The importance of morale in the workplace really cannot be underestimated. I’m sure we’ve all worked in a job where for whatever reason we have felt unhappy or demotivated. This feeling reduces productivity and can often lead people to start looking elsewhere for alternative employment. In addition to this colleague cooperation can greatly suffer as individuals who are not feeling as happy as others will tend to become withdrawn and uncommunicative. Commitment towards the company’s goals and targets will often become a lower priority to such employees too and all of these factors can quickly snowball and what was once just a minor niggle becomes a feeling of disinterest and unhappiness. Good managers should be keeping an eye on the morale of their colleagues to ensure that this does not happen for the above reasons but unfortunately many are too focused on the numbers and results without considering the implications of poor morale. So how can a workplace prevent this possibility materialising? Here are a few key ways to mitigate the problem.
Often monotony is what can lead employees to lose their enthusiasm in their job. By encouraging participation in different tasks and learning how to do more than one thing can really help with this. If somebody is repeatedly repeating the same thing over and over they are likely to become progressively slower over time as they are simply bored of repeating the same motions over and over again. Keep people engaged and interested by adding variety and sharing tasks between people. By having new skills to learn you will boost interest, focus and with it morale.
Treat People like People
Far too many workplaces are so concentrated on work and work alone that people become treated as numbers instead of human beings. People should never feel like they are just part of a machine. Given the sheer number of hours spent in the workplace there needs to be a balance struck. Take the time to have non-work associated conversations and show genuine interest in people because this will spread across the team. People will be more committed to one another through this and more helpful and cooperative. Consider also that many people might be going home to a place where they live alone and so work might be the most social thing they do during a day. If it is completely antisocial then they are sure to become demoralised very quickly.
Another fault which many businesses are guilty of is picking out faults or underperformance but then ignoring the accomplishments which colleagues make. You should be recognising these things and finding a way to acknowledge them. If this is not done then people can develop an attitude where they think there is no point working so hard or pushing themselves if there are others who just get by doing the bare minimum but are basically treated and even payed the same. How you go about this is up to you. You could give out vouchers periodically or regular awards for noted achievements. It need not be expensive, something as simple as giving out some cheap trophies and approaching a company to provide trophy engraving to personalise them can really go a long way to boosting the morale in a company.