Employee morale is a tough issue for many business leaders who might be great at organising work but less effective at dealing with people. While many employees won’t openly admit when they’re unhappy, it can become evident in a number of ways.
When you detect a lack of enthusiasm, ideas or initiative from employees it can indicate that they’re not enjoying their job. While work isn’t meant to be a recreational activity, employees should still be confident and eager to carry out their roles.
Unhappy employees doesn’t just create a depressing work atmosphere, it creates mistrust, idleness and can ultimately affect your productivity. Failing to address morale issues can have disastrous effects for any sized organisation.
This is why it’s so important for employers to make sure that they are conscious of and work to improve employee morale. Let’s take a look at the top ways this can be done.
Make them feel part of the bigger picture
This can be tricky depending on an employee’s seniority and responsibilities, but it is ultimately a matter of making them feel as if their work is more than just a job. No matter what their job is, the work they do will always have a greater role in the workflow of the business.
While an employee will often already know how their work fits into the grander scheme, they still need to understand the vision for that grand scheme. If their motivation to work is only to collect a pay check then they are less likely to dedicate themselves fully to the role.
No matter what your business’ goal or vision is, make sure that right from their first interview that employees understand how they will help you to achieve it. Make them feel valued and they will give value back to you.
Demonstrate that you care
While you’re not meant to be your employees’ best friend, maintaining a healthy relationship with them is crucial. Because of your seniority, employees will never truly feel equal to you, but that doesn’t meant you should alienate yourself from them.
Remembering birthdays, weddings, newborns and other events in employee’s lives is an easy way to show them that you care about more than just what they can do for you. Even just asking how their weekend was is a basic gesture of respect for their personal lives.
Promote from within
While this isn’t always appropriate depending on the circumstances, you should always try to promote an employee to fill a new role rather than hire someone new. When employees see a path for career advancement they won’t see their job as a dead end and will be motivated to do the best work they can.
Everything from inviting employees to Friday night drinks to taking them on an annual resort trip are all great ways to give them something to look forward to. Depending on the resources you have, there’s always something fun that you can get your employees involved in.