5 Employee Morale Killers You Should Avoid

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What are you doing to boost employee morale at your organization? Wherever you stand, we’re here to ensure you’re on track in managing your people, teams, and organization. Read on for the five employee morale killers and proactive tips on how to do better. 

What Is Employee Morale and Why Is It Important?

Employee morale is how satisfied your workforce feels toward their roles, colleagues, managers, and work environment.

Morale plays a large role in engagement and productivity. Simply put, the happier and more confident your team members are, the more willing they are to put their best foot forward.

Studies show:

  • Businesses with engaged employees outperform their competitors by 202 percent.
  • Happy workforce members stay at their company four times longer compared to unhappy individuals.

What Are the 5 Employee Morale Killers?

Here are the five employee morale killers to be aware of, along with guiding tips on what to do instead.

1. Lack of Listening Skills

Active listening is a crucial leadership skill that fosters empathy, support, and inclusivity.

Failing to listen can give the impression you don’t care for your team members’ well-being or success. In addition, workforce members might feel their voices are not being heard and thus feel they aren’t valued.

What to Do Instead

Leaders should actively listen to their team members by:

  • Giving the other party time to speak
  • Asking follow-up questions to better understand their perspective
  • Paraphrasing and summarizing what was said in the discussion
  • Making eye contact

2. Lack of Purpose

Low morale stems from a lack of common purpose and understanding. Employees might not know what their team or business vision is. Therefore, this may deter them from truly connecting with colleagues and finding fulfillment in their roles.

What to Do Instead

Help your team members build a common purpose by initiating healthy and open discussions on:

  • The strengths of each team member and how they can be leveraged to bolster team and company success
  • The core values of the organization and how individuals can live up to them
  • Creating a purpose statement

3. Lack of Work-Life Balance

Having productive employees is essential, but if they aren’t given the space to also lead happy and healthy lives, their hard work will only go so far.

Overworked workforce members often experience burnout, which would induce 70% of people to leave their current jobs.

What to Do Instead

Promote a healthy work-life balance by:

  • Organizing team activities
  • Establishing fair and ethical paid time off policies
  • Asking people what healthy work-life balance looks like for them and what they would like to see changed

4. Lack of Flexibility to Explore Different Roles

Team members have different passions. When these are not acknowledged and encouraged, this can inhibit their innovation and drive.

What to Do Instead

Leaders should provide their workforce with opportunities to stretch and grow. The goal is to help them identify possible roles they can thrive in the long term.

Achieving this might entail:

  • Challenging the workforce to think about what they enjoy doing and what kind of role they envision themselves in
  • Encouraging job rotation to expose people to different areas of the business
  • Having open discussions on what team members like and dislike about their jobs

5. Lack of Recognition

Recognition can reduce turnover by 31 percent. Moreover, over half of employees want more of it from their managers.

Recognition helps team members feel valued. A lack of recognition can foster feelings of bitterness and resentment, hurting morale.

What to Do Instead

Give back and recognize those who have contributed good work and behaviors. After all, employees are the force that moves your business forward.

Recognize your team members in the following ways:

  • Highlight them during company meetings.
  • Take them out to lunch.
  • Write them a thank you note.

Safeguard the Viability of Your Business

Employee morale plays a critical role in safeguarding the viability of your business. Be sure to continuously stay attuned to industry experts and news to give your workforce the tools they need to succeed.

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