5 Ways to Improve Employee Morale

Two coworkers at the edge of a desk, brainstorming, and showing positive employee morale.

You can tell when employee morale is high: workers are motivated, collaborative, productive, energized, and committed. When employees enjoy their work and view the company positively, they work harder, they’re happier, and they’re less likely to be counting down the seconds until 5 p.m. or searching for jobs on Monster during their lunch break.

Companies with strong employee morale have higher levels of employee engagement and better overall performance. Those in the top quartile for employee engagement outperform those in the bottom quartile, according to data based on 12 elements surveyed and scored by Gallup. In general, data shows that highly engaged employees work harder and stay at a company longer.

Now that you know the irrefutable benefits of high employee morale, you probably want to know how to make your company’s even stronger. Here are some best practices that will help you improve morale and boost your bottom line.

1. Implement Employee Feedback

One of the most effective ways to increase employee morale is to respond to employee feedback. To do that, it’s essential to foster a workplace in which employees feel comfortable sharing constructive criticism.

In addition to conducting exit interviews with employees who are leaving the company, consider conducting frequent stay interviews with employees who haven’t handed in their two weeks’ notice. While the insights from both are helpful, stay interviews can help you retain top talent before they leave for your competition.

Here are some revealing stay interview questions you could ask:

  • What could we do to improve the company culture?
  • What do you like most and least about your role?
  • What could we do to improve your work experience?
  • What are your short- and long-term career goals?
  • What support and resources do you need to hit your goals?

Depending on the size of your company, HR may not have the bandwidth to interview all employees. Ask your HR department to interview people from a variety of departments and seniority levels to get diverse feedback. It can also be helpful to ask managers to have weekly or monthly one-on-one meetings to discuss expectations, goals, and feedback.

2. Create Shared Goals and Objectives

Your employees will be more motivated if they understand the impact their work has on the company’s success. Quarterly town hall meetings, where colleagues share objectives for the quarter and actionable strategies for achieving them, are great for building employee morale. Use this time to discuss what the team accomplished the previous quarter and how each department contributed.

Your department leaders likely set departmental goals and objectives each quarter. You could ask department leaders to have similar team meetings once a month. These departmental meetings are likely to increase engagement and collaboration.

3. Foster a Collaborative Work Environment

Collaboration increases productivity, teamwork, innovation, and employee engagement. Instead of viewing other employees as the competition, employees work together and can accomplish more.

One way to increase collaboration across departments and seniority levels is to create employee resource groups (ERGs). These employee-led groups allow people with shared interests to come together and support one another.

Some companies also have formal mentorship programs that match senior and junior employees from different departments. Your employees are likely to learn from one another, whether it’s a new marketing or tech skill or how to navigate office politics.

4. Increase Career Advancement

Promotions and raises are an essential way to increase employee morale. If you don’t already, it’s helpful to have a career development plan in place with all employees so that they know the goals they need to hit and the skills they need to develop to move up the ladder.

Provide employees with the tools and support they need to get there, such as training programs and professional development stipends. You’ve probably heard some variation of the saying, “People don’t leave jobs. They leave managers.” Consider having specific management training programs to equip new managers with the hard and soft skills to be successful.

5. Boost Work-Life Balance

If your people are stressed and exhausted, employee morale will decrease faster than the office coffee supply. Fortunately, there are ways you can encourage a healthy work-life balance so that your team is motivated and energized when they’re in the office.

Instead of having a typical nine-to-five schedule for all employees, you could let employees set hours that work for themselves and their families. For example, parents could start at 7 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. to pick their kids up from school. Another way to increase flexibility (and significantly decrease commute time) is to allow people to work from home all or some of the time.

Continue to Build Morale at Your Workplace

Since you’re looking for ways to improve workplace morale, it’s clear you care about creating a company culture where your employees thrive. Sign up to receive free hiring advice, data-driven analysis, and special offers in your inbox so that you spend less time searching for best practices and more time implementing them.