A business suffering from low employee morale cannot maintain success. Miserable workers aren’t good for business. Low employee morale can hurt overall productivity as well as employee loyalty, so if you want productive employees who stick around you’ll have to work hard to improve morale, or better still maintain the best morale possible. Here are some primary considerations when it comes to employee morale.
How Do You Identify Low Employee Morale?
You can’t improve morale if you don’t know how to assess it or spot the warning signs. Some symptoms that you have a morale problem can include:
- Formerly upbeat, positive employees are quieter, reserved and have fewer positive things to say
- Missed quotas, taking on smaller/less challenging tasks or similar declines in productivity
- More errors, safety incidents, etc. than in the past
- A sudden increase in employee illnesses and/or sick-days
- More disagreements or arguments among teams that worked well together in the past
- An influx of requests to transfer to other departments
- Avoidance of certain managers or other team members
- A high employee turn-over rate
The above are the kinds of changes that can reveal issues with declining morale. Ask questions! Send out surveys! Simply showing an intentional interest in employee morale can reveal a lot about what may be happening that is contributing to morale issues and can help you solve the issue before it becomes a bigger problem.
What Are the Causes of Decline?
Once you’ve determined that group morale is declining, the next step is figuring out what caused the decline. Some causes relate to management, while other causes have to do with employees. A lack of encouragement and support from leadership, for example, can take a significant toll on employee morale. Similarly, employees will have a hard time staying in good spirits if management does not communicate clearly. Confusion and a lack of clarity are never good for morale. However, clarity—and even encouragement—aren’t always enough to keep spirits high. Sometimes waning morale is caused by too much work, or too little. Overworked employees grow exhausted, and it’s hard to keep one’s spirits high when one is drowning in work. At the same, too little responsibility can cause some employees to grow restless or bored, which can also hurt morale.
Not all declining morale is caused by management, however. A culture of gossip and negativity among employees can also do significant damage. What’s more, even just one employee spreading negativity, frustration, or apathy can take a toll on the morale of your entire group. Morale can be a fickle thing, and it can take a lot of careful work to keep your employees’ spirits high.
What Do You Do?
So what do you do if group morale is on the decline? Show an interest, for starters. Sometimes showing employees that you truly care about their morale can boost their spirits. More than that, strive to affirm and encourage employees. Creating a culture of recognition can go a long way in keeping morale high. Similarly, rewarding good work is a great way to ensure that spirits stay high. Travel incentives are an effective means of doing this, since a travel opportunity provides a respite from work and a fun, memorable, refreshing experience. Furthermore, a travel incentive program is an ideal opportunity to give responsibility, track progress, encourage success and growth, and reward your employees’ labor. Travel isn’t the only kind of reward, of course, but it is a particularly desirable and effective one.
Your business can’t thrive if your employees aren’t motivated. If you don’t care about employee morale, you’ll find your apathy reflected in declining productivity. If you do value employee morale, however, taking the time to identify morale issues and solving them before they become major problems will go a long way toward raising your group’s spirits –and will certainly help your business grow.
Do you want to boost employee morale and reward good work? Contact Gavel International for information about our travel incentive programs.