Ask any employee or employer what improves morale and he or she likely will provide a range of suggestions. Beyond salary boosts, pets in the office or pastries every Friday, it is just as important to have open and honest communication and respect.
With so many different opportunities and strategies, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to creating an environment that promotes high employee morale. And with more Millennials entering the workplace, they are bringing with them an increased need for an individualized and tailored approach.
Keeping employees excited about a business and its goals is key to the success of that company.
Constructing this type of atmosphere is no small feat and takes dedication from management. Although there is no magic trick or quick fix, there are a few timeless truths of building and maintaining employee morale.
Oftentimes, if there is an employee morale problem it is a result of a leadership problem. Since most employees realize that criticizing the boss does not put them on the fast track for advancement, managers should start with a look from within and ask for feedback from employees.
Communication is Key
Internal communication is a major component to a high-morale environment. As part of managements’ regular routine, appropriate information should be shared with employees. This can be done through online communication tools such as blogs or intranets, newsletters or email. Keeping employees informed reduces the amount of time and energy spent gossiping or complaining about the company.
In addition to understanding the company, employees also need to understand the employers’ expectations in order to be productive. In other words, establish a mutual understanding of responsibilities and priorities with each employee beginning with a job description. An employee who knows exactly what is expected will perform more productively.
Managers should invest time to discuss an employee’s career path within the company. Work with employees to establish both short-term and long-term goals that align with those of the company, and establish definable tactics to reach those goals.
Strategy not Salary
Many business owners believe maintaining morale among employees means they need to offer giveaways, bonuses and even salary increases. These ideas are temporary and do not acknowledge the fundamental truth of improved morale – constructing a satisfying work experience. Items such as pizza parties, flowers and doughnuts do not sustain morale and no salary figure can compensate for low morale. These ideas should be seen as an extension of that satisfying work experience strategy.
The dominant trend that remains on the issue of improving and maintaining morale in the fast-paced 21st century workforce is to provide for their timeless needs as an individual. Considering that employees spend nearly one third of their life at work, fostering an environment catering to the human needs of employees is critical. In most cases, the result will be eager employees that contribute to a highly successful company.