How To Boost Employee Morale

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021

Published April 14, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're exploring ways to improve the overall productivity of your workforce, raising employee morale is one solution. Positive employee morale typically results in employees being absent less often and more productive in their work, both of which contribute to the productivity of a company. Learning how to evaluate and boost the morale of employees can help you create a healthy environment for your team.

In this article, we describe what employee morale is, explain how to evaluate it and the steps you can take to improve it and share some benefits of maintaining positive employee morale.

What is employee morale?

Employee morale refers to the attitudes, satisfaction, confidence and overall outlook that employees have about their work environment. When employees feel good about being in their workplace and believe that their jobs can help them meet their career goals, morale tends to be higher. Morale levels often change, but managers can take steps to assess their team's morale, make positive changes and develop maintenance strategies.

Related: 20 Tips To Improve Company Morale

How to evaluate employee morale

Here are the steps you can take to evaluate the employee morale within your own workforce:

1. Observe behavior

Employers can begin measuring the morale of employees by simply observing their behavior and actions. A manager can systematically evaluate the level of morale by taking note of an employee's overall demeanor, quality of work and productivity. Common behaviors that accompany positive morale include an increase in enthusiasm, turning assignments in early or on time and performing at consistently high levels.

Related: 12 Types of Workplace Behavior

2. Conduct surveys

Surveys are another easy way to measure the morale of your workforce. Some questions you might cover within the survey include whether the job is fulfilling, whether the employee feels content, whether they believe there are opportunities to improve and how likely they are to stay with the company.

You can also give the employee the option to comment in their own suggestions. Consider making surveys anonymous so participants feel comfortable being honest about their thoughts and opinions.

Related: 16 Employee Engagement Tools That Companies Can Use

3. Perform periodic interviews

Another approach is to periodically interview your employees and measure their overall satisfaction. These interviews can help give employees the opportunity to tell you how they feel about the work they're doing, identify the things they need to work on and give feedback on what the company could do to support them more effectively. Allowing employees to offer input can increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

Related: 10 Strategies for Conducting Employee Interviews 

4. Measure productivity

Productivity can be an indicator of employee morale, but it's important to view productivity as just one component of the broader situation. For example, there are cases where companies with high morale may have low productivity, which is a byproduct of a problem elsewhere. If you notice that productivity is high and other indicators signal high levels of employee satisfaction, you can likely assume that your overall morale is good.

5. Examine conflict

Examining the frequency of conflict appearing in your office can be a good way to measure the morale of your staff. While conflict can occur in offices as a result of differences in personality and opinions, if you frequently need to help resolve conflicts between employees, it can indicate that your employees aren't getting along well and that the overall morale of the team is low.

If you notice that conflict within the workforce is minimal, it generally indicates that your employees are working well as a team. This shows positive employee morale.

Related: Fun Team-Building Activities To Boost Morale

6. Evaluate retention

Retention of employees is often a powerful indicator of how satisfied your employees are in the workplace. High retention rates typically signify that your employees are happy and that a company is taking the right measures to keep employee morale high. If you notice that turnover is increasing, it can be a sign that morale is low and that you need to take steps to increase the satisfaction of your workforce.

Related: 9 Key Employee Retention Metrics To Track

7. Assess attendance

When employees enjoy being at work and find satisfaction in the work they do, attendance rates are typically high. If morale is low, employees tend to take extra time off or call into work sick more frequently. Ask the HR department for reports on employee attendance over the last 12 months and evaluate whether there's a noticeable trend in employee attendance increasing or decreasing.

Related: Attendance Write Up: What It Is and How To Write One (With an Example)

How to boost employee morale

Here are some steps you can take to improve employee morale among your teams:

1. Evaluate morale regularly

The first step in boosting morale is determining the level of improvement that might benefit your team. If your evaluation shows a significantly low level of morale, you can use the details you gathered to make positive changes to improve it. If results indicate slight decreases in morale, you can manage it by helping specific team members who are facing challenges or implementing small changes. 

2. Consider employee feedback

During your evaluation process, you may have received feedback from employees through interviews or surveys. When developing methods for boosting morale, consider the responses you received from employees, particularly what they like about their jobs and what they find challenging. This can help you resolve or minimize the issues that may lead to decreased morale. 

3. Provide effective resources

Having the resources required to complete your duties efficiently is essential to job satisfaction. If your team has expressed concern about having enough resources or asked for additional tools to help them with their work, this may be a cause of low morale. Providing more resources or changing responsibilities based on the tools the team has available to them may help them feel more confident in their roles, which can lead to better morale.

4. Empower team members

Reminding team members of their value to the team and the organization is sometimes a simple way to improve their morale. Professionals often thrive on positive feedback, so receiving recognition, praise or incentives may help them feel empowered to perform their jobs efficiently and increase their productivity. You might consider implementing a reward or incentive program so you can prevent employees from feeling undervalued. 

5. Collaborate on career advancement

Many professionals are open to opportunities to develop and advance their careers within the company. Without resources to do so, they may find it challenging to learn and grow professionally, which can result in low morale.

You can help them overcome this challenge by meeting with them as a team and individually to discuss career advancement options like training, conferences and online courses and develop plans to help them move up internally. 

6. Repeat this process

There are many factors that can affect employee morale. Even if you address one concern successfully, another may arise in the future. You can stay updated on changes in morale and create strategies for maintaining it by repeating this process at regular intervals. Begin with an evaluation, and then take steps to address and resolve morale-related issues.

Benefits of positive employee morale in the workplace

There are many benefits of positive employee morale, including:

Better production

Production is usually higher when employees feel good about and enjoy the environment in which they work. This can increase the likelihood that a company achieves its organization-wide goals. It can also lead to higher compensation levels for employees and promotional opportunities.

Related: 7 Ways To Boost Employee Morale To Prevent Burnout

Improved attendance at work

When employee morale is high, employees' attendance at work tends to be more consistent. Strong attendance can increase revenue and maintain high production levels, contributing to the company's ability to reach its goals. More attendance among employees also means they're more likely to keep up with their workloads, which can help maintain low-stress levels among the workforce. Also, increased attendance can result in more positive relationships among co-workers.

Related: How To Improve Employee Morale and Job Satisfaction

Greater teamwork

Companies that have high levels of morale tend to benefit from increased collaboration. When morale is high, workers tend to be comfortable with one another. This may make them more willing to work together for the benefit of the team and the company.

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