Companies and organizations oftentimes focus on optimizing operations to improve output or acquiring the best tools and equipment to increase productivity but rarely does employee “morale” become a priority. In their defence, it may be difficult to assess morale as managers and supervisors would often equate being able to meet production quotas and targets to the staff having good morale, believing that the office wouldn’t be able to hit their targets if they weren’t motivated to do so. However, companies and organizations should know that it’s possible for workers to hit their targets out of fear of getting reprimanded or fired, and are able to hit their targets by burning themselves out.
Why Bother With Morale
Good morale means happy employees, and happy employees are more likely to stay with your company or organization than those who are simply dragging themselves to work for a paycheck. Positive morale can increase productivity; if your unmotivated or low-morale workforce is able to hit their targets, imagine what they can achieve if they’re motivated and happy. Low morale also leads to burnout, which can affect both your employees’ mental and physical health leading them to get sick more often, and negatively affecting your office’s productivity. So, let’s take a look at what you can do to improve morale:
Listen to Your Employees
Before you go ask motivational coaches or make any changes to your office, it’s best to simply listen. You can either meet with supervisors or managers or hold a meeting with the office staff, then listen to their feedback and recommendations as to what changes can be done to the office to make it more productive and comfortable for them. This would also be a venue to address any issues they may have.
Incentives and Milestones
Offer your office employees incentives. Providing gift cards to say thanks to a job well done, or even just planning an office lunch party can go a long way. It’s also important to recognize and celebrate any milestone that your office staff or teams have achieved, whether it’s for tenure or when reaching a certain quota.
Redesign Your Office
A physical change in the office environment can greatly affect office morale. Your options can range from full-on renovation to making simple yet effective changes. It’s best to find ways to maximize your office space and re-arrange (or perhaps replace) office furniture in order to provide more breathing and movement space for your employees so that they won’t feel cramped or secluded, and can make your office feel and look comfortable, professional, and enjoyable to work in. A well-designed and planned office can also help you make a good impression with potential clients, business partners, and customers. You can also hire a company or business that specializes in commercial interior design services to professionally assist you with your redesign or remodelling project.
Prioritize Their Health and Comfort
A healthy and comfortable workplace is a happy and productive workplace. Prolonged sitting, improper posture, and uncomfortable office chairs can lead to repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome as well as back and neck pains. These injuries and physical issues can negatively affect employee morale, and also lead to absenteeism or having your company pay more for employee health care. Investing in ergonomic chairs, tables, and office equipment can improve comfort and productivity, and would increase employee morale by showing them that you care about their comfort. Some companies even partner with gym and other fitness experts to provide gym membership discounts or healthy food pack promos to their employees, or with health care providers and provide free checkup and medicine/supplements.
There are many other ways that you can improve employee morale such as improving their break room, providing better meal options at the cafeteria, team building sessions and such. But whichever option you’d be taking, it’s important that you do it sincerely, and make your employees feel that you genuinely care about their morale and motivation.