A quick summary:
- What exactly is team morale? 🤔
- Remember to recognise and reward your team 🏆
- Empower people to progress and develop their skills 🚀
- Train your leaders in building healthier, happier teams 💚
- Consider the layout of your work environment 🔎
Employee morale is everything. It’s great retention, job satisfaction, better collaboration and quality work relationships all rolled into one. A true workplace superpower, morale improves employee happiness throughout a company - and one study found that happy employees are 13% more productive when they’re happy.
We’ve all experienced just how well we function when we’re in a great mood. Everything becomes a piece of cake. We tackle our to-do list much easier than when we’re stressed, and we can deal with setbacks more effectively.
To put it simply, staff morale is so important. Especially in a world plagued by the Great Resignation. Employees are not only looking for an engaging role but one that puts people first. One that understands how vital morale and happiness are to workplace success.
Here, we’ve explored the key techniques you can use to boost morale in your team. This means by the end of this article, you’ll have the tools and know-how to take team morale from OK to excellent!
What is team morale?
As we’ll soon find out, this workplace phenomenon can make or break output and success. But before we get into all of that great stuff, what is team morale? In a nutshell, team morale is a mix of four factors in the work environment:
It’s through these four pillars of morale that teams can thrive and work in harmony with each other. Interestingly, most of these cannot exist alone. Enthusiasm without collaboration won’t create high staff morale.
How are you going to boost team morale? What can you do to ensure your team are optimistic, enthusiastic, excited, collaborative and have a great attitude towards their work and colleagues?
Give Recognition and rewards
Starting with recognition and rewards, this technique has been boosting teams for decades. It’s human nature to want to be recognised and rewarded for our efforts and hard work. When we receive rewards, pathways in our brain are activated, and we begin looking for more rewarding stimuli.
In the work environment, employees need to see positive results from their efforts. After all, we give away many hours a day to our careers, and a lack of results can substantially hinder our interest, quality of work and commitment.
What’s more, a lack of recognition is simply a recipe for engagement disaster. In a work environment that doesn’t recognise or reward, there are traits of a toxic culture. People become disengaged and demotivated. Surprisingly, HR leaders know this, with a staggering 83% saying “employee recognition can strengthen company values.”
This obviously begs the question “why aren’t many companies taking recognition and reward much more seriously?” Especially considering how cost-effective it can be to boost morale.
For most work environments, recognition and reward can be done on a shoestring budget - although, it does have to be meaningful. Our customers use Heka as a way to reward employees with wellbeing. They recognise their efforts by giving them monthly access to fitness classes, spa treatments and so much more.
Progress and career development
For most, career progression is an absolute must in any role. We seek out development opportunities and want to feel a sense of achievement in our lives.
One of the surefire ways to damage engagement is cementing a career ceiling in your company. If people feel as though they aren’t being supported with their direction, they will very quickly become disengaged with work. However, a lack of progress and career development goes much deeper.
Without the tools, platform or support to develop our careers, most people jump ship for a more supporting employer. In fact, changing jobs has become one of the best ways to climb the career ladder.
To boost team morale, leaders should develop a reputation for putting people first. Showing people that there are opportunities in your company. Not only will this boost morale, but it pushes people to work harder and strive for more.
Of course, to progress, workplaces need to embrace learning and development - and that doesn’t come without a cost. Although, offering opportunities like this can put your company above the rest. In one study, a shocking 30% of UK workers have said they haven’t received any formal training in the last five years.
On top of this, 94% of employees said they would stay with their current employer if learning and development were more readily available. It’s statistics like these that demonstrate a huge demand to upskill and train people in the workplace.
Better training for leadership teams
When we think of the most influential individuals in a company, it’s leadership teams. Not only are they responsible for building culture into the work environment, but it’s also their duty to boost morale.
Unfortunately, a lot of leaders aren’t properly trained. Many simply don’t know how to motivate and inspire their people. Businesses that are serious about employee morale should invest heavily in these qualities.
Morale can only go so far at a lower level of a company. If leaders cannot motivate and inspire, nor can they boost morale across each department. Whether it be subsidised books, mentorships or even paid courses, organisations must make it their aim to transform people from managers into leaders.
Doing so can achieve two things. Firstly, leadership teams are better equipped to help team members who are suffering from a lack of morale. They are also building on their own skills and becoming better leaders generally.
Start examining the leadership qualities of senior-level employees. Interview their team to find out the current state of employee morale, motivation and happiness. This is one of the better approaches to understanding the lack of leadership qualities in managers.
These answers will form the basis of your search for leadership courses, webinars, workshops and more. Only then can leaders lead morale to higher levels.
Design your work environment to boost morale
Your work environment says a lot about employee morale, employee satisfaction and the general atmosphere of a business. In a toxic work environment the following design qualities are visible:
- Suppress movement around the office
- Reduce a sense of control for employees
- A maze-like layout that restricts employees from wandering
- Low-lit and dark
As you can imagine, employee morale isn’t very high in work environments characterised by the points above. In fact, it can hinder much more than employee morale. According to management-issues.com, poor office design has been linked with higher stress levels and bad business performance.
Believe it or not, 24% of job satisfaction derives from an employee’s work environment - and this can impact employee performance by 5% and for teams, it’s an 11% impact on performance.
These shocking statistics reveal how detrimental our work environment can be on a number of morale-boosting factors. To design a positive work environment that can boost morale, consider the following:
- Promote movement around the office
- Mix up the space for meetings with various tables, chairs and sofas
- Allow the sunshine to light up the office
- Create great airflow throughout the work environment
- Do not leave workspaces messy or untidy
- Promote sustainability and environmentally friendly work environments.
- Plants, plants and more plants
Ultimately, our work environments play a pivotal role in our ability to perform at work, it’s as simple as that. As more of us use an office environment much less, employers are beginning to provide work from home budgets to design a great remote space. Is your company hybrid or remote? What can you do in the immediate term to boost morale for remote employees?
Build a culture of health and wellbeing
Last and certainly not least, building a culture of health and wellbeing can boost employee morale tenfold. Wellbeing incentives, such as fitness memberships, healthy meal deliveries and therapist consultations all support healthier, happier people in the workplace.
Through these types of incentives and initiatives, employers can ensure people feel positive and energised to be their best, both in and outside of work. It’s no secret that when we’re happy, we are more productive and perform better. In fact, going full circle in this article, we’re 13% more productive.
And if there’s one thing we know about physical exercise or mental health consultations, it’s that speaking up about our problems can alleviate the burden that comes with it. What’s more, physical exercise releases chemicals that enhance a sense of wellbeing and happiness, while suppressing stress and anxiety.
Here at Heka, we offer our members thousands of wellbeing experiences, products and services. This ranges from mental health support to language learning, outdoor adventure fun and so much more.
Ultimately, we provide employees with an abundance of healthy lifestyle options that can support better living. And better living supports increased morale. If you’d like to find out more about Heka, and what we do, speak with our wellbeing experts.
They are more than happy to walk you through our platform and introduce you to the benefits of increasing employee wellbeing. You’ll find out why recognition and rewards, combined with a culture of health and wellbeing truly are a recipe for success.