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How To

How to Boost Employee Morale and Motivation

Andrew Langat
December 5, 2022
An employee reading a motivation quote on her laptop.
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Once in a while, we all need some motivation or morale booster. It may be to finish an online course, participate in a marathon, or even finally quit that annoying habit that lowers productivity. The same applies in the workplace, and it is quite common. A Gallup research established that only 36% of employees feel engaged.

For managers, knowledge of how to boost employee morale and motivation is vital in creating a positive workplace culture that is a cornerstone of a healthy work environment.

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What is Employee Morale?

Employee morale is a psychological state that encompasses an employee's attitude, feelings, confidence, and sentiments towards their employer, colleagues, senior leadership, or their job while working with an organization.

Employee morale is a key determinant of how employees are motivated and shapes their moral character, leading to high or low employee morale.

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What is Employee Motivation?

Employee motivation is the level of enthusiasm employees have for their job. It encompasses zeal and commitment in the course of work. This motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic.

Intrinsic employee motivation refers to an inward drive toward work. According to the self-determination theory, such personalities are driven by an innate tendency to learn, pursue new challenges, take responsibility for their behavior, set targets, and work towards their realization.

An example of intrinsic motivation in a workplace is a customer support executive taking a private online course to learn more about customer support to improve customer satisfaction.

Extrinsic employee motivation refers to the drive towards accomplishment due to external incentives or avoiding negative consequences. Intrinsic motivation can either be tangible or intangible. Examples of tangible incentives include improved compensation packages or promotions. An example of intangible benefits includes peer recognition.

An employee looking at the camera while using her laptop.

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What are the Characteristics of Demoralized Employees?

A demoralized workplace has employees with the following characteristics: missed deadlines, poor customer service, negative mindset, negative outlook, and low engagement levels. This, if unchecked, can potentially lead to a business's closure as it directly impacts a company's bottom line.

Improving employee morale is not rocket science it involves a series of steps that includes making employees feel heard, appreciated, and highly engaged. This win-win proposition leads to better performance leading to increased productivity.

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Ten ways of Boosting Employee Morale and Motivation

An infographic listing ten ways of boosting employee morale and motivation.

To boost employees' morale in the workplace, do the following:

1. Create a Positive Work Culture

In a positive work culture, the well-being of employees is prioritized, and everyone feels at home. In such an environment where psychological safety is assured, employees can deliver an exceptional performance that positively impacts the company's performance.

A Toxic workplace is not only the reason for employee attrition but also affects a company's bottom line. A 2019 Society of Human Resource Management study estimated that toxic workplaces cost employers $223 billion in five years.

To create a positive work culture and increase employee morale and motivation, do the following:

  • Prioritize the importance of psychological safety
  • Identify toxic behaviors and create strategies for eliminating them
  • Focus on employee engagement
  • Create an inclusive workplace that has no room for any discrimination
  • Clearly explain company goals and each employee's role
  • Encourage a positive attitude from the top management
  • Encourage an environment of open feedback

2. Recognize Employees

When employees know they are recognized and appreciated, it boosts employee morale and motivation. Studies show that employees want to be recognized in the workplace as it is related to the basic need of individuals.

The absence of employee recognition lowers morale and motivation. Recognition can either be done through formal or informal recognition.

Formal employee recognition occurs in established structures designed to achieve certain objectives. For example, recognizing employees who have served for a given number of years.

Informal employee recognition focuses on performance and milestones and sets monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals. Recognition may be in gift cards, an employee of the month awards, certificates, preferential parking, etc.

Day-to-day recognition is daily and is means to enhance positive behavior and set an example to colleagues.

3. Organize Team Building Activities

Team building activities are important in creating a team that can work together to achieve the set goals. It improves employee morale by creating good employee relationships through team building is important for companies or businesses.

The benefits of such activities are immense, and this may result in better employee collaboration, employee motivation, planning skills, and increased communication.

Organizing fun activities away from the office environment helps the team enjoy themselves, interact and share ideas that will allow the team connects in a different setting. These activities will result in genuine employee connections, resulting in productivity and a good working environment.

4. Open Communication.

In any venture, communication is key. Passing along clear information can be a stepping stone to success. A good manager should be able to ensure that he or she has a good communication channel with staff and employees.

To start, you should clearly outline clear and realistic goals for employees in your team. Also, schedule meetings to check progress and clear up any arising issues.

Enhanced communication can improve an organization's productivity by 25%- mckinsey

In addition, check on your employees from time to time and help out in any way you can. Providing regular and open communication on matters and achievements concerning your employees, as to boosting morale in a workspace, this one is important.

5. Transparency.

One of the best ways to improve employee morale and motivation is by practicing transparency. Transparency builds trust, drives employee engagement, enhances innovation, and boosts workplace morale.

Moreover, it motivates employees to be the best version of themselves, further enhancing job satisfaction.

6. Encourage Diversity.

By encouraging diversity in a workplace, your employees will feel appreciated, and they will know that outside-the-box thinking is encouraged.

A Forbes article notes that

teams and companies that prioritize diversity offer a variety of ideas, perspectives, and learning opportunities".

Diverse employees can be assets in a workplace because they bring together new experiences, talents, various skills, and inventive and creative solutions. Diversity in a workplace cuts down on the monotony of doing things the same way.

Diversity brings employees together, and much of the work is done as a team; this boosts morale in your company.

7. Facilitate Employee Growth.

Employees in any workplace always want to improve their productivity, especially high-potential, top-talent employees. Managers can play a major role by giving the team a sense of purpose to have something to look forward to and a goal they can achieve.

Employees like to be appreciated and feel a sense of growth in a workplace to be motivated to always perform at a high level. It might not necessarily have to be a promotion, but you can have some training sessions to help them improve their professional skills.

8. Employee Feedback.

Encouraging feedback from your employees is a great way to boost morale. Your employees will be motivated when they know they are being heard and you are keen on what they say. However, listening to them is not enough; you need to act on the feedback given.

A study conducted by Gallup identified that;

  • 40% of employees who do not receive feedback are likely to be disengaged. In the US, disengaged employees can cost companies about $400-500 billion annually in production losses.
  • Motivating employees pays off, and about 78% of employees who got recognized were motivated to do their jobs.

Employee feedback is an essential aspect of boosting the performance and development of employees, and the above information proves encouraging a feedback culture in a company is key.

9. Manage Change.

Change in any work of life is inevitable, and we all have to experience it one way or the other. A workplace is no exception. In a workplace, changes can be hard, but it's a necessary evil to stay competitive.

But if a change is not handled or communicated properly, it can damage employee morale and the workplace culture.

An example is when your company decides to freeze hiring, the current employees may think that the company is downsizing and seeing that the jobs are unsafe, they become less motivated. So it's important that you communicate to put them at ease and assure them that their jobs are safe.

When implementing something new in your company, it's important that you create and communicate your plan and be precise on reasons for change, what not to fuss about and what to anticipate.

10. Create opportunities for a Work-Life Balance.

Employees must have a proper balance between their work and personal lives. If you help your employees organize and conduct their daily activities so that they can work conveniently and have a decent amount of time to deal with their personal life will increase their morale. They will feel motivated to bring in better results for the company.

They will have enough time for themselves, their families, and their friends. It will make them feel refreshed when they come to work and do their best.

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Why is it Important to maintain Employee morale?

In the current day and age, skilled and talented workers expect a lot from their employers because they have choices regarding where to work. Therefore, to retain and attract talented workers, you need to maintain employee morale.

Maintaining an environment where morale is high ensures that the employees can go above and beyond to do their best to bring up excellent results; it will build up an enabling environment for the company to thrive and succeed.

You can improvise ways of raising morale and motivating your employees, including the ones above. This will help you engage your employees and likely ensure high retention rates.

Inspiring, isn’t it ? Want to learn more about connecting self-awareness to professional development? Get in touch today.

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How Highrise Can Help

At Highrise, we understand the foundation of a strong team is high morale and motivation. Great managers know how to motivate and maintain high employee morale irrespective of skill sets or whether they run a big or small business.

Suppose you are struggling with ways to boost employee morale or motivate employees. In that case, we have a solution for you through our executive coaching program that will help build employee morale and lead to a positive workplace culture.

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Andrew Langat
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Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.