8 Ways to Boost Employee Morale

See also: Emotional Intelligence

Studies on the workplace have found that employee morale is directly correlated with a workplace’s performance, and can influence everything from productivity to employee attendance.

High employee morale can also help businesses improve client or customer satisfaction — especially when customer-facing employees are enthusiastic about their work.

These morale-boosting tips and strategies are some of the best ways for a business to encourage its employees and help identify issues that may be harming morale.

1. Be Transparent

Transparency is often the foundation of an office culture that employees want to work in.

Even if your business has hit a rough patch, it’s important to keep your employees informed.

Leaving employees in the dark can damage trust and reduce morale over time. Being transparent may temporarily disrupt the workplace — but in the long run, it will help reassure employees and encourage them to become more invested in the business’s success.

Transparency can also help to explain the need for shifting business priorities and changes to internal workflows. If your company needs to move in a different direction, transparency can help smooth out any transition to new workflows or goals.

2. Establish Regular Communication

It’s also important to build channels of communication that employees can use to contact each other and business management. These channels may be on-demand communication methods, like email, instant messaging or phone calls, or regular company meetings, events and business socials.

Providing the opportunity for regular communication will help employees build a stronger office community and provide them with the opportunity to compare workflows or discuss working processes.

Larger organizations can also use surveys to gather employee feedback and provide a dedicated line of communication for workers. Regular review of these surveys can help reveal possible issues with company organization or office culture.

3. Demonstrate Your Appreciation of Employees

Showing how you care about your employees can be a major morale-booster.

Recognizing achievements with awards, gifts and shout-outs can go a long way in showing employees that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. You can choose from many options, like general presents or unique items. For example, Custom Canvas Prints are a great choice as they're trendy and can brighten up a workspace or home. Giving such personalized gifts shows appreciation in a special way.

Regular recognition can also help build stronger workplace relationships and encourage employees to be on the lookout for those who are putting in extra effort or innovating in day-to-day work.

4. Create Opportunities for Two-Way Feedback

When creating channels of communication, it’s also important that you create opportunities for feedback in both directions.

Most businesses already do a good job of facilitating one-way feedback — performance reviews, for example, are a great opportunity for managers to let employees know how others feel about their current work. However, these reviews don’t always provide an opportunity for employees to offer feedback about business workflows, or the company’s current direction.

Facilitating two-way feedback can help ensure that employees’ voices are heard. They can also help management learn about office issues they may have missed otherwise.

5. Offer Growth Opportunities

Creating opportunities for employee development and advancement can give your team a greater sense of control over their work and career — helping them become more engaged in the office.

Depending on employee needs, a wide variety of programs can work.

For example, one company may find that sponsoring professional development is a great way to help employees get more engaged. Another may find that creating a dedicated pathway for career advancement can help employees from getting discouraged with day-to-day-work.

6. Provide Employee Support Programs

From time to time, employees will deal with issues that you may not be able to handle with the usual channels. Instead, employees may need a little extra support from dedicated business services.

Employee assistance programs (or EAPs), for example, are confidential workplace counseling services that some businesses offer in addition to health care plans and insurance

These programs provide short-term services for employees who are struggling with stressors, like struggles with work, family troubles, financial issues or turbulence in a relationship.

These programs can also refer employees to other, longer-term programs as needed, helping ensure that employees have access to resources that can help them out.

7. Know the Signs of Burnout

Burnout — the exhaustion that can come with prolonged work stress —  can creep up on employees slowly. Once it’s become a serious problem, however, it can take weeks or even months to recover from.

Knowing how to identify the early signs of burnout in an employee — like apathy, fatigue and disengagement — will allow you to take early action to help employees. While the treatment for burnout will vary from employee to employee, some actions, like providing workers with greater control over their work or facilitating office community, are good options much of the time.

If a large number of employees are burning out, it can also be a sign that the office environment itself is stressful, and may be contributing to high turnover and low employee job satisfaction. By gathering employee feedback, you may be able to make changes that will help to reduce stress in the office and, over time, prevent burnout across your team.

8. Train Managers to Boost Morale

Managers and supervisors can have a major impact on employee morale. If they’re trained well in communication, know how to lead and give feedback, they can help build an office culture that encourages both employee recognition and facilitates two-way feedback.

This can all make a serious difference in day-to-day employee morale.

Training managers can also help encourage management styles that will help to facilitate office communication — making it easier to solicit feedback from your team. These management styles can also help relieve some of the tension that may come with day-to-day work, helping to prevent burnout and build a stronger office community.

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Key Strategies for Improving Employee Morale

Employee morale can have a major impact on almost every aspect of a workplace. Employees who feel good about their work and their office environment tend to be more productive and less likely to burn out.

Simple strategies can make a big difference when it comes to employee morale. Good manager training, professional development opportunities and communication channels between staff and management can help ensure that employees have room to grow and share feedback with supervisors.

Over time, using these strategies can help you build a more positive working environment and improve employee morale.

About the Author

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.