Both positive and negative employee morale have a significant effect on an organisation’s bottom line. Employees with high moral show up to work on time, spend more time actually working, show improved communication, creativity, and have longer retention rates.

The opposite is true when employees have low morale. The number of sick days is increased, more time is spent gossiping during work hours, only the basic job requirements are met, and there is an increased staff turnover rate. The key is listen to staff grievances and their suggestions and act to improve employee morale.

As an organisation, management holds the keys to increasing employee morale and ultimately boosting productivity. Employees are more motivated when they feel needed, appreciated, and valued. There are countless ways to positively motivate employees and below are 12 simple ways organisations can improve employee morale:

1. Give employees more control. When employees feel more in control over their work experience, they don’t sweat the small stuff and feel less helpless during times of uncertainty. Of course, more control is earned through trust and should not be taken advantage of or abused.

2. Communication, keep all lines open with employees. When employees feel they are being kept in the loop, they are more likely to trust the management who has everyone’s best interests in mind. Management should encourage the sharing of ideas as a two-way street, team meetings are ideal for sharing ideas.

3. Express gratitude & reward employees. When employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to help others; therefore increasing teamwork. Rewarding a job well done will likely foster the desire to continue producing positive results.

4. Flexitime. When employees are offered flexitime (telecommuting, summer hours, 4-day work week), they are more productive even when financial rewards are not available. Flexitime offers a cost-effective approach to encouraging a proper life-work balance.

5. Celebrate special events. When employees have a social gathering to look forward to (catered lunch, cake, or the team out for a drink every now and then), they are more prone to work harder and faster to ensure time lost is at a minimum.

6. Design a welcoming workspace. When employees feel comfortable, they will likely exude a more positive attitude. In addition to comfortable chairs and ergonomic desks, allow employees to bring in desk lamps, open curtains/blinds, provide free beverages, and an enjoyable break room.

7. Clarify expectations, you can do this by appraisal, every 6 months. When employees clearly understand their role and the impact it has on the organisation, they will feel more connected to the organisation’s performance and compelled to give 110%.

8. Lead by example. When employees see management rolling up their sleeves to dive into a project of any sort, they are more apt to follow in the same footsteps. Setting a good example is a language everyone understands and it gains maximum respect.

9. Provide a suggestion box. When employees can voice concerns in an anonymous fashion, they are more likely to bring up issues that may be uneasy to mention in a face-to-face conversation. Conversely, the suggestion box is a unique forum for employees to express innovative ideas.

10. Volunteer as a group. When employees and organisations struggle during hard times, it’s inspiring to help others even less fortunate. Working as a group also allows employees who don’t normally have much interaction with each other to work side by side, further promoting teamwork and camaraderie.

11. Challenge employees. When employees feel challenged intellectually with new projects, they will likely feel enthused, competent, and productive. Pairing a challenging project with the proper employee will help expand their particular skill set and the business will be rewarded.

12. Respect employees. When employees feel respected not only as individuals but professionals, regardless of positions, they are likely to exhibit more professional mannerisms in the workplace.

13. Recruit from within your employee network, employees seeing a colleague promoted inspires them.

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