All business owners know how important the duty of care to their employees is, and more so in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. With businesses set to phase in the return to work, there is much emphasis on making office space COVID-compliant to ensure the safety of those who are returning. With so many staff having been furloughed, or working from home, many employers have taken the opportunity to look for ways of making their work premises a safer working environment, as well as providing a welcoming and more homely feel. Let us discuss these ideas you can incorporate for your team’s seamless return to the office.
What is morale among employees?
Employee morale refers to how people feel and behave toward their jobs and working environments. However, employee pleasure and satisfaction are only one aspect of morale. Additionally, it demonstrates how workers carry out their duties, approach them, and adhere to the company’s basic principles.
Why should you care about employee morale?
An organization’s morale acts as its binding agent. Teams are capable of anything when employee morale is high. Employees are respected and given growth chances; management and staff get along well; and everyone is working toward the same objective.
Organizations must prioritize improving employee morale since it benefits several factors, including:
- Employee turnover is higher when there is poor employee morale because it can make workers feel powerless, unappreciated, and disregarded. Maintaining excellent morale is crucial to reducing unneeded staff turnover and boosting employee loyalty.
- High employee morale encourages and uplifts them, which motivates them to give their best work.
- Employee motivation. When workers feel valued and are given the chance to advance their careers, it inspires them to take initiative and strive for their professional objectives.
- Employees that get along well with their superiors and coworkers are more effective communicators and have a good attitude.
- Employee productivity increases when workers have a connection to their company’s objective and can picture themselves developing professionally there.
- Collaboration. Workers who feel encouraged and on the same page as their coworkers are driven and eager to work together on new projects.
- Employee engagement. When morale is good, people are more likely to feel engaged and present in the job at hand rather than feeling overburdened by big-picture concerns.
Whether you invest in a regular contract clean or not, you should carry out a deep clean at the very least. Many staff members will be nervous about returning to work, so their minds can be put at rest when they know that the premises has been cleaned to a sanitary standard. Carpets and soft furnishings don’t need to be discarded; industrial grade cleaning equipment can be hired to give them a professional grade clean at a fraction of the cost of employing a contractor to do the job for you.
Ensure antibacterial hand sanitiser is available for everybody, and make each employee responsible for cleaning their own workspace at regular intervals, particularly if equipment is shared.
Believe it or not, injecting some colour into your workplace can elevate the mood of your employees. Bright colours help to suppress melatonin levels, which is the hormone that makes us feel tired and sleepy. A big splash of colour, on a feature wall could be all that is needed. If your company branding uses particular colours, incorporate them into your décor.
Studies have shown that surrounding ourselves with plants is a good way to keep our mental health in check. Placing a few well-chosen plants around your office could also provide some pops of colour – dual functionality!
Drinking water is essential for brain power! The recommended consumption is 8 glasses a day, and whilst nobody is expected to drink that amount during office hours, it is important to provide safe drinking water for all. Invest in a water cooler where workers can refill their own bottles. Technology is moving on, even in the water cooler sector, and there are now contactless dispensing options available via an app downloaded to your smartphone.
Whilst employees are paid to be at work to do a job, it is critical that they feel safe and secure during their time there. Try introducing one or two home comforts to make them feel more relaxed. This could be as easy as a break room with comfortable chairs; somewhere to eat a meal away from their workstation.
Personal safety is paramount, particularly for lone workers or when your business is running on a skeleton staff. Some may feel vulnerable walking to and from the car park, or in more secluded parts of your building. Installing CCTV adds an extra layer of security for both your premises and your workforce. It will act as a deterrent to burglars and vandals, but if a more persistent offender does gain entry there will be recorded evidence.
What connection exists between productivity and employee morale?
Meaningful work serves as the link between employee morale and productivity.
Staff morale gradually begins to deteriorate in the absence of a fulfilling job, and toxic behaviors start to show themselves.
The productivity increases that arise from meaningful work, however, total more than $9,000 for each person every year.
Employees who report their work meaning is above average are more likely to remain there. They may cut back on their desire to leave the firm by as much as 58%.
Employees are increasingly preferring to work for organizations that share their values, create positive and supportive workplace environments, and offer meaningful employment.
Regardless of the company’s reputation, employees are more productive and remain longer when these conditions are met.
In light of this, it is essential for managers to:
- Keep an eye on the morale at work regularly
- Solve issues quickly and efficiently
- cultivate ties with their workers
- Create a psychologically secure workplace
- Recognize what employees consider to be significant
- Based on the requirements and objectives of the workers, offer meaningful job
Managers that place a high priority on enhancing employee morale and well-being may boost productivity at work, enhance retention, draw in top talent, and offer their company a competitive edge.
How may employee morale be evaluated?
Here are six methods to gauge worker morale:
Make a morale assessment
A cost-effective method of keeping track of staff morale is to conduct a company-wide poll. Ask the appropriate questions and make modifications based on the responses to ensure a successful survey. ‘Does our corporate mission/purpose help you feel like your employment is important?’ is one crucial question to ask.’
To gauge morale, you will also need to develop a scale.
For instance, you may infer that an employee’s morale is low if they only respond “yes” to three out of 10 questions. Six questions must be answered “yes” to conclude that their morale is medium.
Check the employee’s history
It is common to find reliable morale trends and variance indicators while reviewing an employee’s history.
The quantity and quality of the output, training records, and absenteeism are some signs to watch for.
Always keep an eye out for any high variations that can be a sign of low morale and politely bring up these fluctuations with staff.
Organize one-on-one interviews
One-on-one interviews are a straightforward and efficient approach to finding out how employees feel about their jobs, coworkers, bosses, and the company.
Create a scale to assist you gauge the level of morale and choose the questions you’ll ask in advance to ensure a productive interview.
To see patterns and trends over time, it is crucial to record the information you get from each employee you interview.
Watch the workers at work
Any manager’s responsibility should include routinely and naturally observing workers at work. In actuality, managers must set aside enough time to pay close attention to employee actions and behavior, record what they notice, and gently approach staff members to suggest ways to improve.
A positive purpose is key to successful observation. Instead, of using observation to target specific individuals, utilize it to support them in developing their careers.
Conduct group interviews
Group interviews are a fantastic approach to observing group dynamics covertly.
Create your questions and scale in advance to ensure a successful group interview. Make sure each team is aware that the interview’s goal is to acquire information and develop, not to humiliate or put anybody on the spot.
Additionally, group interviews inspire workers to collaborate and develop solutions as a team.
Track performance information
If your organization tracks productivity indicators for every team member, you can analyze performance data to see trends in things like team production and on-time delivery rates.
Have a discussion with employees about the improvements you can do to assist them to feel like their job is relevant if you detect trends of persistently subpar performance.
What factors could have a detrimental impact on workers’ morale?
1. Absence of sense
As we mentioned before, when workers lack a meaningful job, morale gradually starts to drop, and harmful habits start to show up.
2. Weak company culture
Team members are more prone to become disengaged, and upset, and to adopt poor business morale as their own when they have to work in a toxic atmosphere every day. These team members will eventually become ineffective or decide to leave for a less destructive company.
3. Absence of rewards or acknowledgment
Employees love being awarded for their efforts whenever it is feasible because they want to know that their hard work is not going unappreciated. However, supervisors who consistently solely criticize errors foster a culture of low morale.
4. Inconsistency with the company’s values
Employees that disagree with a company’s mission, purpose, or values may have low morale or even leave the organization altogether.
5. Lack of suitable tools
To promote productivity and excellent morale, it’s crucial to give employees the tools and resources they need to execute their tasks.
6. No choices for preventive care
Employers who do not offer preventative treatment choices to aid staff in improving their mental health and coping with job stress may see a negative impact on staff morale and productivity.
7. Unhappy with one’s work
Unhappy workers may find it difficult to maintain a good work environment.
8. Bad management
When workers lack trust, confidence, or respect for their bosses, productivity, and morale suffer, especially when those managers micromanage, intimidate, or are unable to explain requirements politely and clearly.
9. Insufficient opportunity
Employee morale may suffer if there aren’t enough possibilities for them to advance in their jobs.
10. Zero autonomy
Employees must believe that their employers trust them enough to perform their jobs when, how, and where they choose. Employee morale may suffer if they are unable to accept responsibility for their work.