There is no doubt some morale boosts are going to require investment in time and resource however there are ways to show employees they are valued that only require a shift in communication style:
Be a positive speaker
There are three primary management styles when communicating with employees. Neutral, where managers don’t say too much, negative, where employers may point out flaws or focus on criticism, and positive highlighting good performance and encouraging the outcome you want in your communications. Try to keep communications as positive as possible as this is likely to impact how employees feel while at work.
Although official employee recognition programmes can be a more costly exercise, do not underestimate the benefit of a well-timed ‘well done’. Taking the time to send an email to an employee copying in others, for a job well done can do a lot to let them and your wider team know you appreciate and value their contribution.
Be actively available
Actively meet employees and ask about their concerns, particularly at the moment. A suggestion from a human resources consultant who has worked with Fortune 500 companies, is to conduct ‘stay interviews’ to understand what keeps employees with your business. It is also an opportunity to ask what within your company could be improved? Feeling heard is likely to provide a morale boost to teams however it may fade fast if they can not see change happening.
Pre-pandemic, any business change or initiative was likely to be bolstered by a robust communications plan. During these uncertain times, regular communication is even more essential to avoid feelings of isolation. Tailor communications to the audience as much as possible and have relevant messages based on the needs of each stakeholder. For example, your communications with employees should be different to what you are communicating to customers.
Morale can only reach a certain level without trust in leadership, so transparency really matters when it comes to boosting employee spirits in the long term. Research show that 80% of employees want to know more about how decisions are made, and this can only be achieved with a real commitment to transparency and open communication by everyone in the business.
Fun ways to boost morale at work
Although there is a serious component to high morale, if teams are just missing out on the enjoyment that was part of your company culture pre-pandemic, there are some fun ways to boost morale that may be really effective, including:
- Start a virtual book club
- Have a virtual treasure hunt
- Host a photo competition
- Promote company wide unplugged hours
- Remote volunteering
- Guess the baby competition
- Virtual escape room challenge
- Begin a parent group
If low morale pre-dates the pandemic or is so bad it is causing high turnover, there may be a need for longer term initiatives to drive change but we hope these elements provide a good starting point.
Employee morale is not something to be ignored if you want to keep your workforce productive and engaged but neither is their physical and mental wellbeing. If you have employees working in different locations on international assignment, we are happy to answer any questions you have about international healthcare for your employees.