Posted by : Amanda Stein Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We've all heard it, happy employees are productive employees. But sometimes, even generally happy employees get frustrated, annoyed or discouraged. When morale sinks for a staff, their productivity usually tends to plummet. Absenteeism and other problems with productivity can arise with consistent morale issues within a workplace environment. It's important to consider whether your company is facing this issue by looking for signs like discontent, absenteeism, and low-productivity. After you've diagnosed a low-morale problem, it is vital that you seek ways to reverse it. When the gloom hits your office, consider the causes and strive immediately to make a difference. If you're unsure where to begin this process, here are five ideas for ways to boost employees’ morale.

1. Remind everyone about the big picture

Sometimes it’s easy for employees to get caught up in the daily grind of meetings, deadlines and emails and forget what they’re really working for. Reminding employees about the big picture and overall company purpose can be a great motivator. A company that makes vehicle safety equipment, for example, could remind employees of how many lives the company’s equipment has saved.

2. Do something different

Switch it up every now and then with an unexpected treat. Something as simple as free donuts on Monday morning can go a long way to brighten employees’ moods. Or go big and really rev up the energy by hiring, say, a massage therapist to give free massages for an afternoon. Take a high-performing team to an afternoon movie. Hold a breakfast meeting in a fancy restaurant. Breaking up monotony can really help.

3. A simple greeting card

Okay, it may sound a little cheesy, but a greeting card — especially one from the boss — can do wonders to help employees understand how appreciated and essential they are. Corporate holiday greeting cards with pictures of the CEO in an ugly Christmas sweater or pun-filled pages can become an annual tradition that can even become a part of your corporate culture. Employees may even start looking forward to the cards if you keep them interesting and fun. Cards can, of course, come at all times of the year, too. A card that is personalized and a surprise can make a serious change for morale as most employees greatly appreciate superiors taking time to do something thoughtful.

4. Fix a problem

Often, employees face routine, repetitive stressors that don’t have to be stressful. These are the essential daily, weekly, or monthly tasks that make employees cringe, roll their eyes, and mutter a cuss word or two. Often, these tasks can be streamlined or reworked to reduce the stress. Are mileage forms a pain to fill out? Take a day and redesign the form so it takes five minutes instead of 20. Your employees will immediately feel the difference.

5. Acknowledge the victories

Employees shouldn’t only hear from the boss when there’s a problem. Make sure there’s a system in place to recognize and reward good work. You don’t have to pass out gold stars for every completed task, but occasionally rewarding consistent, high-quality work will help ensure that the good work continues indefinitely.

Morale can be a difficult beast to tame, but it is proven to be a worthwhile endeavor. Without some efforts to boost morale in the workplace, companies and organizations can face absenteeism, discontent, and poor performance. While having these issues effect one person or department can be a serious challenge, seeing a company-wide culture of low morale can devastate a company's ability to succeed. The Gallup Organization has estimated that unhappy workers are costing the American economy as much as $350 billion dollars every year through illness, absenteeism, and other morale-related issues. Clearly, if you haven't addressed your employees' morale, it can become a serious issue, but utilizing the idea above can be a great start to boosting employee feelings of happiness, productivity, and motivation.

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