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5 Techniques to Boost Company Morale
Given all the factors that can affect your bottom line — competition, costs, relative demand, customer retention, and customer service included — you might imagine that company morale sits fairly far down the list, but the truth is that morale can affect every other part of your company.
Consider that unhappy workers are often unmotivated, seeing little reason to push outside of their comfort zone when they don’t feel appreciated. This can dramatically affect overall productivity and lead to talent and resource-sapping churn.
Worse, poor company morale can bleed over to your customers. If your service representatives are feeling disconnected from company goals, they’re less likely to offer premium support. They simply can no longer internalize corporate objectives as their own. In short, they just don’t care, and that’s a problem for everyone.
What can you do? Know that nothing’s permanent, and even the most damaged company morale can be turned around. Read on for five proven techniques to boost company morale and get your sails pointing back into the wind.
LET YOUR EMPLOYEES KNOW YOU APPRECIATE THEM
A strong culture of gratitude can do wonders for an organization’s morale. When people do something well, they want to be recognized for it, even if recognition wasn’t what motivated their actions. If they don’t get that satisfaction often enough, their motivation can flag and eventually plummet.
Get in the habit of sending handwritten thank you notes whenever employees surpass expectations. Have your managers keep careful watch over daily happenings and quickly call out those that deserve positive attention. Handwritten notes demonstrate gratitude more effectively than throw-away communication channels like email because they take time and intention to create.
Of course, handwriting all of those notes is time-consuming. They can boost work productivity while costing management critical time. Simply Noted is a better plan. We’ve automated handwritten notes using a convenient web portal, numerous software integrations, and a fleet of advanced, intelligent, ballpoint pen-wielding handwriting machines. In seconds you can trigger us to create and mail a warm, fully-convincing handwritten card whenever the need strikes.
Beyond handwritten cards, offering additional compensation can also be appropriate. If staff members routinely go above and beyond, it’s not just morally apt to reward them with a bonus, it makes sound financial sense. Consider the bonus or raise you grant them an investment in their performance and in the company’s future. They’ll feel valued, which translates into 110% effort and a high ROI on the additional compensation.
10 Best Employee Thank You Note Examples
BE PROACTIVE ABOUT KEEPING IN COMMUNICATION
Companies often tout their open door policy as a means for improving morale. While helpful, this approach to employee relations often misses the mark because it places the onus for communication on your employees. It says, “I’m willing to talk about anything troubling you, but only if you take the initiative.”
Instead, make a habit of seeking out employees and asking questions to get the ball rolling. This compounds an open door policy’s effectiveness by ensuring that everyone has a chance to be heard, even those too shy, nervous, or busy to avail themselves of the opportunity.
Companies with a small staff might hold monthly meetings where people can talk about anything that’s bothering them. Even better, managers should schedule regular one-on-one meetings with each of their subordinates and then encourage them to share any concerns or grievances and propose solutions to perceived issues.
ALLOW FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES
Just like work doesn’t always conform to a perfect nine to five day, your employees’ personal lives sometimes overlap their work hours. Companies unwilling to make allowances for individual needs will find that talented workers sometimes move on to more flexible opportunities.
In many cases, it doesn’t matter when a given employee does their job as long as they get it done. During the pandemic in 2020, many offices were concerned that home workers would waste time, negatively affecting productivity, but that didn’t happen. 40% of workers reported productivity gains during the pandemic, compared to just 15% that said they were less effective.
Additionally, companies that allow flexible work schedules and work from home options have a greater pool of workers available to them — including exceptional workers that know their worth and won’t settle for a work situation that doesn’t fit their needs.
OFFER CLEAR PATHS FOR ADVANCEMENT
Career-minded individuals are looking to improve themselves. They join a firm intending to grow and need tracks available to pursue their goals. Companies that train well, offer constant support, and hire from within tend to support healthy cultures and elevated morale.
If your staff feels stuck, unsure how to better themselves or make more money, they’ll begin looking elsewhere for their next rung up the ladder. Your culture stagnates as anyone with ambition sets their sets beyond your walls. In the end, morale craters as the only people interested in staying are those that feel they have no other options.
To avoid this fate, make it clear to new hires that you’re interested in helping them grow professionally. Create a program of education, measurement, and mentorship to help empower employees along their path. Employees who understand what they need to do to advance are more likely to apply themselves, boosting productivity.
JUST ASK THEM WHAT THEY NEED!
A healthy organization listens to what each of its parts requires to function at its best. If you’re suffering morale problems, have some conversations and find out why.
Have HR create an outline for managers to follow, providing questions they can use to help employees feel comfortable and share what’s bothering them. Then create a schedule of period check-ins, first with department leads and later with individual members. Keep the conversations casual and let them know they’re free to discuss anything.
To maintain healthy morale long-term, create a feedback culture where managers at every level seek earnest feedback from their teams. This helps with group cohesion, career advancement, and talent incubation. Frequent, open, honest discussions create a positive feedback loop that betters the company for everyone.