Marketing

Why Boosting Employee Morale Helps Employees Stay Engaged

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Kia

18 Dec, 2019

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“There’s plenty of fish in the sea”, “Don’t cry over spilled milk”,  “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” (who came up with that phrase, anyway?)

They’re all cliches. So why bring them up? 

Because we’re about to throw another one at you. But only to remind you that despite how familiar and repetitive they are – they’re true. That’s why people use them. 

So when we say a business is only as strong as its weakest link – we mean it. 

Google’s consistently landed in the top spots on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work list for the better part of a decade, and it’s no wonder why. 

Imagine arriving in the morning to a gourmet breakfast and juice bar after dropping junior off at the campus daycare. You strut into your building with your good boy in tow and start a productive day at the office. 

Only to be interrupted by complimentary massages and trips to the recreation rooms. And FINALLY, you’re chauffeured (*pinky out!*) back home in a company-provided shuttle, feeling accomplished and appreciated.

Google is a lot of people’s dream company. And like we said in the 90’s, “No duh!” 

Who wouldn’t want a sweet job with all those perks? 

But a company doesn’t have to be a huge conglomerate to show staff appreciation and keep employee morale high. 

And that’s good to know, because according to Gallup’s May 2017 statistics, only about 30 percent of employees are actually engaged. 

And unengaged employees are often unproductive employees. At best they’re doing their jobs unenthusiastically. But at worst, they’ve got one foot out the door and aren’t even invested in your company or the work they’re doing for it. 

Keeping your employee morale high boosts productivity, saves money on turnover rates, increases collaboration, and makes your company someplace good employees WANT to be, instead of focusing on an escape strategy rather than working. 

 So what do you need to do to make sure your employees stay happily put with you? We’re glad you asked.  

You gotta give a little to get a little

The fact is, while people may like, or even love their jobs, they work because they have to. Otherwise, we’d all be binging Netflix 24/7 and working on our Instagram follower count.

Ok, so we go to work because we HAVE to. But that doesn’t mean it also absolutely HAS to be unenjoyable, and the best employees know that.

And they know their worth. 

They’ve done their research. They’re willing to give their best to a company, but they expect the best in return. So offering good benefits like comprehensive health insurance, retirement plans, education assistance – and especially additional fun little perks like equipment budgets and recreation stipends makes your company more enticing. 

Benefits people actually want will draw the best candidates to YOU. And they’ll make your current employees more likely to stay because they feel valued and like they’re (wait for it), BENEFITING from working for you. 

And as long as your employees feel like they’re benefiting from being with you as much as you’re benefiting from their hard work, you have a healthy balance.  

Boost employee morale with competitive benefits like:

  • Competitive pay
  • Competitive vacation
  • Travel stipend 
  • Office perks
  • Stock options 
  • Tuition reimbursement 
  • Employee discounts
  • Performance bonuses
  • Childcare discounts
  • Professional development
  • Financial planning resources
  • Pet insurance 
  • Volunteer hours
  • Naptime 
  • Student loan repayment 

Could your culture use some SHOCK? 

Newsflash! 

People don’t want to spend the majority of their lives in an uncomfortable, unhealthy, unhappy environment. They also don’t want to spend it around people they don’t like or are unable to get along with. And work…tends to be where people spend the majority of their time. 

So it’s really important to strive for good work culture. That means an environment people are comfortable in. And one where everyone gets along and inspires collaboration and teamwork – which means innovation for you. 

A good work culture means your employees feel taken care of and happy to work for YOU in particular – not just content to have a job. And it means your team generally gets along with each other and management. 

Again – you’ll never have employees begging to come into work. We already addressed that. People don’t spend 40 plus hours of their week at work because they want to. But if they’re going to, making work a place they’re happy to be is going to do your operation and your bottom line huge favors. 

And like awesome benefits, a really great work culture attracts top of the line employees, too. Because if someone is going to spend half of their waking hours someplace and around the same people, it better be worth it. 

Boost employee morale with a great work culture:

  • Host happy hours and social events
  • Maintain open lines of communication with employees
  • Reward contributions 
  • Show transparency with company decisions 
  • Embrace employee autonomy and trust employees to do their jobs
  • Encourage employee conversations and relationship-building 
  • Offer pet-friendly work areas 
  • Provide fun recreation and entertainment options in break areas
  • Offer on-site personal care
  • Plan fun team-building activities like escape rooms, community volunteering, show-and-tells  

Keep a stress ball, not your employees in balls of stress

Millennials, in particular, take a beating for being “sensitive”. But there’s a lot to be said about harsh workplace environments. 

The old school of management says that micromanaging and cutthroat tactics encourage employees to work harder. but studies show that high stress working environments actually reduce efficiency by negatively impacting employees’ mental and physical health. 

Almost half of all working adults rate their workplace’s ability to reduce stress at fair or poor. 

Stress is known to be a high factor contributing to heart disease and mental illness. So the more people seek medical care for work-related stress issues, the more companies are essentially causing themselves to pay out in medical benefits that they’re responsible for creating in the first place. 

Look, we get that life can’t always be butterflies and rainbows. But intentionally piling on more stress and drama to your employees is a quick way to turn your entrance into a revolving door of leaving employees. 

Deadlines have to be met. Mistakes happen. Balls get dropped and slack needs to be picked up. 

A little stress is inevitable. Heck, a little stress is even good for you! 

But it’s something to be dealt with as it occurs naturally. Not purposely facilitated to drive production. It doesn’t work and can help drive away good employees. 

It’s not totally avoidable, but keeping stress levels low helps keep employee morale high. And that’s good for everyone. 

Boost employee morale by facilitating stress-free environments:

  • Provide training for management on stress reduction strategies
  • Create REALISTIC goals that employees can reach
  • Provide clear communication and expectations – don’t leave employees guessing 
  • Offer fair compensation
  • Recognize employee accomplishments 
  • Provide safe work environments
  • Manage conflicts timely and respectfully 
  • Create paths to career advancement
  • Do expect excellence but don’t always expect perfection
  • Encourage physical activity and movement throughout the day
  • Make employees feel valued
  • Provide sufficient resources for employees to work efficiently

Keep the scales fair and provide a good work-life balance

Forty hours (and often more!) is a lot to dedicate to anything besides yourself and your immediate family. 

And it often doesn’t even occur to people to think about the commute and the amount of time we spend just getting ready to go to work – daily lunch prep, daily grooming habits, managing the home in preparation for the day without you. 

Even when we’re not AT work, we spend a lot of time thinking about it, preparing for it, and traveling to and from it. So a 40 hour workweek could still realistically be occupying 50 or more hours of your week. 

That’s already a lot. So when employees are required to continually sacrifice even more personal life, morale tends to drop – people don’t like feeling like their lives revolve around their careers.

However, when a company shows genuine concern about their lives, employees are more likely to stick around.

Boost employee morale by making sure staff has enough “Me Time”:

  • Provide parental leave for natural and adoptive parents
  • Offer bereavement time
  • Offer sabbaticals or extended leaves (within reason)
  • Be flexible with scheduling
  • Maintain reasonable shifts
  • Offer remote work opportunities 
  • Don’t contact employees during off-hours
  • Don’t expect (or imply) that employees should work when they aren’t scheduled
  • Offer ample vacation time and encourage employees to take it
  • Encourage breaks throughout the day as needed (not just 10 minutes twice a day)
  • Be a good model (no one will take time off if they need if the boss leads by an example of overworking)

Here’s the deal. It’s 2020 and there’s no reason for our work culture to still reflect depression-era standards. 

Times have changed and people are realizing they don’t have to put up with the status quo. 

These days, the internet rules. Qualified candidates can research benefits before even applying to a job, and current employees aren’t afraid to walk away if something better comes along. 

Keeping good and productive employees means keeping happy and valued employees, and that doesn’t have to mean needing a net worth in the billions. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. And keeping your employee morale high brings the whole company’s morale up with it.

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