Julie Tucker
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How to improve staff morale

If you want to build a high-performing, successful business in today’s challenging and competitive market, you must focus on morale – particularly as 56% of staff say they do not feel motivated at work, and 78% say they’d work harder if they felt appreciated.

High levels of morale leads to greater productivity and discretionary effort from your employees. A motivated workforce is naturally more creative, more energised and more inclined to go above and beyond for customers. In contrast, a demotivated workforce and a culture of poor morale will reflect in higher absence, poor performance and high staff turnover.

So, how can you build your staff morale?

1. Create a growth plan with employees

Employee consultation is naturally a great way to boost morale because it stimulates a higher degree of engagement and communication between managers and employees. Involve your frontline employees in growth planning and strategic development and you’ll be amazed at how much they know and how they can guide your business; after all, they deal with your customers in a way that your leaders won’t do on a daily basis.

2. Strengthen and coach managers

Great managers invariably create high morale by supporting a healthy working culture. Invest in management training across your business and set standards and expectations of management behaviours in line with your desired company culture and values. Great management also helps to improve staff retention; something that is vital when you consider that 66% of employees say that they’d leave a job if they felt unappreciated (rising to 76% amongst millennials).

3. Provide relevant tools for the job

Invest in the tools that your people need to do their job and they will naturally feel supported and inclined to perform in their roles. Tech is either a powerful enabler or a blocker of performance, so forward-thinking businesses will invest in the latest solutions to unlock the best result. PWC found that 77% of workers know of technological and digital tools that would improve their jobs – so consult them!

4. Understand what employees feel is important

Again, employee consultation is vital to building trust, respect and overall engagement. If you know what your employees value, you can far better meet their needs. Often businesses assume that employees simply want higher wages, for example, whereas people may actually be crying out for more training, greater development and progression opportunities and extra flexibility in the way that they work. If you listen, you can respond in the right way.

5. Make positive changes that impact everyone

Positive changes should offer benefits to everyone in your workforce – not just a select few. So don’t worry about satisfying the needs of your executive team with a targeted benefit that pleases only a few – focus instead on measures that positively affect everyone, to show your commitment to diversity and inclusion. For example, you could offer flexible, hybrid or homeworking and a dress-down day each week.

6. Recognise and reward employees

A strong and healthy culture naturally includes employee reward and recognition. Create a scheme that formally encourages and mandates managers to recognise their high performers and then reward them accordingly. Often the value of these schemes is in the visible thanks and appreciation as much as in the rewards themselves, so again, ask employees for their ideas and feedback on how such a scheme might work.

7. Create an empowering working space

Morale and motivation can be greatly enhanced with energising, attractive and carefully planned working spaces. Flexible working and collaboration areas, quiet spaces and strategic colour choices have been proven to boost creativity, innovation, focus and calm.

Together, these approaches can create a powerful, integrated strategy to boost employee morale, and improve your business’s retention, performance, productivity… oh, and bottom-line results!


© Chaay_Tee / Shutterstock.com

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