Poor morale is one of the most destructive internal threats that can affect organizations of any size. It’s easy enough to spot; employees are constantly worried about their futures, or feel disengaged from their work. There is unhealthy friction between departments, and there are rumors of people preparing to leave.
There are many possible reasons behind this problem. It might be because of poor leadership, and people feel that management doesn’t really care. Other times it’s a result of infrequent communication. Very often, employees just feel underappreciated.
The Impact of Low Morale
But why is this so important? Low employee morale is astonishingly expensive, and can single handedly ruin a company. The first problem it creates is high turnover; skilled people are hard to replace, and every one that leaves takes with them their experience. You will have to hire and train a replacement, which can take months.
Productivity is severely affected by low morale as well. Employees will almost never go the extra mile, and may regularly miss targets. Customer service suffers, and absenteeism skyrockets. Nobody wants to spend time in an office where everyone is miserable.
What You Can Do Now
According to Montgomerypresents.com, fixing low employee morale is a challenge, and you shouldn’t expect it to be an overnight process. A good immediate measure is to organize a company outing to give them a chance to unwind, and maybe even hiring a motivational speaker to talk about the brand’s accomplishments over the past quarters. After that, you must work on the root of the problem.
Management must actively shape a work environment of trust and cooperation. There must be open communication, and everyone from the CEO to the rank and file must feel ownership of their work. Fostering healthy completion amongst teams is also highly recommended.
Empowerment is often repeated, yet rarely practiced. Train employees and give them the power to make their own decisions. This not only boosts their self-confidence, it also eliminates bottlenecks. But above all, the most important step is to recognize and reward good performance.