The morale within your workforce is high when employees generally feel positive about the work they do, and when this is the case: It results in high productivity, greater employee retention, and more robust performances.
Unfortunately, high employee morale isn’t a given and requires a lot of work. Managers need to make employees feel appreciated and supported through incentive programs, strong two-way communication, and facilities investments.
If issues around morale do arise, managers should be able to spot and deal with them directly prior to a mass exodus of employees. Below are three warning indicators of low morale and suggestions for dealing with the signs.
1) Drop-Offs in Quality and Productivity
When morale decreases, it can be seen in the form of significant drop-offs in both quality and productivity. If your employees start suddenly missing deadlines, making more mistakes, or producing less, morale is likely a key factor in the change.
If you notice these drop-offs, ask your staff members if they feel weighed down by the daily workload they handle. Address the concerns they raise by providing support in key areas. Once support initiatives are in place, your responsibility doesn’t end there. Follow up and keep tabs on the situation to ensure employees not only do better work but also feel less stressed.
2) Collective Disengagement
If you have disgruntled people on your staff, the collective sentiment will reveal itself. The red flags may be subtle in appearance, but you should know what they are: high negativity, increased absenteeism, poor cooperation, and increased conflict.
Regular check-ins can help you keep an eye out for low morale and emerging problems. When there isn’t a healthy level of communication, it also opens the door to misinformation and gossip. Sharing bad news is almost always better than keeping your people in the dark. If you are in a tricky situation and don’t have all the answers, the best policy is still to be as transparent as possible. The more that employees are fed transparency dependable information, the less room there is for rumors and innuendo. Good, two-way communication also helps employees see silver linings and possibilities during negative developments.
3) Zero Initiative
Uninspired people go through the motions as opposed to actively participating. Inspiration starts with employee recognition. Make sure you show appreciation with praise, awards, and bonuses. As much as possible, make material rewards personalized by acting on employee feedback. Praise and rewards should be presented at the earliest opportunity after an achievement. Making direct connections between actions and rewards raises morale and reinforces good behaviors that benefit everyone.
Cultivate an environment when people are expected to take initiative, show leadership, be creative and solve problems. Empowering employees not only improve morale but can also help your company better handle long-term change or sudden disruption.
We Can Support High Morale in Your Organization
At Career Concepts, we work with our clients to keep workers feeling supported, engaged, and inspired. Please contact us today to find out how we can cultivate a culture of appreciation.