It's no secret that employee morale is one of those things in business that is essential to understand...but what exactly does it mean? In this article we'll explain what employee morale is, why it matters, how to measure it, and ways to improve it.
What is Employee Morale?
Employee morale is a complex concept because there's so many factors that affect it. Morale is how your employees feel about coming to work everyday, how they approach their assigned tasks, and their attitude about the direction the company is taking.
Put simply, employee morale is the culmination of job satisfaction, life outlook, and attitude.
Why Does Morale Matter?
Morale is a vital part of your company’s culture — a positive collective attitude will create a positive environment, and a positive environment certainly can improve attitude.
If your company has poor morale and a suffering company culture, decreased productivity can follow. Employees suffering from poor morale can be unmotivated, unenthused, and unengaged. Improving morale in your company can improve your productivity and company culture. Morale, productivity, and company culture are are tied together and affect one another. When one suffers, they all suffer.
How Can You Measure Morale?
So how can you tell that morale is low?
The easiest way to keep an eye on your company's morale is to maintain a relationship with each employee. You’ll notice shifts in their behaviors and attitudes if morale does begin to slip. If your company is too large to make this possible, keep in contact with direct supervisors. They should be able to give you a good indication of how things are going in their areas.
Surveying employees has proven to be a great way to keep an eye on many aspects of a business, including morale. You can get a good picture of where your employees are at, morale-wise, and monitor the direction your employees feel your company is going. Check in often, so that if you get a few degrees off course, corrections can be more easily made.
There are mixed feelings about using turnover and absentee rates as a measure of morale; there are many other factors that can impact those rates. But they can serve as a useful measurement just don’t completely count on them.
3 Ways to Improve Morale
1. Improve your company’s culture.
We’ve written a lot about this one, but the bottom line is simple. Give your employees a positive environment to spend so many hours of their lives. Help them interact positively, lead healthy lives, and chase their passions while at work, in whatever form works best for your company.
Allow employees to work from home, provide awesome health benefits, or host fun work parties. Figure out your company and make the best of things.
2. Provide more effective training
Trained employees are happy employees because knowing how to complete every task assigned prevents misunderstandings and workplace tension. Make sure everyone is trained and give them the tools they need to complete their jobs. Don’t repeat the same, boring, basic tutorials at every meeting. Find a new angle to tackle work trainings from.
The bottom line is to find what works for your company in monitoring and improving morale.
3. Get feedback
Your first best bet to improving employee morale is to have a read on your company's pulse. The feeling of a company can be very different in the c-suite compared to workers on the front lines.
Make sure to keep things in perspective by interacting with employees regularly, sending surveys, and getting a general read on how things are working (or not) for everyone in the company.