Employee morale is one of the single biggest indicators of your business’s success. Happy workers are productive workers, and according to Gallup, low morale can cost businesses up to $350 billion in lost productivity every year. On top of that, low morale can lead to increased employee turnover, which can cost you even more time and money in new training and development.
You can adhere to standard best practices for improving morale, but professional values in the workplace are changing. Employers need to keep up with those trends and expectations if they want to remain competitive and keep morale as high as possible.
Do you know how to boost employee morale? Here are five tips.
How to Boost Employee Morale
These tactics can help you boost employee morale:
1. Better Training and Ongoing Education
Today’s workers aren’t satisfied remaining in one place. They want ongoing training and development to learn new skills and new concepts; this makes them more valuable and diversifies their work experience so they don’t get bored or burned out. From the time you hire a new employee to the time they move on, you should be investing resources into their training and development. Better, more engaging training software like Talent LMS can introduce workers to your culture and integrate them faster into your environment. Once comfortable, they can return to take new classes, acquire new skills, and go through different development modules. These processes will keep your employees engaged and give them a reason to stick with your company for the long haul.
2. Flex-time and Work-from-Home Options
According to a poll by NBC News, flex-time is now rated as the most important career perk. As technology improves, it becomes easier for professionals to work from home, or telecommute for portions of the day. Flex-time policies differ by company, but usually mandate that your employees complete a certain amount of work—usually by hour or by number of tasks completed—in a day, but on their own scheduling terms (to some degree). This lets your workers better manage personal responsibilities like watching after children, and avoid problems of 9-to-5 culture, such as rush hour traffic.
3. More Collaboration
We have thousands of digital tools for collaboration at our disposal, from project management software like Producteev to file sharing and team chat options like Slack. However, the mere presence and availability of these tools isn’t enough to make a workplace functional (or make your workers happy). You need to be able to use these tools effectively, streamlining communication and enabling your team to work closely together, if you want your employees to be happier at work. Close teams have stronger bonds, and fewer miscommunications means less stress.
4. Better Conflict Resolution
Inevitably, your team is going to run into issues. You’ll have miscommunications, disagreements, and overworked or overstressed workers. When these occasions arise, you need to have effective conflict resolution systems in place; you can’t just brush these problems under the rug. Work with your HR department to build an open system of mediation, root cause analysis, and of course, compromise to make sure everyone involved in the issue walks away satisfied with a resolution.
5. In-depth Two-way Feedback
According to the Harvard Business Review, the up-and-coming millennial generation craves feedback more than any other generation. Mutual feedback is important because it gives each party the chance to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and grow. Giving feedback to your employees makes them feel acknowledged and appreciated, and gives them something to work on in the future. Getting feedback from your employees helps you understand some of the flaws that may be affecting your organization, and what you can do to improve morale even further. Annual reviews are a must, and quarterly reviews may be even better (depending on the nature of your organization).
A Gradual Rollout
Some of these changes have the potential to fundamentally disrupt your business’s operations; imagine suddenly shifting to a fully remote office overnight. Because of this, many entrepreneurs are reluctant to adopt these practices. However, there’s no need to incorporate these strategies all at once.
Instead, you can roll them out gradually, one at a time, and in ways that best suit your operations. For example, you may start with a simple training program and expand it over the course of the next five years, or introduce flex-time to one department at a time until it becomes the norm for the entire company.
However you choose to approach your company’s morale, you’ll need to have some documented system in place. It may cost a bit of time and money to introduce that system, but you’ll more than make up for it with what you earn in future employee productivity and loyalty.
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