It’s a subject that seems to permanently reside at the top of every senior manager’s ‘to do’ list: find ways to raise staff morale. Keeping the workforce happy isn’t an easy task, but it’s one which is so incredibly important.
High morale can have all sorts of benefits for a business. It encourages productivity, reduces turnover, serves as a talent attraction tool and can improve competitive edge – after all, if your employees want to work for you, they’ll probably be working really hard for you.
Finding ways to raise staff morale can stump some managers, who fear that in the current economic climate, dispensing pay increases and bonuses is just not an option. Here’s some good news, which you may well have seen splashed across the human resources press lately: employees don’t value financial reward as much as other benefits. No, really. Money is a short-term motivator but it doesn’t satisfy all of our basic needs.
Here are a few quick-win ways to easily boost staff morale that don’t involve a pay increase…
What’s the one thing that makes an employee swell with pride and feel satisfied with their job? Appreciation, that’s what. Saying thank you and showing that you value an employee’s efforts is more important than many managers ever realised. We all want our work to be acknowledged and we all want to be thanked. It boosts our self-esteem and makes us feel happy, so creating a culture in which managers, peers and colleagues openly recognise and thank each other will instantly result in raising morale.
Training is key for boosting morale and engagement, as it equips employees with the knowledge to better carry out their duties. It is a demonstration of the fact that they, as an individual, are valued enough by the company to be invested into. It suggests progression and job security. Additionally, most people want to continually learn and develop, thus training satisfies another of our basic needs.
Providing something tangible to demonstrate this training can also make employees feel proud about their achievements – perhaps personalised name badges that clearly denote a level of competence or a certificate.
A wise person said (or sang) “you get what you give” and it’s so true of the workplace. One that prescribes additional duties out of work but refuses to give time off in lieu in recompense is one that will be populated with disengaged staff. One that applies some flexibility, i.e. allows individuals to work from home on occasion or leave early if they cut their lunch break, is a workplace which people won’t want to abandon.
A rigid, dictatorial approach isn’t relevant in this day and age; again, the HR press has made much of the fact that employees now value flexibility over financial reward. Thus allowing staff to leave early to watch the England game or setting up a flexi-hours system will mean that employees won’t mind staying late every now and then.
It’s the little things that set employers apart from one another and serve to raise staff morale. Anyone can pay a ‘competitive salary’ but if they don’t treat their staff nicely, then they’ll soon see their key talent jump ship. Yet the provision of fresh fruit, free drinks, nice soap in the toilets, the odd team lunch or drinks on the last day of the month, combined with the points above, will ensure that yours is a company staffed by highly motivated personnel.