I think we can all relate to workplaces that are a total drag to attend, day-in and day-out. I hope that the positive (or mostly positive) workplaces that you have experienced outweigh the negative ones.
So what is employee morale?
The dictionary defines morale as "the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time."
Many teams unfortunately have neither confidence nor enthusiasm for their work, and without those two, who cares to be disciplined in their work?
So what are we to do?
We will take a look at the raw, unvarnished and sad statistics of employee morale or lack thereof. Then we will turn to the impact both good and bad workplace environments have on people, the warning signs, and what to do to improve your employee engagement and team morale.
So hang on to your hats!
What The Team Morale Experts Have to Say
“Relationships are the medium through which the best work gets done.” John Gaspari, licensed clinical social worker and employee relations advisor.
“Achievement and recognition are high motivators for employees. If they take risks, reward them. Give them a coupon to go out for dinner, an extra day off, tickets to a show, etc. The small stuff adds up.” Charley Polachi, managing partner at executive recruitment firm Polachi Access Executive Search.
“Gym memberships and transit benefits are great perks to keep employees happy and healthy. It is important to [provide] higher benefits so your employees know that you truly care about them and their families.” Bobby Hotaling, president & CEO of insurance brokerage The Hotaling Group.
“The best benefit you can provide to your employees is the opportunity to make a difference through their work and help guide the course of the company. Benefits such as clear and frequent communication on company happenings, individual and department direction, and big-picture company direction make all the difference in employee happiness.” Anthony Smith, CEO & founder of Insightly, provider of customer relationship management systems for small businesses.
“A one-on-one conversation with an employee or group dinner goes a long way. Whether it be a private conversation at the start of the day, taking them out to lunch or even a beer after work, [it] helps keep that bond. Once you stop 'showing the love', you begin to lose employees. A small company has to go the extra step.” Pete Pedone, president & founder of home audio/video system design firm Interactive Home.
Employee Morale & Engagement Stats
1. Employees who engage with their work and like their job are 59% less likely to seek employment elsewhere within 12 months and 19% more likely to volunteer extra time to the company than those who are disengaged from their work or dislike their job.
2. Employees who engage with their work and like their job are 27% more likely to report an ‘excellent’ performance from management and 45% more likely to adapt positively to workplace change.
3. 61% of employees whose managers focus on their strengths feel engaged with their work, compared to just 2% whose managers fail to acknowledge the contributions of their staff.
Click READ MORE to see warnings signs and improvement action steps #4-47...
4. Employees who believe their workplace offers a chance of continuous job development are twice as likely to work with that company for most, or all, of their working lives.
5. 59% of men and 56% of women say that career advancement is ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ to them.
6. Employees who focus on their strengths at work on a daily basis are 6 times more likely to be engaged at work, 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit their job.
7. Teams led by managers who focus on employees’ weaknesses are 26% less likely to feel engaged with their work.
8. The most common reason for workplace discontentment is not poor wages, little/no benefits or unhappiness over hours, but a poor working relationship with bosses.
9. 54% of employees who feel they can approach their boss to ask a question are highly engaged with their work, while 65% who feel they can’t do so report a lack of engagement with their work.
10. 50% of employees have left a job because of their manager.
11. Only 13% of employees worldwide feel fully engaged with their work.
12. 51% of employees are actively considering changing their job.
How Positive Team Morale Can Improve Employee Performance
13. Makes employees want to come to work every day
14. Makes employees willing to work outside of designated hours to achieve targets
15. Leads to greater productivity from employees who are highly motivated
16. Leads to minimal absenteeism
17. Creates a comfortable working environment for new employees to settle into the job quickly
18. Inspires teamwork and a willingness for people to help one another
19. Ultimately leads to a thriving organization, as happy employees are willing to work harder, leading to increased productivity, almost certainly leading to increased profitability
How a Negative Employee Morale Can Be a Drag on a Company
20. Makes employees want to leave the company and leads to high turnover
21. Leads to employees not taking an interest in their work
22. Affects productivity as employees don’t feel motivated to meet targets
23. Leads to employees taking a high number of ‘sick days’
24. Creates the possibility of conflict within an organization
25. Potentially unsettles new employees who are trying to get used to new tasks and colleagues
26. Makes people unwilling to help each other, or even conspiring against one another
27. Ultimately leads to a chaotic organization, as unhappy employees have no loyalty to the company and seek an excuse to leave, which damages productivity and almost certainly lowers profitability
Encouraging Signs of Positive Employee Morale
28. Friendly, relaxed interaction between people in the workplace
29. Employees showing loyalty to one another and to management
30. Everyone working collaboratively towards a common goal
31. Employees talking passionately about their work
32. Regular social get-togethers outside of work
33. Employees going above the call of duty to meet targets
Warning Signs of a Negative Workplace Morale
34. Little or no communication between people in the workplace
35. High levels of absenteeism
36. Employees showing a lack of passion for their work
37. Colleagues regularly criticizing one another
38. Employees feeling afraid of management
39. Deadlines being missed and basic errors being made
Ways to Improve Team Morale
40. A good salary
41. Benefits such as a health plan, free travel, gym membership or a free cafeteria
42. Encouraging employees to suggest new ideas to management
43. Taking employees’ opinions seriously and implementing some of them
44. Bonuses for holidays or for exceeding targets
45. Verbal recognition of a job well done
46. Allowing employees to be flexible about working hours, particularly in emergency situations
47. Opportunities for promotion and personal development
With so many workplaces struggling with sagging employee morale, it is easy as leaders to get discouraged and give up.
But I want to encourage you to take these tips and apply them, persevering toward the goal of improved team morale. It is worth the effort to build a strong team that has high employee performance!
Many thanks to my friend Colin Cuthbert at Ayers Management for providing this insightful infographic.
You can see the entire infographic below. Please let me know your insight on the topic of increasing employee performance and team morale in the comments section.