Employee morale is defined as the attitude, satisfaction and overall outlook of employees during their association with an organization or a business. An employee that is satisfied and motivated at workplace usually tend to have a higher morale than their counterparts. Employee engagement and employee satisfaction play an important role for employees to be happy in their workplace.
On the contrary, employees who are not happy in their workplace, who constantly complain and crib about the various attributes in an organization, like employee policies, workplace culture, facilities at work etc. tend to have a low employee morale. This is quite evident in their behavior. Employee morale is a complex concept because it involves a lot of factors that affect their morale.
Morale is vital to organization culture- a positive collective attitude will create a positive working environment for both, employees and leadership. If your organization has a poor morale or a culture of suffering then there is a possibility that in your organization employees have a low or negative morale that can adversely affect the productivity of the organization. It can most certainly lead to greater employee attrition, just to begin with.
So how can you measure the morale of employees? It’s easy! Here are a few tips that you can use to check if the employee morale is high or not:
1. Stay connected with your employees: A feedback is an effective mechanism to stay in touch with your employees. Deploy an employee engagement survey at timely intervals to get first-hand feedback about how engaged or motivated are your employees. The responses to the survey will help you determine their attitude and in turn their morale.
2. Your managers must be coaches: Over the last decade or so, the definition of a manager has slightly shifted from being a taskmaster to a coach. Your managers should be like coaches. They should be able to help employees learn and grow within the organization. A good manager or a supervisor will not only motivate an employee to perform better but also help them resolve problems and related issues.
3. A good workplace culture: Like you cannot simply induce employee engagement, you cannot expect that a negative work culture will help induce a high morale. A good work culture will help employees settle in faster especially the new employees. New employees are most susceptible to workplace gossips. One negative word can make them doubt their decision to be in the organization thus affecting your employee Net Promoter Score.
Learn more: FREE Organizational Culture Survey Template
Employee morale is a complex phenomenon and depends on various factors. Here is the different criterion that affects employee morale:
1. Organization Itself: While it may sound surprising, but the organization itself is one of the biggest and most important factors that affect employee morale. An organization influences an employee’s attitude towards his/her work. The reputation of an organization can certainly build up for better or worse, their attitude towards it.
2. Type of work: The nature of work an employee is performing at his/her workplace also is greatly responsible to determine the morale. If the employee is expected to perform the same task day in and out, there is going to boredom associated with it sooner or later. It can make situations worse for an employee. Unorganized organization structure also affects employees, if the employee feels that he/she is just a cog machine in a factory line, instead of a real person, this too may adversely affect their morale.
3. Personal attributes: Mental and physical health play an important role in determining employee morale. If the employee is not physically or mentally fit, this can be a potential obstacle in their progress and learning at their workplace. There are also other important factors that concern their progress and in turn their morale: age, education qualification, years of experience, occupational levels, reward perception, and similar factors.
4. Supervision and feedback: The level of supervision received by an employee is a tremendous factor that affects the morale. If the employees feel they have no direction or don’t understand the organizational goals and commitments, then it the job of the superiors and the leadership in the organization to get them on the same page. But there should not be too much interference too if the employees are given the freedom to work their morale will be high.
5. Work-Life balance: Most organization fail to recognize the importance of a healthy work-life balance. It is important that the employees have some activities to relax while they are at work. It’s not just about the foosball culture or an inventory stuffed with food. It is important that proper guidance and counseling is given to the employees whenever needed.
Employee morale is determined by how employees view their work environment and their overall level of satisfaction in their workplace. Employee morale has a direct effect on employee retention. A disinterested or unhappy employee will not stay for long in an organization that he/she cannot rationalize their goals and progress with.
Here are the 4 simple ways of boosting employee morale in your workplace as mentioned by HR leaders across the globe:
1. Streamline work based on skills: It is important for the Human Resources to recruit and assign people based on their skillset. You cannot hire a lawyer and expect him/her to carry out tasks that you would expect an engineer to do. Allowing people to work based on their competency is a win-win situation for both employees and employers.
Talent management is complex, yet necessary. If you cannot manage your employees and assign them tasks that they are hired to carry out then it’s time to rethink your strategies because clearly, they will not yield the expected results. Therefore, make sure you invest in a competent human resources team, so the talent that is acquired performs well and stays happy.
2. Train them well for professional development: Most organizations fail to understand the importance of training their staff. Be it employee onboarding or any other formal training process, employees should be well-equipped to perform their tasks at work and achieve their goals. There should be a budget assigned at the start of the financial year that facilitates the training and development program.
These training will help employees sharpen their skills, which will not only benefit them but also the organization. A well organized and self-sufficient workforce is every organization’s dream, so pay for these courses that ignite imagination and spark curiosity, build confidence and leads to a high morale workforce.
3. Recognize and reward employees: Employee recognition and reward keeps your workforce motivated. When, as a leader, you create an environment where good work is appreciated, employees feel empowered and take a personal interest in the tasks they are assigned to them.
The purpose of employee recognition should be to reinforce what an organization wants an employee to do more. When an employee performs well to make sure to applaud his/her hard work and achievements. This will bring confidence to them to align their personal goals with that of the organization’s goals.
4. Be open to feedback: Many organizations today, promote the open door policy, where an employee is free to express what they feel to their superiors or their reporting authority because they are open to feedback. If your employees know their voice is being heard and they are considered as an integral part of the organization, this will reflect in their confidence.
If the employees feel they cannot share information with you, there are greater chances that the information will never be conveyed to you rather will just make rounds within the team and you will be alienated from whatever is happening in your own team. Instead be receptive to feedback, transparency is the need of the hour for most organizations and so it should be.
Finally, employee morale is not just the employee’s responsibility or attitude. It is a collective responsibility of the employees and the organization to provide a conducive working environment and a workplace culture that exudes positivity and goodwill. Work culture is because of the employees and they should know the importance of values and morale. To achieve the best, it is important to first be the best.
Learn more: employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)