It seems intuitive that good workplace morale and happier employees are better for your company culture and your bottom line. But why are they better? And by how much?
Happier employees are more productive, have less turnover, are more satisfied with their jobs, and are intrinsically motivated to work hard. In short, they make a noticeable difference to the bottom line. This is especially important now, with the Great Resignation hitting.
Nearly one in five employees say they plan to quit because they feel a lack of belonging and do not feel heard or supported.
Nearly half of employees surveyed by Flexjobs know someone who has quit or is planning to quit because of in-person job requirements, and 29% say they are looking for a remote-only role, with 17% willing to quit if remote options weren’t available. (BenefitNews)
The challenge for companies is to keep a pulse on their workplace morale and notice and act on any negative perceptions and attitudes about the workplace that start to evolve.
Low morale can be seeded by a number of factors like a lack of professional or personal development, limited autonomy, feeling underappreciated or not recognized, and more. Some of the hallmark indicators of a morale problem are high turnover, poor customer service scores, lower productivity, emotional outbursts, and increasing absenteeism.
If any of these aspects remain unchecked, a company could have some much larger issues on its hands. Low morale is contagious, and it spreads quickly.
Employees and teams with good morale are satisfied with their jobs and harbor an intrinsic motivation to work hard towards common company goals. These employees aren’t necessarily paid more, they’re generally happy because their needs are met, they have some level of autonomy, and their work is recognized.
These employees and teams are also an invaluable asset to you and your business. These employees spread happiness, make better decisions, are 12% more productive, are more creative, have less absenteeism, and are more likely to stay in their job for longer. Plus unhappy employees are 87% more likely to quit, and you'll spend a minimum of 21% of an employee's annual salary on filling that seat. That’s a lot of avoidable costs.
When you add all of those elements of productivity, absenteeism, and turnover to your bottom line, it’s hard not to justify a little extra investment in boosting morale and engagement!
There are lots of small steps you can take to start increasing employee happiness. Some are quick and easy, while others require a longer commitment.
And while your first instinct may be to boost everyone’s salaries, it’s not necessarily the best way to motivate employees, boost employee engagement, or improve company culture. Here are a few other ideas you can try first:
Create opportunities for your team to connect with each other - let them know that you care about them, their families, and their work. A LinkedIn study of workplace relationships found 46% of professionals felt that having work friends enhanced overall happiness. This could be as simple as organizing a weekly happy hour or lunch gathering, regular 10-minute check-ins, or inter-office competitions.
Plan team-building events that people want to do - These events help employees form friendships, which helps them feel more engaged and motivated to do their best. Planning these events doesn’t have to be difficult if you choose someone like tinyB Chocolate. They’ll help you plan and execute the perfect event for your team, leaving you to focus on other important issues!
Create a culture of FUN - Part of creating a positive and healthy company culture involves creating more opportunities for team members to connect, have fun, and support each other. It could be a team quiz, a dress-down Friday, or a team offsite that’s a little out of the box. Even just the odd moment of fun can have a profound impact on workplace morale.
Learn about the science of happiness - It’s an area of positive psychology that’s been gaining steam over recent years. And for good reason. Research shows that we’re wired to do things that don’t necessarily make us happy. Whether it’s doing a course from the Happiness Studies Academy or listening to the weekly Happiness Lab podcast, you’ll pick up tips and tricks you can use every day with your team members.
Check your company benefits align with your team - The benefits and perks needed to improve employee attitudes and morale vary depending on the type of company. NanoGlobals recommends focusing on 1-2 areas of benefits to include traditional financial benefits, career development opportunities, ‘nice to have’ perks, cultural activities, or lifestyle allowances like flexible working. Focusing on and deploying benefits in the areas your team members value more, will have a bigger impact on improving morale than focusing on all types of benefits.
Low employee morale can take time to identify and boost. So don’t get discouraged if any of your short-term changes don’t yield noticeable results. Good things take time, and persistence and constant engagement will help get you to that elusive place of high workplace morale!