15 Effective Employee Morale Boosters in 2023
Did you know that the profitability of a company is directly influenced by employee morale and engagement ? Positive staff morale can boost a company’s profitability by 21 percent, according to a Business News Daily report. In this study published in 2017, high employee satisfaction resulted in a 41% reduction in absenteeism. Forbes suggests that employee satisfaction has more to do with work-life balance and how well employers know their team members. Putting the ‘human’ factor into the company’s culture cannot only improve employee morale but also lead to higher employee retention and company success. Take a look at some statistics to understand how morale impacts employee happiness and retention. While company culture resides at the core of work satisfaction, there are several activities and steps that can be implemented to improve workplace morale.
What is morale in the workplace?
Employee morale encompasses various aspects of the workplace, including job satisfaction, outlook, and the attitudes of employees at their workplace. Employee morale is directly linked to the company culture. Healthy company culture positively impacts the workplace mood and employee productivity. Employee engagement is one of the main spheres affected by low employee morale. Employers can directly contribute to the morale of their people by creating a culture that fosters motivation and supports them so that they perform at their best. According to Elcom, morale can be fuelled by the value and gratitude expressed by superiors. It is essential to keep in mind that morale can also be affected by other reasons such as personal issues and these don’t reflect company morale as a whole, yet employers need to provide adequate support to help employees feel supported and listened to at work.
How does employee morale affect productivity?
It’s pretty simple if you think about it, high morale increases productivity as people feel fulfilled at work and receive the desired level of gratitude and appreciation from their peers. By promoting an ownership spirit and building a work environment where employees can thrive, people are more likely to commit to their work and go beyond expectations to contribute to the company’s success.
Bizfluent claims that employee retention is higher when employees are happy at their workplace and that they will work even harder when their organisation is going through a crisis. Moreover, high workplace morale is more likely to attract and retain top talent as it projects a positive image of company culture. Whether it’s by reducing the work hours or by providing an adequate work-life balance, employees are more likely to stay with the company if they feel like they’re more than just a financial asset to the company.
Ways to boost employee morale
Morale is dipping and so is your company’s profitability? It’s time to make some changes. There are many ways to boost employee morale, however, it’s important to integrate these into your company’s culture and not just use them as one-time activities.
Here are our top 15 ways to promote employee morale :
Celebrate your team’s failures
They say that failure is not the opposite of success but rather an essential element of success, so why not celebrate your team’s failures every week? It doesn’t have to sound like you’re bashing your teammates, the purpose of talking openly about failures is to improve morale as people get to talk and learn from each other’s mistakes and their own. Skip the blame game and strengthen your learning culture. Harvard Review suggests that ownership of failures is a step to becoming effective leaders. By building a culture of ”what happened” and ”how we can fix it”, employees feel that their opinions are valuable and that they are developing their skills together with their colleagues.
How to do it: You can either encourage employees to talk about their struggles during weekly meetings or simply create a channel on Slack dedicated to failures.
Help your team feel better
We’ve recently highlighted the importance of wellness in the workplace in our employee appreciation gift blog post, but in case you’ve missed it, let’s get into how wellness activities can benefit your team. Remote workers are often isolated and crave social interaction. That being said, they need to participate in meaningful activities that are part of their work routine. Wellness activities are known to not only increase engagement, but also employee happiness. Whether it’s a no-frills daily step challenge, virtual yoga sessions, or guided group meditation, an active contribution to your employee’s mental health shows that you are ready to put in extra effort to ensure that they have a healthy work-life balance which in turn, can help workers feel happier at work.
Read more about it in our Mental Health in The Workplace blog post.
Implement Volunteer Programmes
According to Quartz at Work, volunteering is not only about supporting others – the act of helping reduces one’s stress levels. Volunteering also helps increase self-worth and confidence. Deloitte’s study demonstrates that volunteerism may boost morale and increase brand perception altogether. The study also reveals that millennials who regularly participate in workplace volunteer activities are prouder of their company and happier at work, implying that this may be due to the direct impact of volunteering programs on employee engagement. Moreover, being a volunteer enables employees to develop valuable leadership skills that may serve them elsewhere in the organisation.
How to get started: Find out what your employees care about, some may prefer volunteering at an animal shelter while others may want to volunteer at a refugee centre, in any case, choose a volunteer programme that is aligned with your company’s culture. You can even ask employees to come up with suggestions to increase their engagement in the process.
Host a weekly cocktail hour
The reason why this ritual is called ‘happy hour’ is no riddle! Can anything bring employees more joy than a well-deserved happy hour? Break away from the traditional Friday happy hour and host your weekly or bi-weekly happy hour every Thursday! While Fridays are ideal for everyone to have some fun with colleagues before stepping into the weekend, it’s not a break from work! You can either start your usual Friday Happy Hour from 2 or 3 p.m or simply move it to another day – that way, employees don’t have to waste their personal time joining the event and can enjoy some drinks and get to know their colleagues. Enjoying a happy hour with your coworkers allows you to communicate and bond in ways that aren’t always possible during the workday. We’ve also discovered that having drinks can help open up dialogue, spark new ideas, and strengthen connections. This not only fosters camaraderie but encourages teams to talk about their hobbies and life outside of work. It’s time for some serious fun!
How can to host a happy hour for my remote team:
It’s a piece of cake! All you have to do is send some hampers to your remote team and host a monthly happy hour. You may also consider some cocktail crafting classes where everyone can have fun shaking up their favourite drinks! Bottoms up!
Create an employee recognition programme
Employees appreciate recognition programmes as they feel appreciated and that their work contributes to the team’s and company’s success. This is exceptionally important as organisations expand and evolve. It helps employees feel secure in their value to the organisation, which motivates them to keep doing an exceptional job. There are several ways to show employee recognition. Here are some tips to create a recognition programme:
- Define how you will measure success and what you want to achieve from the programme.
- Work with company leaders to define goals.
- Use recognition in many different ways- you can boost employee morale by celebrating your employee’s birthday and showing that you value them as a person. Or you can focus on their accomplishments as a professional.
- Recognise individual and team successes as both help to foster a sense of pride in the company and help boost the self-esteem of employees.
- Design a programme that improves the work environment and working experience of everyone.
- Allow employees to share their suggestions and opinions.
- Encourage employees to provide feedback as it creates a sense of ownership and allows them to actively contribute to a programme that matters to them.
- To avoid the programme becoming another company T-shirt in the closet, make it visible to new hires and past employees, post it on communication media, and remind them of its importance.
- Make sure that it’s aligned with the company’s culture and fits in with the current policies and strategies.
It’s not a secret that a random compliment can take your day from zero to ten! Isolated employees tend to suffer from a lack of social interaction which can severely impact their self-esteem. Expressing appreciation and gratitude helps keep up employee morale. Gratitude makes people feel valued and mitigates the effects of stress on employee performance. By showing appreciation to your employees, you not only thank them for their input, but also build a connection with them. Setting up an appreciation channel neither requires you to break the bank nor is it time-consuming. Shoutouts can be anything that uplifts another employee from a random “Jack totally nailed that sales pitch!” to “ Nothing tastes better than Sylvia’s pizza!”. Invite all employees to join the channel and encourage team leaders to make this channel part of the onboarding process! This exercise is a quick morale booster that can easily be integrated into your company’s culture!
Start a book club
What happens at the book club stays at the book club! People love belonging to social groups, and book clubs are a fantastic way to get your employees involved in self-development. Sponsor a book club and watch your people share ideas and flourish together. Reading can boost morale and since most people don’t have the time to read at work, sponsoring a book club can motivate employees to read and relax! You could even host a weekly meeting for those who’d love to join the club. If you’re working with a remote team, consider allocating book funds so that your employees can pick some books that will help them improve their skills and be more confident in their respective roles. At Tagvenue, we’ve dedicated a channel to book recommendations, thus making it easier for anyone to discuss their thoughts and inspire others! Check out this post for some tips on how to start a company book club.
Host a team trivia
Say goodbye to lame trivia parties! With virtual trivia and access to a live host, these activities can boost morale in an instant! Host a trivia party where you won’t have to lift a finger, let the organisers customise the content and take care of team formation and interaction. With professional hosts, your employees will have fun engaging in friendly competition and knowing their mates. Team Quest features several mini-games and splits your team into smaller groups where participants can solve puzzles, brainstorm, and joke around with their colleagues. Break silos and let your employees form long-lasting relationships. Trivia parties are the way to keep morale and friendships up, plus you can hang out on the platform for longer to build further connections.
Similar Activities: Around the World
Share inspirational quotes
Not only are inspirational quotes cheap and easy to find, but there is likely one for every situation and employee! Whether you’re looking to raise employee morale or engagement, a few extra pearls of wisdom can definitely support your team in performing better. Moreover, these phrases would look excellent in any home office or boardroom! They can increase productivity at work by promoting enthusiasm and fostering a sense of community. For remote teams, all you need to do is set up a Slack channel with daily or weekly inspiring quotes, and allow your team to add their favourites as well.
Here are a few inspirational quotes to get started:
- “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”– Steve Jobs
- “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see further.” —Thomas Carlyle
- “Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement. ’’ -Barry LePatner
- “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” -Thomas Jefferson
- “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” – Stephen McCranie
Crack a joke
Did you know you can improve your health simply by laughing? According to Verywell Mind, tickling your funny bone improves your physical, psychological, and social well-being. Laughter not only lightens the mood but is also an excellent icebreaker to put your employees at ease and bring a smile to their faces. Laughing helps people reduce pain and since you may not always know what your employees are going through, it’s always a good idea to make them laugh. A shared laugh brings people together. When people laugh together, they feel closer. The other person is more likely to want to chat with you after you share a meme or deliver a joke. You can either share some memes on your team’s channel, via email/ chat or in person.
Tip: It’s important to be aware of work-appropriate jokes. Make sure that you are mindful of employees’ cultures and individual perspectives. Whatever approach you choose to get people to laugh, make sure it’s clean, kind-hearted, and harmless so that nothing but positive vibes come out of it.
Try a virtual feud
Family feuds are excellent for bringing teams together and helping your employees unwind! It also gives the chance to participants to lead others and feel like winners even on their worst days. You can host your family feud for free, or go for a fully-hosted event where a host will facilitate conversations and interaction. Yolking from Home is ideal for a morale fix and for building connections among peers. Participants simply need to hop on Zoom to get started. The activity features 6 different games and you can choose up to 3 different games for each round! Foster camaraderie, boost morale, and have fun yolking from home!
Encourage open communication
Facilitate communication by asking questions and asking for feedback from your team members. Give voice to everyone on your team so that they understand what is going on and are able to clarify their doubts. One-on-one catch-ups can help identify communication gaps before they become bigger problems. Leaders and managers need to instil a culture where employees feel comfortable discussing their concerns without any fear of reprisal. This enables employees to feel safer and happier at work!
Here’s what Marta Pawlik, HR Specialist at Tagvenue, has to say about transparent communication and morale at work:
”Keeping morale high in the workplace is extremely important since it affects the well-being of the employees and their performance. That’s why I think it’s vital to create an environment where people can grow and feel that they’re trusted and empowered. Setting ambitious goals and challenges while keeping an optimal workload level is also important. All the people in the company should be aligned with the current aims of the organisation and be made aware of priorities. Hence, communication is key. Transparency and honest communication are what everyone would like to experience at their workplace”.
–Marta Pawlik, HR Specialist, Tagvenue
Dance like nobody’s watching
Dance not only boosts morale and reduces stress, but also enhances confidence. According to this Stanford article, it even makes you smarter by increasing cognitive acuity at any age. Learning something new together helps the brain generate new pathways and therefore challenges your mind. Whether you opt for dancing classes, or simply pump the tunes and unleash your inner Madonna, dancing together is an entertaining way to keep employees happy and motivated! If you’re working with a remote team, simply schedule a time and day for your online meeting classes every week, and if some of the employees have taken dance lessons before, why not ask them to lead the group?
Take a nap
Nothing can make an employee happier than a few extra minutes of sleep! We don’t mean hitting that snooze button for the tenth time, but rather allowing your employees to have a quick break-room shuteye. Many employees have to juggle numerous responsibilities and suffer from a lack of sleep, which can lead to low morale and motivation. Even a short snooze, according to sleep researchers, can help you recharge your brain batteries. By letting your employees snooze for some time during work, you show that you care about their physical and mental health. For remote workers, all you have to do is ask them to set an away message when they’re too exhausted to be productive. These few minutes of rest will positively impact employee morale and make room for higher productivity!
Encourage your employees’ growth
When your employees don’t see prospects for professional advancement, employee satisfaction suffers. Encourage your staff to take on new duties and provide time for them to work on personal projects or training courses. Provide staff with a clear path to development in the company. Employees are more likely to stay at a company where they can advance professionally if they know they can do so.
Sometimes an applause metre is all you need to boost employee productivity and improve the work environment. Recognition is a crucial element in employee morale and often costs only a few seconds. Celebrate your employees’ successes and achievements with a clap-o-metre where everyone can cheer and clap! Announcements do not have to be strictly work-related, they can be something as random as “Congrats to us, we survived this tough week!” Download the applause metre for free and ask everyone to participate. Like cracking a joke, cheering others can make everyone happier.
Create career opportunities
Instead of spending a fortune on new hires, why not create career opportunities for employees so that they can be hired for senior positions. Most employees are eager to take up new challenges and will likely be motivated to do their best in a new position. Focus on their skill sets when designing career opportunities for each employee and keep their priorities in mind. Employees will be more motivated to work hard, develop their talents, and advance their careers if you do so. When you have the financial resources, you should also provide monetary performance-based incentives, such as staff bonuses and raises. This will encourage hard-working individuals to stay with your organisation rather than looking for better-paying chances elsewhere.
High morale is one of the most important factors of a successful organisation. When employees have high morale, they feel like they can accomplish anything. With incentives such as career development, team-building activities, and acts of gratitude, employees feel valued and are more eager to work towards the company’s goals. Positive morale affects companies in numerous ways, whether it’s the performance of the company or employee retention, low morale can be costly if not tackled in time. By integrating some of the above tips into your work culture, you can keep your employees motivated and happy, however, make sure that the success of the strategies is measured and processes are altered accordingly. It’s vital to stay on track with the needs and behaviour of employees to know exactly how to keep them satisfied at work.
Employee Morale FAQs
What are the benefits of good employee morale at work?
High employee morale directly affects employee performance and the overall success of the organisation. Employees tend to perform better and actively contribute to the organisation when they have higher job satisfaction and are happy at work. Workers are more likely to stay with their company for a longer period if their morale is high. Companies that care about their employees’ morale usually have better working conditions and include activities such as team-building activities to help workers cope with work. These companies have a better reputation and attract top talents and more customers.
What are the effects of low company morale?
Low company morale can result in a downturn in operations. The financial effects of low employee morale can result in loss of income, and decreased productivity as employee performance declines. Moreover, low morale often leads to chronic absenteeism, which directly impacts the overall performance of companies. When morale is low, there’s likely to be more staff conflicts and even more frequent disagreements between management and employees. Companies are also likely to suffer from poor talent retention as they will have a poor reputation in the industry. Last but not least, low employee satisfaction will lead to poor brand image as customers are more willing to purchase from brands that treat their employees well.
What are the causes of low employee morale?
Many factors can contribute to low employee morale. For instance, it can be something as obvious as a lack of communication or development opportunities, however, it’s important to analyse your current company culture and work policies to understand why employees are currently unhappy. While the reason may be more personal for some employees, it usually has more to do with how things are at work and within the company, therefore it’s essential to evaluate your leadership culture and everything that may directly affect performance and satisfaction to understand where the issues originated. Some common causes are lack of communication and feedback, inadequate work-life balance particularly for remote workers, lack of appreciation, office politics, and lack of career development opportunities.
What are some activities to boost employee morale?
From simple gratitude and appreciation gestures to restructuring policies, there’s plenty you can do to boost employee morale. Team building activities such as a Team Quest trivia, or a virtual escape room are quick employee morale boosters. If you’re looking for a long-term activity to implement in your work culture, consider wellness initiatives as they help workers have a better work/life balance and also contribute to a healthier work environment.
How is employee morale measured?
The most important thing is to have an open communication policy where employees can directly talk about how they feel with managers and leaders. Morale surveys are the second most effective way of measuring surveys directly. Using this method, opinions regarding specific operations can be gathered through a questionnaire. It’s best to keep it anonymous to avoid any internal conflicts.
How can I keep my remote team’s morale high?
By integrating some of the above tips! Since remote workers tend to be more isolated, it is important to stay connected with them and share the company’s goals regularly. Recognising their hard work through gestures of appreciation helps boost employee morale. Make sure that employees are rewarded for their dedication by hosting team-building activities where they can unwind and get to know one another. Integrate feedback and open communication into the work culture and prioritise employee learning and development opportunities. And don’t forget about the breaks!