How to Boost Employee Morale: 15 Helpful Tips

Heather Harper

Written by Heather Harper

Dec 20, 2022  - Last updated: Aug 10, 2023

There’s a lot of buzz about employee morale across all industries, and the following stats explain why.

  1. Employees are said to value “trust, passion, and mentorship” the most at work.
  2. Raising the engagement levels in your company may lead to £52-70bn worth of productivity gains in one year.
  3. Teams with higher employee engagement are 22% more profitable than those with low employee engagement.
  4. Just 30% of UK businesses have employee engagement initiatives.
  5. 63% of employees suggest that poor communication getting in the way of their job is a reason why they’d consider quitting.
  6. 76% of employees confirm that workplace culture affects their productivity.

The stats show that boosting employee morale can go a long way in improving your workplace culture, employee retention, and, ultimately, profits. But how do you improve it?

Today we’re here to help you with 15 effective strategies.

But before we get into that, let’s cover the basics.


What Is Employee Morale?

Benefits of Building Employee Morale

How to Boost Employee Morale

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Words

What Is Employee Morale?

Employee morale is the overall attitude employees have toward the organization/company they work for. It’s directly connected to concepts such as work productivity, employee engagement, job satisfaction, and overall outlook of work-life balance.

Put simply, employee morale shows how your employees feel about coming to work each day, how they approach their tasks and responsibilities, and their views about where the company they work for is heading.

Employee morale is part of every company’s culture - a positive company culture means high morale and an ambitious work environment, whereas a negative culture means poor company morale and leads to a loss in productivity and a negative employee experience.

Benefits of Building Employee Morale

Employee morale is a reflection of the group sentiment your employees have towards the work they do overall, and it’s influenced by a variety of emotional and physical factors, and factors related to group dynamics. Therefore, improving it can have a huge positive impact on your business. Let’s see how.

1) Improving interpersonal relationships

When employee morale is high, employees are less stressed, don't tend to exhibit negative behaviors, and are much more willing to communicate with colleagues. In general, good interpersonal relationships allow employees to be more inclined to work together with teammates and accomplish more.

This also applies to the relationship and interaction employees have with their managers. When this communication flows smoothly, employees find it easier to inquire about their work-related goals when they need help, reach out and discuss their wants and needs, and take advantage of any opportunities for growth.

2) Increased cost-effectiveness

High morale leads to better psychological and physical health of the people in your team, which translates into fewer sick days for employees.

This may sound exaggerated, however, it’s the truth.

When employees feel stressed, under pressure, and overwhelmed by their workload, it takes a toll on their health after a while. In fact, it’s been proven that it may lead to headaches, chronic health problems, body aches, and irritability, or worsen conditions like asthma.

This leads to employee burnout and disengagement and, ultimately, poor morale. And low employee engagement levels cost companies $450-500 billion every year.

Moreover, in some instances, employees don’t take sick days due to a health issue. Sometimes, they simply can’t find the enthusiasm to show up to work, so they call in sick. Such employees may be unhappy with their job position, salary, team, relationship with their manager, current clients, and so on.

Companies with happy employees, on the other hand, struggle way less with absenteeism than companies with poor morale and low job satisfaction levels.

3) High creativity levels

Companies with high staff morale notice their workforce is much more likely to think outside the box. When employees are more satisfied at the office, they can let go of all the negative emotions and stress that hinder the creative process, which allows them to be more innovative and inventive.

4) Much greater attention to detail

Poor morale makes employees not care about their tasks and responsibilities, which leads to more errors and neglect. Such indifference can prove to be detrimental to your company, especially if it involves an important project, client, or, not to mention, deadlines.

Moreover, it has a domino effect. Once the other employees notice their colleagues aren’t too worried about the upcoming client meeting, can’t seem to find the time to send an important email, or aren’t willing to double-check matters before an important launch, they might follow suit.

On the other hand, happy and engaged employees in an office bursting with positive morale genuinely care more about the outcome of a project, deadlines, and all the tasks on their plate.

5) High retention levels

Low retention levels result in constantly having to look for high-quality employees with specific skills and qualifications, which may prove to be time-consuming and impractical in the long run, not to mention expensive. This is often a result of low employee morale.

Companies with high employee morale, on the other hand, are said to have high retention levels. And it only makes sense - after all, happy employees want to stay in companies that contribute to that happiness.

And retaining employees is important for how your company is perceived - this may also help you attract new talent and keep it.

All in all, high employee morale helps the company thrive. Period. Employees are devoted, productive, satisfied, committed, willing, and enthusiastic. Just think of all the positive adjectives you can come up with and place them in this context.

And the best thing?

If you focus on boosting morale, this will happen organically.

How to Boost Employee Morale

In this part, we provide you with 15 practical and highly useful tips to help you boost employee morale in your office, followed by a detailed FAQ section to help you expand your understanding of employee morale.

1) Align your employees with your company values

Aligning your employees with your company’s values is very important because these values drive your business forward. They’re a blueprint to securing not only positive morale, but expanding your business as well. They’re your company’s code of ethics and a guiding force within the work environment.

However, you can’t just expect employees to align themselves with the company values if you haven’t clearly stated them.

For instance, if one of your company values is encouraging collaboration, you need to explain what that means. Does it mean that employees should not engage in independent work as much? Should they prioritize helping a peer instead of finishing their own task? Being clear on your value expectations helps employees make informed decisions.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

To better align your employees with your company values, they need to comprehend how their daily tasks affect the overall company.

Also, teach by example. If you don’t reflect the company’s values, how can you expect your employees to do so?

2) Live the company mission and vision

Your company’s mission denotes your long-term business goals. It’s also what differentiates your company from the rest of the industry, so it needs to be clearly stated and understood by your employees for them to be on the same page. And you can achieve that only if you’re truly committed to your own mission and vision - employees can sense that.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

  1. Don’t let your mission and vision intimidate you, no matter how big they might be.
  2. Don’t be afraid to dream and set high expectations.
  3. Allow your mission and vision to grow - in other words, expand on them as your company grows and progresses.
  4. Seek inspiration from other big names in the industry, but don’t lose sight of your own unique mission and vision.

3) Create an open line of communication

Open communication in every work environment means both employees and managers can express their ideas, thoughts, concepts, and suggestions without any fear or pressure.

Such an open-minded approach boosts staff morale, produces more loyal and engaged employees, and makes team members feel valued. Highly engaged employees are also more confident in their work and deliver better results.

Moreover, open communication promotes inclusion and enhances trust in the overall management system and leadership structure in the company. This allows employees to feel safe in their roles, which translates into ob satisfaction.

Additionally, open communication has the power to reduce cultural gaps between coworkers. This especially applies to workplaces with a diverse workforce. The work environment should stimulate employees from a wide range of different cultures to communicate openly and patiently.

Finally, a work environment where everyone is urged to communicate openly allows coworkers to build long-lasting relationships and collaborate better. However, as with most things, this is easier said than done, but the suggestions we provide you with in the next section should be enough to get you started.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip…

Here’s how you can start encouraging more open communication in your work environment to boost workplace morale:

Be clear and direct about everyone’s roles and work responsibilities - vague instructions and unrealistic expectations can only lead to disappointment, lost productivity, poor morale, and toxic company culture.

Train your managers to communicate openly with their employees. Company leaders who promote such communication tend to be excellent examples to everyone, but especially to new employees.

Ask your employees for their input. Consult staff about matters that are within their area of expertise.

Be approachable. No one wants a boss or managers that come across as intimidating.

Show respect to your employees, and you shall get it back.

Schedule monthly one-on-one meetings and weekly staff meetings. You can make them more frequent if you’re dealing with remote workers, given that such meetings are the only option they have to connect with you one-on-one. Always be clear, direct, and brief within your email correspondence.

Organize informal gatherings, such as bowling, happy hour on a Friday afternoon, coffee in the office after an important launch, and so on. Such get-together events are an opportunity for everyone to relax and connect.

Show empathy even when it’s difficult to do so.

4) Encourage employee feedback

Gathering honest feedback from employees is key to improving your internal operations, task delegation, and the overall outlook of your business.

After all, employees have insights into daily tasks and occurrences, which sometimes aren’t fully visible to managers and employers. So getting employee feedback can help you prevent potential problems and keep the company running in full force.

The problem, however, is that many employees have trouble being genuine with their superiors, especially if they want to provide negative criticism or disagree with something.

However, there are some ways you can tackle this and allow your employees to loosen up.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

First and foremost, give your employees various opportunities to be vocal. Introduce anonymous pulse surveys and employee engagement surveys, or hold regular meetings where your team members can ask you anything and comment on any ongoing thing within the company.

Next, create the right conditions for employee feedback. If your employees are afraid of you or believe they may get fired for speaking up, they won’t open up to you or any of the managers. Create a safe space for them.

That said, don’t just focus on receiving employee feedback - you should accordingly give your employees feedback as well so they feel heard and seen. This will inevitably lead to high levels of employee engagement, happy employees, increased staff morale, hard work, and employee retention.

Keep in mind that encouraging employee feedback means establishing an ongoing rapport system with your employees. It’s not about running a few surveys throughout the year, but allowing your employees to express their thoughts freely and, more importantly, frequently.

5) Organize team-building activities

Hard work is obviously important but having fun also contributes to the overall employee satisfaction. That’s why we appreciate team-building activities so much.

Team-building activities help employees enhance communication and their problem-solving and decision-making skills, while having fun in a relaxed setting.

Here are some other benefits that come with such activities:

  1. Connecting both remote teams and employees working in the same work environment
  2. Increasing motivation levels
  3. Encouraging creativity
  4. Encouraging collaboration among team members
  5. Improving productivity
  6. Increasing employee engagement
  7. Allowing people to meet new employees and interact with managers in a much more informal way
  8. Breaking the office monotony
  9. Celebrating work anniversaries in an unusual way
  10. Learning new skills

You can organize team-building activities both for your office employees and your remote team. For the latter, you’ll have to make them virtual, though.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

Team-building activities can vary in cost and come in many different formats. Here are some of the best suggestions we thought of:

  1. WorkStyle Personality tests
  2. Murder mystery parties
  3. Escape rooms
  4. Scavenger Hunt
  5. Two Truths and a Lie
  6. Karaoke
  7. Trivia games
  8. Team bingo
  9. Icebreaker games
  10. Never Have I Ever
  11. Watching a movie
  12. Open Mic event

6) Create an employee recognition program

Creating an employee recognition program may be a challenging undertaking, but it’s totally worth it once you realize what you need to take into account upon planning. And while there's no one-size-fits-all employee recognition solution, there are some suggestions that can help you with it.

Here are the most useful ones:

  • Celebrate all work anniversaries. That way, all people in the company will feel equally special and appreciated.
  • Offer timely recognition. The effect that’s meant to come as a result of recognizing your employees’ extra efforts diminishes the longer you wait. You need to act in the moment and acknowledge matters while they’re still fresh.
  • Make each recognition personal. General recognition won’t boost your team’s morale or make people produce their best work, so recognize each individual personally when the time comes.
  • Integrate employee recognition into your company’s culture. Make it a norm.
  • Develop an employee recognition program that grows as your company expands.
  • Base your employee recognition concept around your company values and mission.
  • Set a budget as to what you’re able to afford. It’s okay to start with a more humble approach and expand on it further in the future.
  • Make your recognition program public. Praise is always welcomed, even when it’s done in secret, however, public praise is really something special. In fact, public recognition can stimulate those who aren’t recognized to perform better and work harder so they experience the same at some point.
  • Make employee recognition as specific as you can. In other words, if you recognize an employee because they’ve been a good team player or made an amazing presentation in front of an important client, make sure you specify that.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

To show you what employee recognition looks like in practice, we invite you to take a closer look at the Roto-Rooter example.

Namely, the company understood it had a problem when it needed to give rewards and recognition trophies to almost three thousand employees in multiple locations in the US. That’s when they realized such recognition should be special.

Therefore, each Roto-Rooter recognition is specially created with every employee’s location in mind and offers a unique set of gifts that reflect their personality and preferences. After this approach was adopted, here are the results: An increase of 90% in accomplishments and presentations;
75% of employees saying they just “love” their awards; and 95% of employees in love with the customized Roto-Rooter logo on the awards they received.

7) Give performance-based incentives

Performance-based compensation refers to reward schemes employees receive for their hard work. It’s an acknowledgment of their contribution to the company and an incentive for them to stay in the firm.

Employee incentive programs come in many shapes and forms, and below we provide you with the most effective ones for business owners who truly want to reward their people.

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Here are some effective incentives:

  • Referral programs - only for business owners who are ready to rely more on their employees to identify qualified candidates instead of their job recruiters.
  • A health and wellness scheme - healthy employees perform better, are more motivated, and are highly engaged. Such schemes prevent employee burnout and are an easy way to invest in your employees’ overall well-being.
  • Yearly bonuses (or perhaps even monthly ones). Of course, this depends on your company’s revenue. Different business owners give different bonuses.
  • Give raises. Another effective way to boost morale and retain talented employees.
  • Give gifts. And don’t forget to make them as personalized as you can.
  • Give additional time off. Giving your employees extra time off can decrease burnout and, with that, increase productivity and morale.
  • Sales commissions - many business owners provide paychecks as a combination of both a base salary and commissions.
  • Allow flexibility in work-related arrangements - or in other words, allow your employees to choose their own projects. This can empower them and boost employee satisfaction beyond what you perceive to be possible.
  • Stock options - employers give people an opportunity to purchase company stocks at a predetermined price.

Finally, whichever idea you opt for, make sure it’s aligned with your company’s values, your employees’ preferences, and the company’s current budget possibilities. There’s no easy way to combine all three, however, know that with the right plan, it’s absolutely possible.

8) Offer employee growth

Employee growth or employee development is a process where employees undertake a professional learning program or pursue various different learning opportunities to acquire new skills, gather new information, and make progress on their career paths. This is usually done with the support of the business owners they work for.

Investing in employee growth is important because it increases employee retention, produces happy employees, attracts top talent, and allows employees to reach their full potential.

And although it may be an employee’s personal responsibility to look after professional development opportunities, business owners benefit from their employees working on themselves, therefore, they should be actively engaged in such matters.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

Here are some ways in which you can assist this employee growth process:

  • Introduce a mentorship program. Mentorship opportunities allow employees to learn from their managers or other experts in the industry.
  • Create shadowing opportunities. Employee growth shouldn’t be limited to employees’ current field of expertise. Namely, you may allow employees to learn from peers by having them monitor their colleagues for a day or week (sometimes even months). This encourages cross-departmental interaction and enhances interpersonal relationships.
  • Host lunch-and-learns. Organizing them allows knowledge transfer in an informal and easy way without any pressure that something has to be acquired.
  • Establish a rotational program. Doing so will enable employees to work on various projects across multiple departments for some time. This is great for all people in the company, but especially new employees, as it allows them to get familiarized with everything (and everyone!) much more quicker.
  • Organize professional training opportunities. This may include seminars, courses, webinars, certifications, master classes, workshops, lectures, and so on.
  • Finally, provide your employees with enough resources so that they can learn on their own (for instance, eBooks or educational videos).

9) Encourage genuine breaks

Many business owners and even employees take breaks for granted. So they end up eating lunch at their desk, staring in front of their screen, or spending their break at the office.

However, being stuck in the same work environment during time off can be detrimental to one’s creativity.

When employees exit their work environment during break time is when they have those a-ha moments when everything suddenly clicks. They can observe things from another perspective - sometimes even coming across a colleague in the hall and chatting with them about a problem may shed light on what one can do.

And taking genuine breaks doesn’t have to be anything complicated. In fact, it’s the little things that count, as you’ll see in the next section.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

To promote genuine breaks, you can encourage your employees to:

  • Eat lunch in a different room;
  • Grab a coffee and go out for a walk;
  • Stretch their legs every hour or so;
  • Get fresh air even when they don’t feel like it, to name a few.

10) Promote workplace diversity

Workplace diversity is a term used for work environments where there are employees with a wide range of characteristics, such as different gender, sexual orientation, race, sex, ethnicity, and so on.

Workplace diversity may also promote innovation and creativity, as each employee has their own experience, knowledge, skills, and background. Diversity is what allows a company to stand out.

It may also include aspects such as different education, language diversity, unique abilities and preferences, religious differences, different viewpoints and perspectives, and so on.

Therefore, knowing all this, promoting it in your work environment means allowing different people to solve complex problems in a unified manner. The whole point is to make sure your employees understand that diversity is a huge asset to the company. And it not only contributes to high employee morale, but it allows people to enjoy being together and be more tolerant and open to things that aren’t close to them.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

If you want to introduce workplace diversity in your work environment but don’t know where to start, here are several suggestions you may resonate with:

  • Allow employees to take days off for religious holidays that may not have been observed by the company so far (this mostly applies to international workers);
  • Provide on-site daycare;
  • Upgrade your office layout to ensure an inclusive facility (this includes things such as non-gendered restrooms or a wheelchair ramp, for instance);
  • Introduce hybrid work and flexible work hours;
  • Use apps with a translation feature that allow employees to communicate in their preferred language (again, mostly aimed at international employees).
  • Modify your ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) with DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) themes such as BLM, Inclusion, LGBT, Mental Health, and so on.

11) Include your employees in your advocacy program

Who can promote your company better than your own employees?

Influencers and brand ambassadors may sound attractive, however, no one knows your company the way the people who work there do. Think of them as active agents who make a difference if you guide them in the right direction.

Therefore, if you haven’t done this so far, consider including your employees in your advocacy program. Employee advocacy denotes the promotion of a specific brand/company through its employees.

Apart from helping boost employee morale in the office, employee advocacy programs have the power to engage employees, boost productivity levels, and retain talent, not to mention amplify brand reach and increase sales.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

One of the most common strategies for making your advocacy program work is relying on social media advocacy. This includes employees spreading brand/company awareness on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. They can share job openings, company news, and engage with your posts.

Another way is incorporating company merch. It's a more traditional technique, however, it’s an effective and easy way to enable your team to get the word out. Make sure to choose the right items and stick with a design that resonates with your and your company’s values, while remaining authentic.

12) Strengthen manager relationships

All relationships within a company are interconnected. In other words, if you want the manager-employee relationship to work, you need to make sure your relationship with your managers flows smoothly.

Without proper interpersonal relationships, there can be no successful day-to-day business operations.

Strengthening the relationships in your company allows everyone to feel more connected to the brand’s values, vision, and mission. Employees will also feel more connected to their peers and the work they’re doing.

Below, we share a few tips that will help you strengthen the relationships in your company in an organic way.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

First and foremost, understand that managers may sometimes be under a lot of pressure and have to juggle a plethora of priorities. So, communicate with them from a place of empathy, honesty, and understanding. When they feel this, they’ll not only reciprocate it back to you, but your employees too.

Next, allow managers across different departments to come together, and discuss pressing matters, issues, or dilemmas they may have. Giving managers a shared space to share their emotions and work-related concerns can do wonders for the connections within your company.

Finally, as this tip is closely related to other concepts we already discussed, feel free to combine some of the other tips on our list to help you with this, such as promoting employee feedback, running employee surveys, creating an open line of communication, and so on.

13) Encourage work-life balance

Work-life balance is an essential part of self-care when people juggle their work responsibilities, private lives, and relationships with loved ones and colleagues.

Securing a healthy work-life balance means allowing people to have more flexibility to do things on their own terms and in a way that’s aligned with their skills, preferences, capacity, and so on.

Achieving work-life balance means fewer health issues, less chance for employee burnout, higher productivity levels, and more mindfulness, which results in higher employee morale.

And although work-life balance is a term that makes sense to many, it may be somewhat elusive to achieve in practice. Plus, business owners need a strategic approach when it comes to encouraging this in the office, as it’s not an overnight thing.

We hope our suggestions help you get started.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

Here’s what you can start doing in your company to help encourage work-life balance:

  1. Make sure your employees truly use lunch breaks for lunch, and not for catching up with more work tasks;
  2. Introduce hybrid work;
  3. Allow employees more flexible work hours;
  4. Encourage employees to ask for help whenever they feel like they need it;
  5. Communicate your expectations around work-life balance clearly;
  6. Provide paid leaves;
  7. Get acquainted with your employees’ personal situations;
  8. Never glorify overworking;
  9. Don’t expect employees to stay overtime (unless you make such arrangements from time to time, in which case you should compensate by giving your employees overtime pay);
  10. Show open support for your employees’ physical and mental health;
  11. Ask your employees what they want/need;
  12. Lead by example.

14) Conduct an employee morale survey

Employee morale surveys help HR teams comprehend and measure the attitude of individuals in the company and their willingness to collaborate at their workplace.

Remember, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. So, don’t hesitate to introduce such employee surveys in the office - what’s more, make them frequent if you feel like it’s necessary.

Apart from offering general insights into the employee morale levels in the office, such surveys allow you to truly understand the reasons behind staff morale. What’s more, they allow you to take suitable action to make the necessary changes in your company.

With that said, failing to act upon the feedback you received may result in even poorer staff morale than previously, lost productivity, no job satisfaction, and issues with employee retention.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

Employee surveys have clear objectives along with actionable questions. Here are some ideas you can use:

  1. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest), how happy are you working for this company?
  2. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest), how likely are you to recommend this company to other people?
  3. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest), how fulfilling is your job?
  4. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest), how satisfied are you with your current salary and other compensations?
  5. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest), how would you assess the staff morale in the office?
  6. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest), how engaged would you say you are?
  7. Do you feel like you have enough recognition for your work?
  8. Do you feel secure in this job?
  9. Do you think this company cares for its employees?
  10. What kind of relationship do you have with your manager or supervisor?
  11. How likely are you to stay in this company in the next five years? (1) Likely, (2) Very Likely, (3) Unlikely, (4) Very Unlikely.
  12. How stressful would you say your job is?
  13. Do you manage to handle your workload successfully?

15) Conduct exiting interviews

Besides providing insights into employee morale, exiting interviews offer a closer look at a wide range of day-to-day processes, work culture, and management solutions.

The overall purpose of such interviews is to assess a departing employee’s experience within your company so that you can improve employee engagement and retention levels.

Moreover, exiting interviews may reveal the true reason behind someone’s departure (it may be completely different than what you may have believed at first), allowing you to wrap things up with that specific employee in a professional manner and identify ideas that need improvement or sometimes drastic changes.

By revealing patterns of why people are leaving and what they believe about your company, you’re able to slowly improve the morale situation in the office for the employees who are still working for you.

In general, departing employees tend to be much more forthcoming and honest than those still in their jobs, so when you have the right questions, you can learn a lot from their insights. Which brings us to the next section.

A little something before you move to the next employee morale tip….

Below, we share questions you can use in your exiting interviews with departing employees. Feel free to expand the list.

  1. Why did you start searching for another job?
  2. What’s the reason you’re leaving?
  3. What does your new company offer that influenced your decision to leave?
  4. What could this company have done better?
  5. Would you ever be open to returning to this company? If not, why?
  6. Do you feel the management has recognized your talents, skills, and overall contributions? If not, what should have been done according to you?
  7. Were there any company policies and rules you struggled to understand? If yes, which ones and what can we do to make them clearer?
  8. Would you say your job responsibilities have changed since you’ve been employed here? If so, in what ways?
  9. Do you feel like you’ve had all the necessary resources, tools, equipment, conditions, and peer support to be successful in your role? If not, what needs to be improved?
  10. Do you have any suggestions about improving employee morale in the company?
  11. Would you recommend our company to a friend/ family member? Why? Why not?
  12. What was the best part of your job at this company?
  13. What was the least enjoyable bit?
  14. What’s something you’re going to miss?
  15. Is there anything you might want to add?

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes low employee morale in the workplace?

Low morale in the workplace is never pleasant, but to improve it, you need to understand the root cause of it first. And while there are many reasons for poor morale, we provide you with the most frequent ones:

  1. Lack of communication and clear instructions
  2. Lack of trust - both in managers and other colleagues
  3. Lack of praise or expressing gratitude
  4. Lack of work discipline
  5. Unrealistic goal setting
  6. High procrastination levels
  7. No promotions or salary increases even after long periods of time
  8. Poor micromanagement
  9. No team bonding opportunities or team-building activities
  10. No sense of responsibility
  11. Bad manager-employee relationships
  12. Employee burnout
  13. Inconsistency in employee treatment and behavior
  14. A toxic or stressful work environment
  15. Not providing enough opportunities for employee development
  16. Not responding promptly or acting quickly enough when employees approach you with concerns, worries, requests, questions, suggestions, ideas, etc.
  17. Failing to provide feedback - both positive and negative
  18. Forgetting about employee recognition
  19. Being disrespectful toward employees (or other employees showing disrespect to peers)
  20. Ignoring issues such as bullying, harassment, violence, racism, and so on.

With that said, keep in mind that understanding what causes low morale in the workplace isn’t the same as solving it. So, for example, if you identify employee burnout in the office, contemplate the idea of introducing hybrid work or more flexible work hours. If there’s a toxic work environment, start by identifying what’s making it toxic. Is it a specific employee, a manager, or perhaps a client? Should they remain in the company if they’re affecting the majority of people they interact with in a negative way?

Whatever’s causing poor morale in your office, start eliminating it by making rapid changes.

What is the relationship between employee morale and productivity?

Productivity denotes the amount of work produced by employees within a given time period. As such, productivity may be affected by a lot of factors, one of them being staff morale. Usually, when the employee morale in the office runs high, employees tend to be much more productive because they’re motivated enough to do their work. That said, whenever employee morale is low, productivity is even lower.

To make sure both employee morale and productivity levels are running high in the office, strive to build a gratifying and purposeful work culture based on principles that are fair and make sense both to you and your employees. To feel productive, employees need to be inspired and have a sense of belonging. Once employees feel they’re part of an important office crew or a work culture that truly values them, productivity comes naturally.

That said, although there is some positive correlation between staff morale and employee productivity, they aren’t completely related. For instance, if there’s an increase of 30% in employee morale, it doesn’t mean that an increase of 30% in productivity will follow.

This is so because employee morale is just one of the factors influencing the productivity levels in the company. Other factors, such as use of penalties, technology, supervision, employees’ character, managers’ training style, and so on, have a big impact as well.

That’s why it’s possible to come across companies with high morale but lower productivity, or poor morale and high productivity, although rarely. Of course, this isn't a feasible approach, as it comes with negative consequences for everyone involved.

How can you measure employee morale?

There are several ways to measure staff morale. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  1. Running attitude or moral surveys
  2. Organizing employee counseling
  3. Giving suggestion boxes
  4. Conducting exiting interviews
  5. Analyzing turnover and absenteeism
  6. Analyzing grievance reports
  7. Following employees’ performance data
  8. Asking the right questions
  9. Having an open door policy
  10. Hosting group meetings
  11. Asking for ongoing employee feedback
  12. Observing your employees’ behavior and actions on a daily basis.

Finally, keep in mind that employee morale is a complex construct to measure, therefore, it may be somewhat difficult to talk about exact results or even methods for measuring it.

What are the signs of high morale?

An office with high staff morale isn't difficult to notice. These are the signs you should be on the lookout for:

  1. A work environment filled with positive energy, enthusiasm, joy, and excitement
  2. Employees aligned with the company’s identity and values
  3. Group synergy
  4. Friendship among colleagues
  5. Employees with the desire to go above and beyond
  6. Great emphasis on personal growth
  7. Colleagues supporting each other
  8. Dedication to projects, responsibilities, and the company’s overall mission and vision
  9. Employees feeling confident in their strengths and performance
  10. Colleagues socializing outside of work hours
  11. People feeling connected to their purpose
  12. Managers ensuring employees’ needs are met (such as proper job conditions, safety, compensation, and so on)
  13. Proper task delegation so that employees can show their strengths
  14. Celebrating success, but also learning from “failure”
  15. Productive conversations, brainstorming sessions, meetings, and discussions
  16. Employees not “punished” or suspended for making mistakes
  17. Colleagues freely sharing information so that they can help peers
  18. Employees having a plethora of opportunities for advancement, learning, and growth
  19. Tools, equipment, and resources so that employees can do their job well
  20. Employees adjusting to changing circumstances without any hassle
  21. Everyone handling internal conflicts in a mature manner
  22. A feeling of belonging and togetherness among colleagues
  23. Teams working toward achieving a common goal
  24. Colleagues holding together not just because they have to, but because of internal cohesiveness
  25. Employees discussing challenges, concerns, and issues openly and directly, rather than neglecting them
  26. Employees rarely (or never) procrastinating or exhibiting a passive behavior, and so on.

Finally, positive employee morale is so contagious that you won’t be able to miss it. What’s more, you’ll feel it. In general, when your employees are satisfied and connected, chances are high employee morale vibes are present.

Final Words

There you have it!

15 helpful tips to help you boost employee morale in the office.

Some are very simple, and others perhaps slightly more complicated.

However, one thing’s certain - they’re effective and will help you boost employee morale at the office.

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Heather Harper

About the author

Heather Harper is a psychology student from the University of Lincoln. She currently works as an intern for WorkStyle and is studying a Masters in Occupational Psychology at the University of Manchester.