. workers say their company is understaffed? Being understaffed can cause a lot of unnecessary issues at work and make your employees lose their motivation.
Think about it: even if you are understaffed, work still needs to get done. Most companies who are understaffed don’t reduce the workload; it just gets shared with the employees that are already there. Being overworked can cause low morale and make your employees think you don’t care about their wellbeing.
Instead, you need to take charge of these situations and offer your employees the support they need to do their job. Ensure that all desks and roles are filled so everyone can do their assigned task instead.
4. Chat With Your Employees About Their Path To Higher Salaries Or Positions
Having a clear path to promotions and higher salaries helps motivate your employees. Employees who stay stagnant for an extended period tend to become unmotivated, and workplace morale will go down. Going to the same job every day with no role changes or additional incentive can become draining to anyone.
Instead, be clear about what your employees can do to get a promotion and make more money at your company. Having open and honest conversations about additional compensation can help your employees with their motivation. These conversations might end with your employees deciding to move to another company, but that gives you a chance to find talent that you can nurture in other ways.
5. Don’t Bring In Table Tennis And Unlimited Beer
Often when companies want to boost morale, they may bring in things like table tennis, arcade games, beer on tap, et cetera. If your employees have asked for these things, bring them in. These items are a bandaid on situations that usually need surgery. Don’t trivialize the situation by purchasing these items, because you will likely still see the issues you were trying to get rid of in your employee retention rate and company survey results.
Here’s the thing about table tennis, it’s fun, but there are likely several things your employees want more than being able to play table tennis whenever they want. Buying table tennis is easy, it’s a one-time cost, and then you have to spend a few dollars keeping it clean and usable every month. Sweeping company changes, on the other hand, can be costly and nervewracking. We get why companies avoid these things and go to table tennis instead.
You need to make substantive changes in your business if you want it to succeed. You won’t boost workplace morale by trying to paper over it with beer kegs. Get at the root of the issue through communication, so you can make real change happen.
With these simple tips, you can create an energizing workplace that your employees are excited to visit day after day. High workplace morale is essential for sustained productivity. Are you doing all that you can to support your employees?