Employee morale affects company success. It is also one of extra kick employees have, such that they show up to work either enthusiastically or look like a living zombie. When a positive work environment is built and created, employees will look forward to coming back to work every day. On the other hand, when an overwhelming and stressful work environment is established, everyone knows what will happen to the company’s development. Without good morale, employees are unengaged and unmotivated in their jobs.
During tough times like COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to keep employees happy and motivated – so they keep giving their best even at the worst of times. But before we discuss the HOW, let’s understand the WHY employee morale can decrease.
- Lack of growth – employees need personal growth just as much as the business does. Without personal boost, they will become disengaged and eventually leave for a more challenging role.
- No clarity/no transparency – manager’s expectation and employee’s engagement go hand in hand. Without clear expectation, employees will not feel motivated to get jobs done.
- Leadership changes – some employees might feel comfortable with leader A but not leader B. But change is necessary at times to avoid monotonous work life. Thus, when change happens, make sure you monitor employee morale.
- Leadership problem – bad leadership leads to poor engagement, motivation, and of course, morale.
As we already know some of the causes why morale is low, here are some ways to improve employee morale during difficult times like today.
See also: The German Way: Few Hours, Great Productivity
- More and more communications – uncertainty happens everywhere, including workplaces. But no one likes uncertain answers, especially during difficult times. Hence, more communication and transparency is needed to ensure that employees feel valued, seen, and belonged.
- Inspire and encourage – one way to inspire your staff is by showing them that the management trusts them. There are two main ways, including a test scheme (by testing management or work strategy that you might never have before like WFH), and educating your staff more on safety (focuses on both virtual and real issues).
- Financial safety – financial breakdown might happen sooner or later during unprecedented times. And to work peacefully, employees need to be financially safe. Therefore, it will be great if companies provide financial education, such as how to invest or spend money wisely during hard times.
The best thing you can do as leaders, managers, or HR staff is to embrace changes that positively benefit all before low morale hits. Offer any of the tips aforementioned and office morale is sure to increase.
Read also: Protecting Employee’s Mental Wellbeing Through COVID-19: An Interview with Raymond Lew, CEO of Sun Life Malaysia