2023 was quite a year. Layoffs, restructuring, budget cuts, and increased work demands have left the workplace reeling. With burnout on the rise–a result of the serious and prolonged stress employees are under–it’s the leader’s role to take hands-on action to get your people back on track and improve employee satisfaction.
Luckily, we’re here to help with proven techniques to support you in fostering positive employee morale and creating a motivated, energized workforce that is ready to tackle the challenges of the new year.
The Danger of Low Morale
Company morale has a huge impact on your workforce as it influences productivity, is a way to retain top talent, and impacts the health and well-being of your employees. People with low morale are typically disengaged, unmotivated, and apathetic towards their jobs, the work they do, and their employers. Low morale can also quickly spread throughout an organization, so the sooner you take action, the better it is for your people and your bottom line.
On the other hand, happy employees tend to be more motivated and want to contribute to their company’s success.
Keep these practical tips in mind to boost employee and team morale to start 2024 off strong.
1. Understand What Motivates Your Team Members
Like most things in life, motivators aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. What motivates and engages one person may demotivate someone else.
It’s important to streamline work based on skills and interests to ensure your employees are engaged and aligned to the activities they enjoy and are naturally attracted to for a positive employee experience.
To do this, discover what drives your entire team, what they hope to achieve in their role, and where this can best fit into your team and business objectives.
2. Empower Your Employees by Tapping Into Their Needs
Knowing what your people need to be happy is tricky. Needs are complex because they’re hidden–you don’t know what someone’s needs are just by looking at them. And, sometimes, you don’t even know your own needs! See, it’s complex…
But it’s important for you to find out your employees’ needs to positively impact employee engagement and job satisfaction. When armed with this data, you can actively help your team members meet their needs. How do they show up at work? What do they need from their environment to get through the day and be engaged? What type of tasks reinvigorate them?
This is all information you need to be a good leader and empower your employees–but it’s critical to boosting morale and preventing employee burnout.
3. Foster a Psychologically Safe Culture
Improve morale in the workplace and instill confidence in your employees by building trust and promoting honesty. Develop a company culture that is transparent by letting them know about important projects or company updates (when appropriate) to allow them to see the bigger picture. Take the time to listen to their concerns and always keep channels of communication open so they feel comfortable asking for help or giving you feedback.
This way, they’ll be more open to telling you when they are stressed or burnt out and more likely to work with you on a practical way forward to get back to their optimal performance levels.
Voice your appreciation for your teams’ hard work and celebrate the victories, even if they’re the small ones. This employee appreciation and recognition will make them feel valued and inspire them to go the extra mile. Appreciation can be a powerful morale booster.
But it’s not just about the victories; you can celebrate the failures too! Embrace the lessons that can be learned from these failures, talk about mistakes openly, and focus on growing.
Collaboration is often one of the first things to be affected when morale is low. So, create moments of connection with your employees through informal chats, regular ‘check-in’ meetings, or frequent team building workshops.
4. Value Your Team’s Well-Being
The key to keeping your people content is knowing what causes stress and the types of workplace situations likely to worsen it.
Give your people tips on how to handle stress and have weekly one-on-one meetings to get to the bottom of any problems before it’s too late. Ultimately, if one member of your team is stressed, you can be sure it’ll soon spread to others–impacting staff morale.
As a leader, it’s also important to practice good habits that your team can follow. Encourage your employees to ‘shut down’ when the day is over to promote a healthy work-life balance. Try not to communicate with them after hours or over the weekend. Respect their time, and you can create motivated employees that will reward you with greater passion and productivity.
Morale is critical to both team and organizational success. Find out how we can help you improve employee engagement and healthy team culture by implementing Birkman Signature.