In our fast-paced modern world, it is only right to think that work proficiency and productivity is expected from employees. People are given deadlines to work with, goals to accomplish, and strategies to execute. Moreover, this productivity should come hand in hand with working well together with colleagues and managers to execute and oversee the operations of the organization. However, when work piles up and the stress gets overwhelming, the inevitable happens: employee burnout.
Burnout affects work productivity as much as it affects the well-being of a person. When employees start to feel burnt out and become less productive, the management tends to increase pressure as a remedy, failing to realize the costs of promoting a high-pressure work environment. Contrary to the belief that more pressure gets more work done, a highly stressful environment may actually be counterproductive. In the long run, such a workplace will experience debilitating levels of employee turnover, which is always bad for any organization. The fact is that highly stressed individuals also tend to be less engaged in company activities, and with low levels of engagement come low levels of company loyalty.
Given this, management should be concerned with preventing employee burnout, as well as boosting employee morale. Employee morale is the overall attitude, satisfaction and outlook of employees towards their job. Employers should realize that they play a big role in cultivating a healthy working environment that allows employees to be as productive as they can, while keeping their morale up.
While each organization will have their own way of addressing employee morale, here are a few ways to get started:
Choose the most effective Leadership Strategy
Effective leadership is important in managing people and the business in general. These kinds of leaders inspire others to get on-board with company strategies and believe in long-term goals. Creating a vision for the company and getting employees involved helps them realize what and how they are contributing to something bigger than themselves. Choosing from different leadership styles that is suitable to organization depends on the company’s culture and vision. Leadership also entails effective communication with direct supervisors and managers. More than the intent to motivate, managers should be able to relay the message in the most effective way. Proper execution is key. Simple appreciations and acknowledgement from them could go a long way in keeping the team motivated. Giving employees constructive feedback is also critical in growing employee skills and building better relationships with managers. Finally, effective leaders thank their employees no one is more inspired than someone who feels rewarded for even the smallest accomplishments.
The Power of Escalation
As much as giving constructive feedback plays a crucial part in building positive employee morale, it is also important to listen to what employees have to say. Employers should provide them with avenues to give feedback to supervisors and managers about their work. Whether it be about their relationship with co-workers, or anything that is bothering them, give them a judgement free environment where they can feel safe and comfortable expressing themselves. This also applies to brainstorming and idea generating activities, as this approach validates employees’ knowledge about the business—after all, they are the ones directly involved in the day-to-day operations. Letting employees escalate their concerns and feel that they are really being listened to is a good way to make them feel valued. When people feel valued, they are more eager to be loyal and dedicated to their work and to the company.
Promoting Work-Life Balance
Stress is a barrier to building positive employee morale. While work-related morale boosters are effective, promoting work-life balance can also help in making employees feel that they are being cared for. Be proactive in organizing activities outside work where employees can relax or take a break. One of the most effective ways to be proactive is through promoting healthy habits. Consider offering your employees discounted gym memberships and encourage them to live a healthy life. Host company outings where employees can relax, have a good time and take a break from work. Encourage them to take short breaks during work hours and give them time to recharge. Promoting work-life balance will make employees happier and in turn make them more eager to work hence increasing productivity.
Boosting employee morale is a continuous effort. It does not stop after a goal is achieved or after a certain timeframe. It is important to remember that investing in people is as important as investing financially in other assets. Addressing the value of your people and investing in them does not only increase productivity but also help in building a positive culture that employees need and want.