You can offer your employees the most thorough training, all the best resources, and a comfortable cubicle, but if morale is low in the office, productivity can still crash to a grinding halt. No matter the cause, a dip in morale is something that should be addressed right away before it spreads through the whole office. Low morale in individuals and in teams will eventually lead to lower productivity, missed days, higher turnover rates, and an overall lack of interest in the work, all of which can be detrimental to the business.
Here are a few ways to deal with low employee morale before it becomes too damaging:
Connect on a Personal Level
If your employees feel like you have the same goals and you’re all in this together, they’re more likely to feel good about the work they’re doing. Make an effort to set aside an hour each week to take a break and get everyone to participate in a fun and interesting team-building exercise, have a “get to know you” hour or have everyone eat lunch together and discuss issues, career goals, and personal dreams. If an hour each week is too much time to give up, make it every other week or once per month. Regardless of the frequency, it’ll give employees something to look forward to, too.
One of the biggest causes of low morale is the feeling of not being appreciated. Regularly show your employees that you recognize and appreciate them so that they don’t think the hard work they’re putting in is going unnoticed. Thanking employees with a note or an e-mail or creating an employee of the month program can boost the mood in the office tremendously.
Remain Open and Honest
Frequent closed-door meetings and whispered rumors can decrease employee confidence and make them question if their job is safe. Obviously, there will always be things that the whole office won’t need to know, but if there are major issues, process changes, or conversations about low morale, discussing these things with your employees will make them feel respected and trusted.
Ask for Feedback
If you’ve sensed a recent shift in the mood in the office, but you’re not sure why, the easiest way to find out is to ask rather than speculating. Whether you ask directly or offer the option of answering anonymous surveys, giving employees the option to provide feedback can make them feel valued and heard, help you understand where the real issues are and how to address them, and even give you some great ideas for improving old processes.
Make the Office More Comfortable
Physical discomfort can have a large impact on the mood and productivity of the office, as well. Uncomfortable chairs, desks that are too small, and poor lighting can make it harder for employees to focus. Make sure that the chairs you provide are comfortable to sit in and offer good support, keep workspaces clear of clutter, and consider offering standing desks so employees can stretch and increase blood flow while they work rather than feeling contained to their chair for eight hours.
Of course, we’ll always recommend keeping your employees well-nourished and caffeinated. So if you’re not using Corporate Coffee Systems for all of your office coffee and breakroom supply needs – we’re always here to help!