EMPLOYEE MORALE: How To Boost & Maintain Work Morale

Employee morale

It’s no secret that employee morale is an important concept to comprehend in a company… but what precisely does employee morale mean?
In this post, we will define employee morale, explain why it is important, how you evaluate it, and how benefits might improve it.
This essay is intended for business owners, managers, team leaders, CEOs, and anybody else who wants to improve employee productivity and morale.

What is Employee Morale?

To define employee morale, consider the following: Employee morale, often known as workplace morale, is the morale of employees in the workplace. It has been shown to have a direct impact on productivity.

Morale refers to how your employees feel about coming to work every day, how they tackle their assigned jobs, and their attitude about the company’s direction.
Simply put, employee morale is the sum of job happiness, view on life, and attitude.

Why Is Employee Morale Important?

Morale is an important component of your company’s culture; a positive collective attitude will generate a positive environment, and a positive atmosphere will almost likely improve attitude.
Reduced productivity might occur if your organization has low morale and a deteriorating company culture.

2020 was one of the most challenging years for businesses and their employees. COVID-19 caused severe business disruptions, including the closure of large and small businesses, layoffs and furloughs, and the requirement for a major portion of our personnel to work remotely from home. All of this summed up the ongoing health issue, which is having a significant impact on employee mental health, productivity, focus, and morale.

According to a SHRM COVID study:

  • 34% of employers did not have an emergency preparation plan in place to deal with a catastrophe of this magnitude.
  • 7 out of 10 employers are having difficulty adapting to remote work.
  • Maintaining employee morale has been a struggle for two out of every three employers (companies with more than 500 employees report a greater challenge than small to medium organizations).

According to SHRM, the most difficult problem is maintaining company culture. Employees with low morale may be unmotivated, unenthused, or unengaged. Improving morale in your firm can improve productivity and corporate culture. Morale, productivity, and business culture are all intertwined and influence one another. When one person suffers, everyone suffers.

Six Common Reasons for Low Employee Morale

Before we look at techniques to boost employee morale at work, let’s first examine what causes low employee morale.

#1. Ineffective Communication

Misunderstandings, bewilderment, and feelings of isolation can result from poor communication between you and your employees.
After all, without appropriate internal communication, your staff will struggle to understand what is required of them, see the big picture, or even comprehend what is going on in the firm in the first place.

Remote-working teams, in particular, are prone to feeling detached, out of the loop, and voiceless.
People who feel this way become distracted and unmotivated to perform well.

#2. Scarcity of prospects for advancement

A lack of professional and personal development opportunities might contribute to low employee morale. Employees can become bored, unmotivated, and disengaged if there are no prospects for advancement or new challenges. Employees may eventually depart for a position that offers more challenge.

#3. Internal alterations

Employees may experience job insecurity, mistrust, and low morale as a result of changes like restructuring, layoffs, or mergers, which can cause uncertainty and worry.

Similarly, if firm policies, procedures, or leadership changes are not communicated effectively, they can produce confusion and discontent. Overall, when your company culture shifts, so does employee morale.

#4. Ineffective leadership

Poor leadership is frequently the source of low employee morale, thus people in positions of authority must understand how their actions affect the team. Micromanagement, a lack of feedback, inconsistency, or favoritism are all examples of poor leadership styles.
Employee disengagement, demotivation, and disconnect can occur when leaders fail to effectively inspire, guide, and encourage their teams.

#5. Inadequate recognition

We all want to be appreciated, and your employees are no exception.
When you neglect to recognize and reward your employees for their efforts, they will feel devalued or ignored.
As a result, they will become disengaged and disinterested in their work, lowering morale and demotivating them to perform their best.

#6. Awful work-life balance

A lack of work-life balance can result in low employee morale, stress, burnout, and disengagement, resulting in an unhappy workforce.
A lack of scheduling flexibility, long hours, high workloads, and unrealistic expectations are all factors that contribute to this problem.

What Influences Employee Morale?

Morale can be improved by a variety of circumstances. The majority of these focus on simple principles such as:

  • Recognition
  • Feedback and suggestions
  • Opportunities for advancement and advancement
  • Flexibility
  • Communication

Using these elements will aid in the improvement of team morale. Today’s examples will show you concrete strategies to influence these elements at work.

How to Boost and Maintain Employee Morale

If morale on your team is dwindling, it’s time to make some changes. You should use a variety of tactics to boost and maintain employee morale. Rather than viewing these strategies as one-time fixes, consider incorporating them permanently into your company culture.
We interviewed company leaders to find ten techniques to boost and maintain employee morale. Here’s what they suggested.

#1. Align your employees’ values with those of your organization.

Although many business owners believe that employee morale is based on gifts, free food, ping-pong tables, and happy hours, Rachel Lanham, chief customer officer at Voodle, believes that the most important consideration is ensuring your team fits with your company’s values and goals, and the only way to do so is through clear communication.
Employees are more likely to be invested in the success of your company if they understand and care about its direction.

#2. Establish an open channel of communication.

Your organization must facilitate and encourage communication. Employees should be able to ask questions, speak up during meetings, and collaborate with coworkers. They should understand exactly what is required of them and what they can expect from you.

#3. Encourage employees to provide comments.

In addition to open communication, your organization should cultivate a culture that values employee feedback. You can give open and honest evaluations of their performance and solicit employee suggestions on how the organization might improve. This can be accomplished through one-on-one or company-wide discussions, as well as internal surveys.

#4. Create a positive thinking culture from the top down.

If you want a positive and supportive culture, it must begin with corporate leaders. Employees look to leaders for guidance on how to conduct themselves within a company, thus setting a good example will create a pleasant work atmosphere and boost corporate morale.

#5. Plan team-building exercises.

Positive morale is intimately related to how employees perceive their team members, so it is critical to organize team-building activities that bring staff closer together. If your team works in the same workplace, you can organize team meals and happy hours. However, arranging these types of activities for remote teams might be more difficult. You may offer virtual happy hours for distant teams and encourage employees to conduct one-on-one video chat sessions.

Think beyond the box, or ask your team to suggest activities they’d want to do together. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other major milestones with your team, whether you are working remotely or in the office.

#6. Create a program for employee recognition.

Recognize your employees’ extraordinary and hard work by implementing an employee recognition program. It can be formal or informal, but it should allow everyone in the firm, from entry-level staff to C-suite executives, to recognize the efforts of others. Allowing employees to know that their efforts are being recognized and allowing them to recognize their coworkers can boost morale.

#7. Provide incentives based on performance.

To boost employee morale, Lee suggests providing opportunities for employees to shift teams based on their skill sets and interests, as well as elevating internally before seeking external candidates for senior jobs.

You will encourage employees to work hard, develop their talents, and advance their careers by doing so. When you have the financial resources, you should also provide monetary performance-based incentives, such as employee bonuses and raises. This will encourage hardworking individuals to stay with your organization rather than explore higher-paying opportunities elsewhere.

#8. Make employee mental health a top priority.

It is critical to monitor your employees’ mental health, particularly during the epidemic when stress and anxiety levels are quite high. According to Ginger, a mental health practitioner, approximately 70% of employees reported the COVID-19 outbreak was the most stressful time of their jobs.

As more individuals work from home, it can be challenging to strike a healthy work-life balance. Remote employees frequently struggle to disconnect from work, which can contribute to burnout. Companies should be disciplined about setting boundaries to prevent employees from being overwhelmed, according to Lanham. They should also urge their team members to take time off even if they have nothing planned.

Other approaches to promote employee mental health include giving flexible work schedules, more paid time off, and encouraging employees to take frequent breaks during the workday.

#9. Put in place a health and wellness program.

Aside from mental wellness, your employees’ physical health is critical to business success. Many employees with office jobs have sedentary workdays, especially if they work remotely, so implementing a wellness program that gets them up and moving might be beneficial.

#10. Encourage employee growth.

When your employees do not see opportunities for professional advancement, employee satisfaction suffers. Encourage your staff to take on additional duties and provide them with time to work on personal projects or professional development courses.

How Is Employee Morale Determined?

Morale is not always easy to assess. Most firms that measure morale employ a variety of approaches to assess their team’s experience. To assess workplace confidence, use pulse surveys, sentiment analysis, and performance.

#1. Pulse Surveys

To get a pulse on their staff, several companies send out pulse surveys on a regular basis. Pulse surveys are often brief questionnaires distributed periodically by businesses. Each survey may have 3-5 questions designed to help you understand where your team is and how you can improve.

Some businesses use a more comprehensive employee engagement survey, such as Gallup’s Q12 quarterly poll, to see where their team members stand.

Quarterly surveys are preferable since they allow you to easily assess employee morale over time and minimize some of the recency bias that yearly polls frequently have. However, hosting surveys quarterly is not always the best solution. Weekly or monthly surveys further lessen recency bias, while hosting surveys is typically difficult for HR or employees. Find a cadence that works for you and your team members.

#2. Sentiment Analysis

Text analysis is the same as sentiment analysis. When performing sentiment analysis, you are attempting to determine whether the message is typically good, negative, or neutral. For open-ended questions, most survey tools include some form of sentiment analysis.

Employees should be able to express their feelings in a free-form manner during your pulse survey. Once you have that information, you can read the responses to determine whether work morale is normally high or low.

#3. Performance

Performance is another approach to tracking morale at work. Have some of your top employees started to underperform? Performance dips are normal because your team cannot be productive 100% of the time. Instead of focusing on minor fluctuations, evaluate major or prolonged reductions in performance over a period of weeks or months. If you see this, it’s time to take a look at your team’s morale.

#4. Understanding Subtle Distinctions

When measuring employee morale, you should also consider subtle changes in enthusiasm. For example, you could investigate morale further to see if specific demographics or teams at your firm are lacking in confidence at work.

Do your female employees have low morale? Is there a squad with worse morale than others? What about employees who work from home versus those who work in the office?

Many businesses take a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with morale, but this isn’t necessarily the right method. To improve job happiness, it is sometimes necessary to become more detailed. Making broad workplace culture changes won’t work if all you needed to do was demote the manager of one team.
Investigate the steps that will have the greatest positive influence on your team.


Whatever your organization’s present morale is, there are numerous strategies to boost it and create a wonderful environment. It all begins with executive leaders deciding that employee pleasure is important. From there, you can concentrate on improving employee morale by taking meaningful action and adopting some of the ideas we discussed today. Choose three actions from today’s list and devise a plan to improve your company’s morale today.


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