4 ways you’re negatively impacting employee morale and how to fix it
Do you feel like your employees are inspired? Do they perform their tasks at a level equal to their skills? Simply put, are your employees happy?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you have a real problem on your hands. Employee morale is one of the aspects of running an organization that you cannot afford to overlook if you want your company to reach success.
But what are you doing wrong? Too often in the workplace, the unknowingly harmful conditions you’ve created for your employees can leave them feeling unhappy, uninspired and ultimately ruin morale among your staff.
While the results of neglecting employee morale may not be visible in the short term, you will ultimately experience a load of consequences in the form of an increasingly toxic work culture and bitter and unhappy employees.
To stop the untimely festering of your staff’s professional spirit, you must accord the same importance to the morale of your employees that you would to your sales or marketing goals.
When you sit up and take notice of the state of your employee’s morale, you may be alarmed to discover all the ways that you are inadvertently negatively impacting your staff.
But, don’t lose hope!
The first step to overcoming poor morale and re-engaging those wilted employees is to identify the problem. You can fix your approach to employee morale by solving the following negative behaviors:
Lack of open communication
We cannot stress enough the importance of communicating with your employees. And, this in no way means a one-way conversation. The line of communication should be open on both ends for the true feelings of your staff to reach you, and vice versa.
There is no doubt that employees are happier when they are kept in the loop. At the same time, 33 percent of respondents said a lack of open, honest communication in the workplace had the most detrimental effect on workers’ attitudes.
When your staff is faced with managers that refuse to keep them informed, they can develop distrust and anxiety regarding company goals and objectives or even begin to doubt the security of their jobs.
Employees instantly begin to question not only their significance but also wonder why they are working their hardest for a company that does not seem to value their position. All these negative emotions lead to a decrease in engagement and ultimately to the loss of your talented staff.
Solution: Show employees that you care about them. This means being proactive and taking steps to ensure their happiness comes first. Increasing happiness at work should be a no-brainer.
Transparency is the way to go here. Share as much as you can about upcoming projects and changes for the company and the team. If your employees ask questions, give them honest answers. Even if you have to say no to an employee request, giving an honest, authentic explanation for why you made the decision (or why your hands are tied) goes a long way.
If you’re looking for some tips to creating a productive and happy workplace, download our eBook: Happiness: the key to business success. As a result, employees will feel appreciated and have extra incentive in and out of the workplace.
Being all talk
So you’ve mastered the art of two way communication with your employees, but what now? One thing no company wants to risk is being resented by their staff. Sadly, it can happen for a number of reasons, but two of the most significant causes are: not taking action in the face of issues and not following through with promises.
You’re listening, but nothing changes. There’s a difference between making employees feel like you’re listening and actually hearing them.
Think about it: an employee requests a meeting where they share their concerns and place their trust in you. Then a week goes by. Next a month. Still, nothing changes.
Failure to act on the needs and concerns that your employees share results in the absence of trust. Slowly, employees will start to disengage, be less responsive, and eventually fail to follow your instructions or honor their role at all.
If your team falls into this pit of disengagement, then the battle will be lost.
Solution: Don’t be all talk, turn your listening into action. Great leaders are good listeners. Don’t just ask questions about what your company can do better; find solutions.
Surveys and forums via your company intranet can be an excellent way to determine what the issue is as well as provide updates as you work your way toward a solution. This way, your employees feel like part of the answer and even become more invested in your organization’s future goals.
Excessive workloads for extended periods
Sometimes you may be putting more stress on your employees than they can handle. A decrease in employee morale is not always caused by communication burdens, demanding schedules and workloads can also have an adverse effect on mental well-being.
Your stressed employees are easily recognizable. These are the individuals who spend more time outside of the office than in it. The ones who have used up all their sick days.
Stress is present in everyday work life, but overloading employees with excessive workloads in order to motivate them to turn out higher productivity levels actually has the opposite effect. Side effects include Feelings of emotional distress, anxiety, decreased performance and employee dissatisfaction.
While it is a sign of a good employer to trust and push for the professional development of their staff, doing it at the expense of their morale and mental health is unacceptable.
Solution: Emphasize work-life balance. Things like flexible work hours and work from home capabilities go a long way in combating significant stress in employees. A social intranet can also assist in taking some of the pressure off of your busiest employees.
Having a platform to quickly search for information, contact colleagues and discuss issues on forums can save valuable time that these individuals spend working unsupported.
Failure to recognize employee achievements
The most common mistake organizations make when it comes to their staff is not properly recognizing their efforts and achievements. Quite a few of our blogs address just how imperative recognition is to employees – which means that a lack of recognition can easily be the most dangerous thing to the success of an organization.
It can create disengaged employees that eventually turn into lost talent, or worse; you could be left with actively disengaged staff. These individuals are the ones that go out of their way to impede the goals of your organization.
No employee wants to feel like the work they do does not matter. Without recognition, feelings of conviction and purposefulness cannot thrive within your staff.
Solution: Generate positive morale with the application of recognition programs. These can come in the form of gamification or reward systems that exchange goal accomplishments for merits or prizes.
The incentives or rewards do not need to be monetary. Even an announcement, impromptu award ceremony, or celebratory dinner for a job well done can provide employees with the feeling of appreciation that they need to keep high spirits.
Put your employees first. If you aren’t actively taking strides to measure and improve your employee morale, then you are neglecting the needs of both your employees and your organization. Prioritizing morale and your business go hand in hand. Focus on raising it, and your organization will profit in the long run.