Office morale is something that can make or break a business or an organization. For some business owners, it’s just a way for employees to have more fun at work, but that is not the case. Having low office morale can have a negative effect on employees’ productivity. On the other hand, having high office morale can lead to happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction at work aside from increased productivity.
Low office morale is not easily identified, especially when you’re a boss or a supervisor, because employees will not talk and open up to you even when they feel discouraged or frustrated with their work. This means that you have to learn how to recognize the signs of burnout at work by yourself. Some of the common signs are lack of cooperation, few personal conversations, rare personal initiatives, increased rates of turnover, and overall poor performance or attitude.
Causes of Low Office Morale in the Workplace
1. Lack of Growth
The growth of employees and the company is directly proportional to each other. If your company isn’t growing, employees will get bored and demotivated. According to research, employees need growth to stay motivated and engaged. If they don’t see any growth, they will become disengaged and start looking for a more challenging role for themselves somewhere else.
2. Issues with the Company
If your employees have a problem with your company, they will not show any productivity. For example, if your company’s image is not so good, the employees will also not show good office morale, leading to several problems that may hinder in company’s growth.
3. Leadership Changes
Changes are inevitable, especially when working in a company. Whether a new person gets hired at the top level or there’s a merger, office morale may take a hit. This is because the employees’ confidence is shaken if the company’s culture changes. Therefore, it is best to monitor your employees’ morale if some changes are implemented in your office.
4. Not Goals Set
If you haven’t set certain goals in your workplace, the employees may lose their morale and would not get the job done. Hence, ensure to set realistic goals for each employee by guiding them one-on-one or having a joint meeting. Once the goals are there and everything’s on track, it will boost your employees’ morale.
5. Lack of Tools
Not providing sufficient or even essential tools to your employees that can make their work easy will do nothing but demotivate them. Having the right resources in your office can help boost the productivity of your employees, leading towards improved office morale.
If you notice some of these signs in your office, maybe it’s time for you to take action and improve the office morale in your company. If you don’t know how to do it, here are some useful tips you can follow to improve your employees’ or co-workers’ office morale.
1. Inspire Positivity through Positivity
One of the most important things that can help improve office morale is encouraging a positive outlook and attitude in every aspect of the company. You can do this by displaying and carrying a positive attitude by yourself.
It’s because having a positive mentality is contagious and compounding. Try to always say positive things, smile at your employees whenever you walk by them, and personally greet the people in your office when they arrive to work.
That way, it’s likely that they will also do the same things to their co-workers. Try to remain sincere and stay consistent even on tough days. In no time, you’ll be nurturing a collective environment of positivity.
2. Recognize Individual and Group Achievements
When people feel that their works and efforts are not appreciated, morale tends to sink. To prevent this, employers should look into rewarding their employees for their consistent hard work through raises, promotions, or adding other benefits and small recognition.
When an individual performs well, congratulate them personally, and when a team accomplishes a goal, congratulate and thank them for their efforts. Your goal is to create an environment where everyone realizes that their works are appreciated.
3. Make Time for Fun in the Office
Another way of improving office morale is by making time for fun. Instead of having a regular workplace, you can inject fun into it, like placing recreational activities in the break room, such as a pool table or a dartboard. You don’t have to worry that these things might ruin the chance of having a productive day. In fact, a few minutes of fun away from the work desk can improve productivity for hours and can increase morale far more than those few lost minutes of work.
4. Encourage Real Lunch Breaks
Most people working in offices are too busy that they hardly step away from their desks to take a break, which can drain them out and decrease morale. To avoid this, make sure that the people in your office take coffee breaks, go for a walk, or eat out at new restaurants for lunch. This can help them be more creative than just staying inside the office the whole day.
5. Allow Time for Personal Projects
It’s also important to grant your employees time to pursue their individual passions because they can get discouraged if they are only doing work-related projects all the time. If you notice that some of your employees have certain passions, you can select a specific day of the month for them to do personal project work. It can be an hour or two every week. This will help them become more motivated in their works.
6. Recognize Personal Milestones and Losses
You should also recognize individuals as people first and employees second in your company. This means that you can recognize their personal milestones as well as losses while still respecting their privacy. Respond to them with kindness and consideration as you would to a friend. Since most employees spend more time with their workmates than with their families, having a supportive community in your company will truly help. Even a simple note of recognition from you will work.
7. Change up the Routine
Another thing that can make morale sink is making your employees feel like robots. When they come in at the same time, to the same place, and do the same thing every single day, your people might easily get tired of their jobs. Therefore, changing the routine once in a while is beneficial. You can try to rotate lunch break schedules or take impromptu company breaks. This way, your employees will have something to look forward to.
8. Provide Ongoing Training
Aside from changing schedules and having some fun in the office, another thing that breaks the routine is providing ongoing training. Learning events can inspire people to do more. Training will allow them to learn more things about their work, leading to increased productivity and improved office morale.
9. Be Transparent with Promotions
Promotion is another way of letting your employees know that you recognize and appreciate their hard work. However, most of the people working in offices have no idea when a promotion is going to come even when they’ve already worked in that company for years. Or if there’s even an opportunity that exists for them to advance in their careers at their current company. This is also something that can result in low office morale.
To prevent this, you should be transparent to them when it comes to promotions. You should let them know what it takes for them to be able to move up the ladder. The more transparent your company is with these things, the better.
10. Give Substantial Bonuses
Giving substantial bonuses to employees can also boost their productivity. These are clean, unconditional, and unexpected financial gifts that can revolutionize your employees’ morale. These bonuses can help them support their families or pay off loans, leading them to work better.
Also, your employees might be expecting a raise soon, and giving them a bonus will ignite a spark in them to work harder so they can get paid better.
11. Reinvent Team-Building Exercises
Team-building is an activity done by companies to improve teamwork. It is usually held out of the office and sometimes out of town. When you organize a team building, you have to make sure that it is more than just a free day out of the office.
The best team-building exercises should be able to explore your employee’s strengths and knowledge and something that can enhance them as well. Aside from playing games, you can have your employees organize workshops in areas that they are knowledgeable or good at.
12. Increase Vacation Days
Vacation can also boost employees’ morale; however, most employees are often too shy to take a break from work. The solution for this is to increase their vacation days. When you do this, it’s like telling them that it’s fine if they take some time off from work to freshen up their minds and be back with more creativity. And since it’s a vacation, make sure that they will receive no work emails or phone calls during their time off.
13. Limit Office Hours
Some jobs require people to work longer hours, such as finance officers, lawyers, and those in the field of medicine. However, working longer hours can burn out employees, leading to low office morale. To avoid this, limiting office hours can be a solution. You should enable your teams with time-management training, peer support, and clear boundaries about office hours. This can help them achieve a work-life balance.
14. Provide Real-Time Feedback
Another big morale killer for employees is not letting them know that you appreciate their work within a reasonable timeframe. To avoid this, make sure that if someone does something great or has completed a goal, give them kudos right away.
The same goes if you notice something negative that you want to correct. Do not wait for some time before bringing it up because your employees will tend to wonder if there are still other things you haven’t opened up about. Also, do not sugarcoat the negative feedback because you need to be clear about the things you want to change.
15. Open the Floor and Ask for Feedback
This is the most important and the best way to improve office morale. Make your employees feel that their voices are heard and respected. Try to reach out to them and ask them how they feel about their projects and assignments. Ask for their feedback and concerns. You can also ask them for opinions about projects that are coming up. This way, you will let your employees feel that they are an integral and important part of the company.
Always keep in mind that your employees are important to your company because they are the ones who execute your directives. They are the ones who make your company run efficiently. This means that if you keep them happy and motivated, your company will easily achieve its long-term goals. We hope these tips will help you in improving office morale.