How To Boost Work Morale

How To Boost Work Morale

The workplace has changed substantially following the disruptions of Covid 19. Many Aussies found their usual working hours had been cut back, if not shut down completely. Others found their usual corporate 9-5 jobs no longer took place in an office but the isolation of their own homes. We’re finally on the other side of the ordeal, but it’s safe to say things have not returned to a pre pandemic state.

Many who previously worked in industries such as hospitality have used the pandemic to upskill or change careers. Combined with the border closures (no more working holiday makers) this has resulted in a serious labour shortage in some of our busiest industries. These days corporate positions are rarely in the office full time, and many are adopting a working from home hybrid that sees workers in the office just 2-3 days a week.

The chaos and lack of stability that resulted from the pandemic has complicated and drastically shifted attitudes to work. As if this wasn’t enough to get workers down, we are also entering into a recession. Prices are rising at astronomical rates where wages are not. It’s no wonder that many workplaces are finding the need to work a little harder to boost morale. 

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Obvious to some, missed by many employers, the easiest and quickest way to boost work morale is to ensure your workers are being paid a liveable wage that adequately covers them for their skills and expertise. Understandably, this option isn’t available to all workplaces. Smaller businesses with less profit and higher percentage of overheads will find it much harder to raise the wages of their workers.

However, there are a number of companies and businesses who are discovering astronomical profits even in today’s economy and are not lifting the wages of their workers accordingly. When considering your cost of living increase this year, give what you can to your employees or risk watching them jump ship as their wages no longer cover their bills. To further this, workers like to have the impression that they have room to grow. Make sure your employees have a clear understanding of what that looks like within their workplace. They’ll appreciate your transparency and may even surprise you with ideas for growth of your business. 

Morale is a tricky thing to manage in any group of people. Chances are what’s non-negotiable to one member of the team, may not matter at all to another. Finding this balance can be tough and should be approached as an ongoing project. When studied, any high performance team will likely share one key component – they will have a strong, dynamic leader who fully understands and appreciates the needs and values of their team. One of the biggest mistakes many companies make is not considering the team culture before hiring a new start. Particularly if that new start is expecting to lead the team. Nothing will kill work morale quicker than a manager who doesn’t appreciate or support our work. Investing in leadership development and having open, honest conversations with staff about what they would like to see more of or less of can make a drastic difference – as long as you show them results. Don’t enter into ‘open conversations’ with your workers unless you’re willing to actually implement the ideas and requests that come from it. Failure to follow through will breed distrust and resentment. 

Facilitate some fun within work hours. You’ll likely be surprised the level of difference this can make to the attitude of your staff and in turn, the increase in quality of output. It’s been proven time and time again, when we are happy in our jobs and feel valued and purposeful, we are more likely to work harder and produce better results. Many businesses fall into the trap of thinking they are encouraging more output with strict work hours and levels of workload. Initiating regular social events within work hours will promote networking within your workplace and produce a sense of comradery within teams.

This could be as simple as a catered lunch once a month through to a day out or themed party in which everyone wears coloured contact lenses – the sky is your limit. Many larger companies find that with such a high volume of staff it can be difficult to hold any regular activities – especially if these are spread over multiple offices. Why not introduce employee led clubs. You’ll likely be surprised the number of people who share the same unique interests. One company ended up with a club who named themselves cigars online Australia, the experts in how to buy cigars online.

Make sure your staff feel appreciated and heard. Somebody in the marketing team has implemented a project with fabulous results? Make sure to acknowledge it. Someone who’s only been with the company 6 months has had a promotion? Shout it from the rooftops. Someone has an interesting hobby/interest or side business dealing with coloured contact lenses Australia wide? 

Give them a 5 min slot in the next staff meeting to share their passion. Each of these small acts will not only demonstrate to your employees that they are valued but will inspire others to achieve in hopes of being next to get the special mention. Furthermore, this sharing of achievements and news will foster relationships and encourage interdepartmental networking.  

Finally, ensure the physical environment you’re offering your employees is positive and welcoming. Keep your technological equipment relatively up to date. You don’t need to be out every few months, getting the latest gadgets and upgrading all your software, but don’t expect your employees to provide quality and consistent work if you’re providing them inadequate tools.

Keep the place clean and presentable – this might feel a little less important with your employees being in the office less frequently, but you want them to be coming in, so make that a comfortable experience for them. Similarly, if you’ve gotten rid of the perks like free tea and coffee, or the milk doesn’t get replaced due to lower numbers, appoint someone to manage this.

These little things will go a long way in improving the vibes for staff when they are in the office and encourage better morale all round.