Just paying an employee for their work is not enough to ensure they continually give 100% commitment. If employees feel under-valued then employee morale will be lowered. Low employee morale causes slower, poorer quality productivity, more absence days and loss of experience, skills and knowledge if employees decide to leave for a job that makes them happier. Most companies know their employees are valuable but many don’t successfully show it.
Organising budget staff parties, ‘paper plate’ awards and pep-talks works on fixing the symptomatic unhappiness not the causes of low employee morale. These can temporarily boost morale for a few employees but can also cause extra issues too. Staff parties can cause friction with staff that would rather not spend free time with work colleagues, or who would prefer the money used to pay for bills. ‘Paper-plate’ awards; company logo pens, certificates and other generic prizes for overtime, exemplary work etc. back fire by showing little understanding of the real value of your employees. ‘Thanks for making the company thousands of pounds! To show our appreciation, here’s a pen!’
Successfully dealing with low employee morale is not ‘fixing employee unhappiness’, it’s about treating your employees in a way that shows you know how valuable they are: Valuing your employees for their skills, knowledge and expertise, working to use your employees full potential and showing appreciation with rewards as valuable to the employees as their work is to your company. Only by tackling the underlying issues that make employees feel under-valued can you ensure that low employee morale is turned around for all employees and for good.
- Make your workplace a positive, enjoyable place to be
- Give your employees job satisfaction and pride in their work
- Show your employees ‘real’ appreciation for good work with rewards of value to them
- Empower your employees by really listening to their ideas and acting on them
- Help your employees reach their full potential by giving them opportunities to broaden and strengthen their knowledge and experience with ongoing training
All these steps work together to ensure your company treats your employees as the valuable assets they are– higher employee morale = more productivity! (and a much nicer atmosphere for everyone to work in).
For more information on ensuring that you are doing your best to keep your employees motivated and productive check out our factsheet: HR: Getting Employee Morale measures right!