As your employees return to the workplace in the wake of COVID-19, the importance of creating high employee morale is undeniable, but the causes of low morale go beyond the challenges presented by the pandemic. The root cause can be a combination of numerous factors, such as lack of opportunity or poorly communicated changes in company leadership, and can end up leading to high turnover, low job satisfaction, and can even damage your bottom line if gone unaddressed.

So how do you fix it? Simply put, the best way to improve morale is to make your company a great place to work. Here are 10 ways to start creating a work environment in which your company culture is one of motivated, happy employees.

  1. Transparency

Withholding important company information does more harm than good. Instead, be transparent and open about company goals and progress. Even the negative stuff. Employees will respect honesty, and insight into higher-level processes can help improve employee morale.

  1. Employee recognition

Regularly expressing appreciation for your employees boosts motivation, leading to better efficiency and higher retention rates. Even a simple “thank you” can go a long way toward creating a supportive, and productive, environment. Additionally, it may be worth looking into launching an employee rewards and recognition program if you don’t have one. Not only leader-to-employee recognitions — give your team members a way to recognize the significant contributions of each other. This can pay tremendous dividends in teamwork and camaraderie, leading to a more effective and efficient workforce.

  1. Employee wellness

Employees can’t succeed, and help your business succeed, without mind and body wellness. Consider implementing health initiatives, promoting work/life balance, or providing resources for physical and mental health support. Ideas like team walks at lunch time or on-site health screenings are easily implemented and show you care about your teammates’ well-being.

  1. Solicit employee feedback

In addition to receiving valuable suggestions for how to improve your company, when you gather feedback, your employees feel heard. But don’t just listen to their suggestions—act on them whenever possible. And when implemented, remember to acknowledge the person offering the suggestion and give those employees credit for the idea.

  1. Give employee feedback

Laying out expectations in a constructive manner helps foster a greater sense of purpose within your employees. Plus, positive and productive one-on-one conversations create a better connection between employees and employers.

  1. Strong leadership

Low morale is generally a top-down rather than a bottom-up issue. In addition to acting as coaches and recognizing and developing employee talent, managers should serve as models for positive thinking in the workplace.

  1. Team-building activities

There are a number of benefits to team-building activities, from fostering meaningful connections to boosting creativity and team performance. While not a long-term solution, team-building activities can be a fun, simple way of raising spirits.

  1. Incentives

Performance-based incentives are another great way of creating a positive atmosphere, whether they’re something fun like a free lunch or more growth-oriented like free access to a professional course.

  1. Opportunities for growth

Not providing room for employee growth leads to less motivation and higher turnover. While it doesn’t always need to be a promotion, creating opportunities for employees to develop their professional skills means they’re less likely to leave in search of a more rewarding role. Remember, losing employees is costly, but retaining your happy employees saves both time and money, protecting your investment in hiring and training your team members.

  1. Empathy

Empathy is key to employee empowerment, especially when stress levels are at an all time high. Showing compassion for your employees’ feelings can lower exhaustion and sick days and lead to increased job satisfaction, as well as improving their overall outlook and even have a positive effect on productivity.

Why morale matters

Creating a positive work environment in which morale is high sets your employees up for success. Not only will they feel more satisfied with their work, they’ll also be more likely to excel in their career. And when your employees succeed, your company succeeds. By proactively implementing morale-boosting strategies, you’ll see heightened productivity and lower employee turnover from your existing employees and give you the ability to attract and retain new talent who want to work for a company with a great culture. All of which improves your company’s bottom line.

Find out how Empower Partnerships can help you boost employee morale with our end-to-end talent management solutions. Connect with us to get started today.