As you might have already discovered to your cost, employee morale is a key element within your business and one you overlook at your peril. Poor morale can cause your employee retention rate to nosedive, and be at the root of increased sickness, lateness, and mistakes being made right across your business.
The situation is not irretrievable, however, but it will take some time and effort from you – as well as some financial investment. That said, results should be apparent quite quickly, and you should start witnessing the benefits as more of your people start turning up on time, and productivity grows to a new high. This might all sound too good to be true – but to reap these rewards, you need to take the right first steps. Here’s how you can quickly improve morale in your business.
Recognize and reward achievement
One of the reasons for low morale could well be that you’ll find the work/employee ratio is not good. This might be because leavers haven’t been replaced, or due to the underlying problem of excessive sickness. While you are working on fixing the root cause of this problem (more on that in a minute) you will need to reward those who are keeping the business afloat through their extra efforts.
If morale is particularly bad, a simple thank you won’t be enough, so you need to find other solutions. You could invest in some custom swag to give to your high performers, or maybe some sort of voucher they can use on the high street or online. This is likely to turn a few heads among the rest of the workforce and make it apparent that any efforts they make will also be rewarded.
Upgrade your HR set-up
If morale is poor, it is also likely that your HR set-up is out of its depth or possibly even non-existent. Without any level of support employees don’t know where to turn, and also have no idea what the benefits of working for you are. This arrangement also ties up whoever is performing IT duties as well, with small repetitive tasks that could be done more efficiently with the right HR software.
Having the right package means that employees can see what they are entitled to at the touch of a button, and anyone wanting to join your business can see upfront what is in it for them. This, in turn, can typically lead to a higher caliber of applicants, and your business improving further from the inside out.
Manage your workload
Most people will tell you they are overworked, but if morale is low the chances are they are right. You need to look at your staffing levels and identify parts of the process that need refining. This could involve more training, upgrading some machinery and equipment, or changing processes around to avoid creating bottlenecks.
Wherever possible you should include the people doing the jobs as part of the team working out solutions, as they will have a deeper insight than anyone looking at a column of numbers and making assumptions. This will also show the people involved that you take them seriously and value their input—which will boost both their morale and their confidence.