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How to Increase Employee Motivation & Employee Morale in the Workplace

employee being recognized with award

What is Employee Morale?

Employee morale or workspace morale is the morale of employees in a workspace environment. It is proven to have a direct effect on productivity.

An employee’s morale is his or her attitude, satisfaction, and overall outlook in regards to their role and organization at their company. Those with higher job satisfaction are statistically more motivated at work and usually tend to have higher morale than their co-workers who have less job satisfaction.

What is Employee Motivation?

Employee motivation is an intrinsic and internal drive to put forth the necessary effort and action towards work-related activities. It has been broadly defined as the "psychological forces that determine the direction of a person's behavior in an organization, a person's level of effort and a person's level of persistence".

Why Is Employee Morale Important?

Employee morale is a term used to describe the overall attitude of a company’s workers. It includes things like job satisfaction, outlook about the future of the business, relationships with coworkers, and whether they feel appreciated. It has a direct effect on your business: employees with high morale are more productive, more involved in the company, and less likely to quit. Low morale leads to negative company culture and a high turnover rate. It’s really that simple.

What are the Benefits of High Employee Motivation and Employee Morale?

20 Benefits of Motivated Employees

Overall, motivated employees perform much better than unmotivated employees. When comparing motivated staff members vs unmotivated staff members, you’ll notice motivated employees:

  1. Are more productive
  2. Positively influence other employees’ morale/motivation
  3. Are better team players
  4. Are problem solvers
  5. Are more innovative
  6. Are more creative
  7. Are more flexible and adaptable in changing/unexpected situations
  8. Have longer longevity
  9. Have higher loyalty
  10. Are brand ambassadors
  11. Are more proactive
  12. Are more inline with company goals
  13. Take the initiative
  14. Handle uncertainty
  15. Are more confident
  16. Are more engaged
  17. Are more likely to achieve goals
  18. Care more about customer satisfaction
  19. Have increased mental health
  20. Have a positive attitude

24 Employee Motivation Tips: How to Increase Employee Motivation and Morale in the Workplace?

1. Stay Open to Feedback

Lack of communication is a widespread cause of many companies’ downfalls. When employees feel that their opinions are unappreciated, unwanted, or inessential, they stop giving crucial upward feedback.

As a leader, it is important to keep an open channel of frequent and transparent communication with your employees. Oftentimes, employees simply want to vent without expecting you to solve their problems. Most people acknowledge that while managers have some degree of influence, they do not always get to decide how an organization is run.

To set your team apart from many others, be the leader who encourages and graciously accepts feedback from his/her employees. If your employees feel comfortable voicing concerns, sharing ideas, and offering suggestions, they will be more motivated to look for solutions. This mindset ultimately propels the individual and the company forward.

2. Hold Employee Appreciation Events & Activities

Some teams are more social or extroverted than others. Do you get the sense that your employees enjoy working with each other, or that they have a common ground which makes them stronger and more connected? 

You may want to consider holding regularly scheduled employee events and activities to express your appreciation. This strategy works well because it:

  • Shows employees that the cost of hosting an event is much less valuable than their overall happiness and satisfaction
  • Fosters a sense of camaraderie and a deeper connection
  • Allows employees to get to know one another while growing as a team
  • Provides an opportunity for employers to publicly recognize top performers

 

When you host a work event, you need to determine its overall purpose or goal. If you want to use it for team building, you might choose a different type of event than if you wanted to use it for end-of-year awards. Having a clear idea of your intended outcome will make it easier for you to plan and execute the perfect event.

Check out our blog 16 Employee Appreciation Activities and Events for ideas!

3. Offer Flexible Work Schedules

Strict schedules without flexibility quickly cause employees to feel stressed and in some cases, burnt out. Offer flex-time options to employees who are always on time or complete work without issue. Allow your employees to rework their schedules to create a healthy work and life balance.

When employees feel trapped in their current work situation and schedule, they are less likely to put their best work forward and often find themselves out of energy to get the job done. Flextime provides employees with a sense of freedom and independence, making them happier to work for you and contribute to the team.

Depending on your role in the organization, you may be able to offer employees more flexibility with their work schedules. As more companies shift towards hybrid or remote working models, more workers will look for these types of setups.

Stanford research in 2014 found that working from home increased productivity by 13%. If you have the option to offer this model, you may see increases in output and morale. By showing sympathy to each workers’ unique situation and providing some type of flexible work expectations (location, time, etc.), you make your team feel more respected and appreciated. Employees that feel protected by their employers ultimately have more motivation to produce high-quality work.

4. Offer the Option to Work Remotely

One of the biggest workplace trends on the rise includes working from home or remotely. When employees have the opportunity to work from home, they feel trusted, appreciated, and independent. Consider offering your employees to work from home on set days based on their schedules. In some cases, employees are able to work from home at all times, cutting workplace office costs while still maximizing productivity. Remote employees take their positions seriously and work hard to ensure they are capable of maintaining their sense of freedom.

5. Foster Joy!

The dictionary defines morale as: “the mental and emotional condition (as of enthusiasm, confidence, or loyalty) of an individual or group with regard to the function or tasks at hand.” Instilling confidence, promoting enthusiasm, and building loyalty are all goals you should strive to have every day to foster a sense of joy among your staff.

Business leaders foster joy in different ways, and this can vary depending on the type of industry you are in. For example, a supplement/nutrition company might foster joy by providing an on-site gym and healthy team meals once a month. On the other hand, a production company might foster joy by keeping technology updated and providing creative opportunities.

When it comes to creating this atmosphere, you must know your audience and understand what truly makes them happy. You can do this by having one-on-one discussions with employees or by asking them to answer a survey.

Either way, the goal should be to figure out exactly what brings your employees joy and how you can incorporate it in your organization. Many times, you will find that people need simple, inexpensive (or free) perks to feel happier in the workplace.

6. Evaluate Team Dynamics

A frequently overlooked but crucial component of employee morale is team composition. If you have employees who dislike each other or who do not work well together on the same team, this can greatly impact team morale.

Research has shown that employee morale is 23% more dependent on co-workers than managers. Your employees may like you as their leader; however, if they dislike their teammates, they will most likely move on.

Are you able to evaluate your team and identify any individuals who significantly dampen morale? Look for employees who are vocal in their dislike of the work/company and have a candid talk with them about why they feel that way.

You should be open with the employee and let them know which components of the job you can control and which you cannot. If the employee becomes aware that you notice their negativity, this may cause them to consider changing their attitude or deciding to move on from the job.

While turnover is not the goal of boosting morale, sometimes when negative employees leave, you can see an immediate improvement in how the rest of the group thinks and works.

7. Give Recognition

Recognition makes people feel appreciated, and appreciation is essential: 55% of employees are willing to quit their jobs to join a company that clearly recognizes its workers. Recognition motivates workers and can give them a positive outlook on their job, and even employees themselves recognize this – 40% of Americans say they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.

This could range from company shout-outs for doing a great job to employee awards

**Pro tip: Check out our full blog on Employee Recognition for more ideas on how to give your employees more appreciation and recognition at work.

8. Give Out Employee Awards

employee recognition motivation One of the most effective ways to show employee appreciation is to give out awards. You want your employees to know the value of their work and continue to put forth the dedicated effort. 

By providing recognition awards on a regular basis, you show the team or individual that you value their contribution to the organization. The type of work environment you have will determine which awards work best.

For a sales department, competition-based awards may work better than they would in a more collaborative environment. Whichever type of rewards you choose, try to implement a mix of public and individual recognition. One-on-one conversations allow you to personally thank a top performer, while public acknowledgment makes employees feel seen within the organization.

Recognition awards ceremonies, whether they are in person or a virtual awards ceremonies, also improve morale by creating a fun, personal experience outside of office hours. This type of bonding is great for building closer relationships between employees. And close colleagues are more likely to love their companies. 

At EDCO, we provide high-quality crystal awards for all types of accomplishments. Whether you want to send trophies to in-person or remote workers, our dropshipping abilities allow us to deliver to both corporate addresses and individual residences. Call 800-377-8646 today to get started with placing an order.

9. Ensure Proper Training for All Employees

Many organizations fail to realize the importance of proper onboarding or training, employees need to be well-equipped to perform the tasks expected of them at work, so they are set up to succeed and not set up for failure. It’s a win-win for the organization overall.

10. Streamline Hiring Based on Skill Sets

Oftentimes, unqualified employees are hired because of a lack of understanding of different job roles, budgeting, or insufficient interviewing skills. Human Resources should be careful to only hire based on competency and skill set to maximize employee morale, productivity, and overall performance. 

11. Promote mindfulness in the workplace

According to Berkeley University, Mindful working means applying focus and awareness to everything you do from the moment you enter the office. Focusing on the task at hand and recognizing and releasing internal and external distractions as they arise. In this way, mindfulness helps employees increase effectiveness, decrease mistakes, and even enhance creativity.

12. Offer Support Services

Provide support services to all of your employees, regardless of their positions and current seniority. Support services may include therapy, counseling, HR departments, and even team meetings and sessions. Helping your employees feel supported and guided in all facets in life is extremely beneficial when you prefer retaining them as long as possible.

13. Offer Workplace Incentives

Offer workplace incentives that include promotions, bonuses, recognition programs, and even additional vacation time. Incentives are a great way to keep employees focused, working hard, and excited about their positions. Base incentives on sales, completed projects, or new ideas that you plan to implement into your current business model. Avoid excluding any of your employees regardless of their current position by utilizing multiple incentive programs for each independent department.

14. Allow for Job Advancement

There is nothing worse to an employee than a dead-end job. If a worker feels like they aren't going anywhere and there isn't room for advancement, they will begin to look for other forms of employment. One of the benefits of staying at a job for a long period of time is that you'll get salary increases and job title advancements. If neither of these is available, your workers will leave quickly and often.

15. Lead as an Example

Your employees need to see that you're just as willing to get down and dirty for the company as you expect them to do. You need to get on their level and do the exact same work they're doing to show that you care and understand their everyday struggles. A manager who sits at a desk all lay in a cushy air-conditioned office looks smug and arrogant to their workers, especially if you're the same person who tells people what to do.

16. Create a Hassle-free Working Environment

Make sure employees’ working environment is conducive to productivity. Employers want to make sure everyone’s work set up is comfortable and has access to everything needed. Workplace setup can directly impact how productive, comfortable, and satisfied employees are in their daily life at work. When you think about it, employees are spending almost as much time at work as they are at home, so we need to make sure they are happy with it!

17. Set Small, Measurable Goals

Boost motivation by setting clear, achievable goals so employees feel a sense of accomplishment regularly throughout projects/tasks. This helps to avoid those projects that drag on for ages and can foster a sense of boredom/lack of productivity. 

18. Stay Fueled

Make sure office spaces have yummy snacks, Friday pizza day, coffee stations, and more to ensure all employees are fueled up and motivated to work!

19. Foster a Healthy Environment

Help employees to feel comfortable calling out sick if they are feeling ill. If employees don't take the time to rest, they may end up being out of the office longer, and may even get other employees sick. It’s important to make sure employees aren’t afraid to call out to preserve their hardworking image. 

20. Encourage Teamwork

Encourage team members to foster relationships with each other by creating a sense of family in the workspace. Host events to help employees build friendships with conversations about things other than work. Make sure interactions aren’t limited between employees and give them the opportunity to work together and cohesively to improve peer relationships, employee morale, and motivation as a whole!

21. Let Employees Know You Trust Them

Foster relationships with employees to build loyalty and trust. Show them you trust them by letting them own projects without micromanaging. Employers who help employees feel trusted and valued help improve their motivation to work hard and give them self-worth, which overall improves their morale.

22. Create a Culture of Recognition

An employee’s direct manager is responsible for a healthy amount of recognition. Besides, it is the manager who observes and evaluates an employee’s performance and compares it to the rest of the team’s members.

Often an employee’s coworkers also have a clear vantage in understanding the daily work of their counterparts because they “work in the trenches” together.

 Although it can be tricky to mandate employees‘ recognition of each other’s efforts and accomplishments, it can be encouraged by taking the time during a meeting or other gathering to ask employees to give examples of when they noticed coworkers putting forth extra effort. There can also be a designated bulletin board or another area where employees can post such praise for their coworkers.

Peer recognition takes some of the responsibility of recognition off the manager’s plate, but it also fosters a more cooperative team atmosphere in which employees learn to recognize successful behavior and strive to duplicate it.

23. Take Regular Breaks

Working and sitting all day non-stop isn’t healthy for you mentally or physically. Employees, managers, bosses, and everyone should be taking a short break every few hours. You’ll be amazed at the positive effect some fresh air or a quick stretch can have on your mind and body. 

24. Lighten up a bit, and have some fun!

Adding some fun here and there isn’t going to affect your bottom line, but increase employee morale! Having an office ping pong table or golf station set up can give employees time to let off some steam, do some thinking, and come back to work more focused!

 

Employee Motivation and Employee Morale FAQs

What Aspects and Factors Affect Employee Morale and Employee Motivation?

  • Work type/role
  • Supervision
  • Feedback
  • Personal attributes (mental and physical health)
  • The organization an employee works for
  • Work-life balance

What are the types of employee motivation?

  • Achievement
  • Affiliation
  • Competence
  • Power
  • Attitude
  • Incentive
  • Fear

What are the main employee motivation strategies?

  • Stay Open to Feedback
  • Hold Events
  • Offer Flexible Work Schedules
  • Offer the Option to Work Remotely
  • Foster Joy!
  • Evaluate Team Dynamics
  • Give Recognition
  • Give Out Employee Awards
  • Ensure Proper Training for All Employees
  • Streamline Hiring Based on Skill Sets
  • Promote mindfulness in the workplace
  • Offer Support Services
  • Offer Workplace Incentives
  • Allow for Job Advancement
  • Lead as an Example
  • Create a Hassle-free Working Environment
  • Set Small, Measurable Goals
  • Stay Fueled
  • Foster a Healthy Environment
  • Encourage Teamwork
  • Let Employees Know You Trust Them
  • Create a Culture of Recognition
  • Take Regular Breaks
  • Lighten up a bit, and have some fun!

How Does Recognition Improve Morale?

Recognition awards make people feel appreciated, and appreciation is essential: 55% of employees are willing to quit their jobs to join a company that clearly recognizes its workers. Recognition motivates workers and can give them a positive outlook on their job, and even employees themselves recognize this – 40% of Americans say they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.

How Does Employee Motivation Affect Employee Morale?

Although these two concepts are different by definition, they are often directly correlated. In general, employees who are more motivated in their workspace, role, responsibility, etc, have higher morale. Those who are unmotivated, are often unsatisfied with their role, responsibilities, and tasks, so they in turn have lower morale. 

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