What makes an organization a great place to work? It's natural to think it's the Infrastructure and amenities. But work culture is right up there, too. Amenities? Organizations that build team morale consistently have higher employee engagement and productivity rates. Through morale-building activities, companies can set themselves apart from their competition.
Team morale helps organizations engage better with the workforce better. When team members are putting their competence towards enabling the business to reach the pinnacle of success, it is important to build them up and encourage them through morale-building conversations and activities.
In this post, we’ll give you tips to boost team morale and prevent any employee from experiencing burnout.
1 What Is Employee Morale?
Simply put, employee morale is how your employees feel and think about their day-to-day work, the tasks they are performing, and their experience working for the organization as a whole.
Employees that are satisfied with their job tend to have higher morale. They feel motivated to go to their work and perform their tasks with dedication. On the other hand, employees with low morale are dissatisfied with their job and working environment. They always complain about their work, work culture and feel exhausted.
2 Why Is Team Morale Important?
Team morale is the fuel that drives your team to strive for the best. The result for positive team morale is not only increased productivity but also improved quality of work. Because a team that genuinely loves their work is motivated to perform at its best.
Managers often seek guidance on how to build team morale because a motivated team can achieve much more than individuals working in isolation. Team morale encourages empathy, support, and mutual appreciation amongst team members. When employees feel recognized and valued, they feel motivated to perform their best. According to Gallup, companies with highly engaged employees are 17 percent more productive, have 41 percent lower absenteeism rates, and are 21 percent more profitable than those that aren't.
On the contrary, a person will start dissociating themselves from the company when they observe their work going uncredited or worse, unnoticed altogether.. In a survey conducted by O.C. Tanner, nearly 80% of workers who leave their jobs cite "a lack of appreciation" as their top reason.
Positive work culture is key here. Creating a work culture that nurtures its employees and propels them to excel in their jobs is essential for positive team morale. Poor company culture leads to negative team morale which in turn results in lower productivity. Ultimately, it is the organization that will suffer, with employees resigning and opting to take their skills out the door. from employee attrition. Team morale is a concern that leaders cannot simply overlook, they must come up with a concrete strategy on how to build team morale that gives them a competitive edge.
3 Reasons for Low Employee Morale in a Team
- Lack of Recognition or Appreciation
When employees feel their efforts go unnoticed or are undervalued, their motivation and morale can go down.
- Poor Communication
Inconsistent, infrequent, or unclear communication from the manager can lead to misunderstandings, feelings of exclusion, or uncertainty about job roles and expectations.
- Inadequate Compensation or Benefits
If employees believe they're not being fairly compensated for their work, especially compared to industry standards or workload, they may feel undervalued and demotivated.
- Lack of Growth Opportunities
When there's no clear path for career advancement, skill development, or personal growth within the organization, employees might feel stagnant and lose enthusiasm for their roles.
- Toxic Work Environment
Factors such as excessive workloads, poor work-life balance, unsupportive managers, or workplace conflicts can create a stressful and unsatisfactory working environment, undermining morale.
4 10 Tips to Instantly Boost Team Morale
4.1 Encourage Work-Life Balance Among Employees
Do you live to work or work to live?
Life is all about balance. Balancing professional life with personal life is crucial for human well-being. You don’t want your team members to feel burned out with extra work. It not only impacts negatively on their morale but also makes them anxious about their job.
Team leaders are responsible to find the right balance for their team so they don’t overburden themselves with work and can enjoy precious moments of their lives. With flexible hours, work-from-home policies, balanced workload, and self-care plans you can support your team members to achieve work-life harmony and take one step forward to build positive team morale.
4.2 Transparency at the Leadership Level
Trust in leadership plays an important role in positive team morale. If any issue regarding a broken process or workplace conflict arises, don’t ignore the warning signs people give you. Instead communicate with your team and work together to find the solution.
No one should withhold information that is important to others. If your team members are raising any questions, you are liable to answer them. Maintain transparency about the organizational changes and issues with your team to build trust. That’s how you build team morale that is high enough to make your team members feel secure and motivated.
4.3 Recognize Your Employees and Their Efforts
If you value your team, do let them know about it. Give your team that well-deserved pat on the back for their hard work. Praise from their peers gives them an extra boost to go above and beyond to achieve their goals.
Employees who feel appreciated have a greater sense of self-worth and function more effectively. Uplift your team’s morale by making their recognition public. Cheer your diligent team members in public with a social media shoutout or introduce a special reward program to recognize them. Celebrate important milestones like birthdays and work anniversaries, and offer a helping hand if they are passing through the hard phase in their life. Having team lunches to celebrate small achievements, rather than just major milestones, are simple yet impactful team morale boosters.
4.4 Invest in Your Team
Motivation comes from feeling a sense of growth. Career development programs are a great way to support your team with their career growth and professional skill development. Investing in any professional development session can serve as valuable team morale boosters.
Don’t restrict the career growth to their next promotions only. Instead, help them to be the next leader with company-sponsored mentorships. Taking advantage of professional courses, conferences, and meetups is the best way to learn new skills. Lead the way of your team in their professional journey and introduce them to new opportunities. Encourage them to come to you regarding their professional interests in order to point them to the right resources and material. This demonstrates that you care about their growth and do not want either their capabilities or investment in the company to stagnate.
4.5 Encourage Employee-Driven Initiatives
A company's ability to grow big depends on its ability to evolve and embrace innovation. If organizations are unwilling to adapt or innovate they risk standing still and being left behind.
Your team is your biggest asset. Listening to your team member's new ideas and suggestions shows that you care about their opinions as well as their thoughts. Encourage your team to come up with new initiatives and guide them with constructive feedback when needed. This helps to create a healthy work culture and improve employee engagement.
4.6 Check on All Employees and Take Feedback
When it comes to creating a positive work culture and boosting employee morale, “Open Door Policies” are not enough. Frequent one-on-one check-ins and feedback are necessary for effective leadership.
Being a positive resource for your team will make them feel comfortable approaching you whenever they require assistance. When you listen to their feedback and act accordingly, they feel heard and feel motivated. Don’t limit it as a once-a-year activity, instead carry it out as a year-long activity. Implementing suggestions from feedback can be one of the best team morale boosters, demonstrating manager's commitment.
4.7 Work to Promote Diversity
Diverse workplaces open gates for new perspectives and opportunities. When people from different backgrounds come together, they bring their experiences and perspective, which is instrumental in testing out new ideas.
Promoting diversity at your workplace sends a loud and clear message that your organization is open to everyone regardless of their gender, identity, or physical abilities. Your team also won’t hesitate before suggesting any out-of-the-box ideas. They’ll feel more empowered and driven to come up with creative innovations. With such a positive work environment, your team’s morale will skyrocket.
You can promote diversity at work by taking these small actions;
Provide equal opportunities to your team members regardless of their gender and eliminate the gender pay gap within your organization.
- In addition to maternity leaves, introduce paternity leaves for new parents so they can also enjoy their new roles as dads without being burdened with work.
- Encourage people with disabilities to apply to your organization. Ask current employees to refer people in their networks to bring new talent on board.
- Be inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees by reviewing and updating your company policies
4.8 Take Action Against Toxic Team Members
No one would like to work in a place where they are constantly being harassed or bullied. Workplace bullies and toxic team members are some of the biggest causes of low team morale.
A negative work environment not only affects your team’s productivity but also has adverse effects on an individual’s mental health and self-confidence. Any type of toxicity can be a hurdle in building team morale especially if it is spreading across the others. Practice a zero-tolerance policy at your workplace; identify and take actions against toxic team members wisely.
4.9 Motivate Your Employees With Amazing Incentives
Incentives are great to give an instant boost to team morale when they are at their lowest. Just see how a surprise day-off or a SWAG package does the trick and cheer them up.
Take a moment to review the perks, benefits, and rewards your company offers and see how you can support your team. Introduce new employee assistance programs and mental health-care benefits to look after your employees. Encourage your team members to take breaks and get away from their desks for at least 5 minutes. Treat your team to lunch or gift them a gift card from their favorite restaurant and let it do the trick.
4.10 Plan Fun Activities
Planning team activities will bring new energy to your team. It will help to bring up your team’s morale in challenging times. Here are a few activities you can plan to encourage your team and build team morale;
- Team Lunch/Happy Hour: Get out of the office and release all your stress with a chilled beer. Take this opportunity to get close with your team and lay a foundation to build strong team morale.
- Escape Room: Escape room is a great team-building activity to work with your team and come up with a solution to get out of the situation. It helps to build trust and work together towards to a common goal.
- Scavenger Hunt: With this scavenger hunt, colleagues will be able to break the ice, create new connections, and learn more about each other. The newly built connections will motivate all your team members to bounce back with full efficiency.
- Karaoke Night: Maybe it sounds a little crazy but going out on a karaoke night will give your team to sync together and sing in the same tune. Team karaoke will not only help them to destress but also fill them with cheerfulness.
5.1 How do you improve team morale?
Positive team morale is a must to improve your team’s productivity and performance. Here are some proven ways to improve team morale;
- Invest time to build a trustful relationship
- Balance their workload to avoid burnout
- Interact with your teammates outside the office
- Praise your teams more often
5.2 How do you energize your team at work?
To meet the goals, it is important for your team to feel motivated and energized while performing their task. You can ensure your team is working with full efficiency with the following tips;
- Encourage your team to take initiative and come up with new ideas
- Ask for their feedback regularly
- Celebrate your team member’s special milestones like birthdays, anniversaries and promotions
- Provide them with tools and software to ease their work
- Organize a fitness challenge and help them to adopt healthy habits
5.3 How to build team morale at work?
To build team morale at work, you should foster open communication, regularly recognize and reward employee achievements, and promote team-building activities that strengthen interpersonal relationships and mutual trust. Regular team outings and open communication sessions are practical steps on how to build morale within a team.
In a nutshell, understanding how to build team morale is important for a team's long-term success, ensuring lower turnover rates and higher overall satisfaction.