Positive employee morale is good for your business. When we compare employees who are happy and motivated to those who are not, disengaged workers miss more work days on average, are less efficient when they are working, and cost employers thousands each year in lost productivity.

If you want to have a productive workplace with loyal employees, keeping morale high is crucial.

What is staff morale?

Morale involves emotions, and is often considered to be an elusive quality. It involves an employees perception and attitude towards their job, managers, team members, work environment, and the business as a whole.

Positive morale is usually exhibited by discipline, confidence, and an eagerness to perform, while low morale is the opposite. Staff with low morale will often influence their co-workers, and this can bring down the morale of the whole team, including employees who interact with clients.

Here are some things that commonly impact staff morale:

Worries about job security

A struggling business may have poor staff moral, even when upper management thinks that they’re keeping these problems secret. It’s hard to function well at work when you’re worried that you may not have a job in a few weeks, and when a fellow staff member is made redundant, this can make employees nervous.

Communication is key here, as the uncertainty can be more unsettling for employees than being fully informed about the company’s future.

The goals, missions, and values of your business

In order to perform at their best and believe in their role, employees should know the goals, mission, and values of your business. People want to work for a company they believe in, so ensure that your goals reflect a positive image of your business and they’re not just about making money. Train your staff with this mission and they will relate better to your company in the long run.

Job descriptions

No one likes to feel like they’re floundering at work, and if everyone thinks that certain tasks are “someone else’s problem”, you’ll find that they just don’t get done.

Having a clear outline of your expectations for each role (including appraisals and reviews for employees at all levels), will allow you to discuss your expectations and the job descriptions, while also learning about your employee’s needs and expectations.

Low pay

If you’ve ever worked for less than you’re worth, you’ll know that employees who aren’t paid what they deserve are usually the first ones out the door when they find a better opportunity. As businesses scale, employees who have been around for a long time are often given more responsibilities than they were hired with, and they should be rewarded with a promotion or raise.

Increasing the workload of your employees without a pay review can lead to low morale and low performance, and these staff members will often be the same ones who are browsing job openings during their lunch break.

Negative co-workers

We all know that one person who seems to bring a black cloud with them wherever they go, and if a coworker continues to speak negatively about your business, this can rub off onto other employees, creating a toxic work environment.

This one can be tricky to handle, and it starts with hiring people who are the best possible fit for the job. Many organisations use personality testing when hiring, and while the results should be taken with a grain of salt, these tests (along with an in-depth interview) can give you a good indication about the beliefs and outlook of potential employees.

During the interview process, asking a candidate why they are considering leaving their current company can be eye-opening. Someone who is criticising past employers or speaking negatively about their last job is probably not someone you want on your team.

The tools of the trade

In order to do their job well, staff need to have access to the best tools possible. This means a clean, safe work environment, along with software and technology that will make their lives easier, and allow them to complete tasks smoothly.

Businesses focusing on growth, may consider off-the-shelf software. Alternatively, a custom software solution can be designed around your unique business processes and systems. This can result in your staff being more productive, and more engaged as their time is used efficiently.