Low employee morale can be a serious concern for a business. Unhappy employees can lead to reduced productivity, poor customer service and problems with employee retention. While incentives such as raises, benefits and employee recognition programs can help increase employee morale, if your company is suffering from low morale, it is vital to be able to identify the root causes.
Constantly changing employee goals can exhaust employees who are trying to do a good job. Being told that something is an important goal is a motivator for good workers, but when they put all their energy and time into accomplishing that goal only to have it discarded for a new goal, the result can be discouragement and a feeling of lack of accomplishment. Employees should be assigned tasks that are possible for them to accomplish, along with clear guidelines about how to accomplish the tasks and a clear indicator of when the tasks’ goals are accomplished.
Nothing brings down morale like confusion. Employees lacking clear guidance can spend days, weeks or even months on the job not knowing exactly what is expected of them. When this happens they tend to perform poorly by management’s standards and often experience a drop in morale as they begin to believe they are wasting their time and the company’s. This problem is easily remedied. When a new employee is hired or a new responsibility is assigned to an existing employee, the hiring manager should make the job expectations clear and arrange for proper training on correct procedures and deadlines. An employee who understands the usefulness and methods of completing his tasks each day will have far higher morale than one who wanders aimlessly or spends time doing things that turn out to be unproductive.
Creating a workplace in which an open line of communication to management is not available is dangerous to staff morale. Employees often have insight into ways to improve workplace procedures or the company’s end product, or may have legitimate issues with problematic procedures or staff. If employees don’t feel comfortable approaching a boss, either with ideas or problems, management runs the risk of missing out on creative ideas and having problems fester. Employees should be encouraged to voice their ideas and concerns to management without repercussions. Set up guidelines that let employees know how to privately discuss issues, and never make them feel as though they are doing something wring by doing so.
Low morale often results from simply wasting talent. People are often hired for jobs that they are overqualified for or who have a different skill set or interests than what the job requires. When this happens, employees can easily get frustrated or bored with the work, and can end up being more concerned about how to leave the company than how to do a good job. Not only is the resulting lack of productivity and potential turnover bad for business, but it robs a person of the ability to reach her true potential. Finding a more appropriate position for an employee may save both the employee and the company frustration and potential financial loss.
Did you know?
With low morale comes a high price tag. The Gallup Organization estimates that there are 22 million actively disengaged employees costing the American economy as much as $350 billion dollars per year in lost productivity including absenteeism, illness, and other problems that result when employees are unhappy at work.
According to the CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey, employers have failed to make significant headway against the costly absenteeism problem that takes billions of dollars off the bottom line for U.S. businesses. The nation’s largest employers estimate that unscheduled absenteeism costs their businesses more than $760,000 per year in direct payroll costs, and even more when lower productivity, lost revenue, and the effects of poor morale are considered (“CCH 2007 Unscheduled,” 2007).
- 67% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged while at work
- 85% of employees are either actively looking or open to looking for new employment opportunities
- 69% of HR professionals recognize that employee disengagement is a significant problem
Boost provides innovative, affordable and accessible training that helps disengaged employees in a multitude of ways. Our innovative courses train employees on how to be more present, confident and in control of their professional and personal lives by understanding and improving in the following areas
- Mindfulness at work
- Emotional Intelligence
- Improve mental health and wellness
- Time management
- Proactive communication (responding instead of reacting)
Research shows that simply doing just 15 minutes of mindfulness-based meditation such as concentrating on breathing can lead to more rational thinking and improved moral. Studies investigate the effects of mindfulness on a phenomenon known as sunk-cost bias. Sunk-cost bias occurs when you’ve invested so much into a hopeless project, you can’t bring yourself to stop for fear of losing all that was invested.
This type of thinking influences future business decisions in a negative way. Mindfulness training reduces the tendency to allow prior unrecoverable costs to influence future business decisions.
leaders who display mindfulness on the job result in happier employees and increased employee morale.
Mindfulness is associated with higher quality relationships because mindful people are fully present. Employees can usually tell when their managers are zoning out or daydreaming–possibly indicating they don’t want to be at work with them. Whether they realize it or not, employees pick up on this disengaged behavior, and feel not only peripheral, but also allowed to be just as disengaged at work.
When managers are fully present, not just physically but with their entire being in their interactions with employees, employees feel valued and respected. Feelings of value and respect translate into a sense of interpersonal justice in the workplace, the studies found. This leads to higher job satisfaction and organizational commitment
- Boost training reduced staff disengagement by 25%
- Improved confidence by 40%
- Increases sales by 39%
- Motivation increased by 20%
- Improved Focus by 30%
- Mitigates risks and liabilities within the organization
“My experience with Boost has helped me a lot! My self-confidence has gone up. It made me think outside of the box a lot. I used to struggle with me being the hardest person on myself, but I don’t do that anymore. I had a great experience with Boost & I hope we do it again next year!” – Rosa M.
- CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey
- Cron.com article “causes of low employee morale”