Morale in the workplace has a huge impact on the success of a business. Lack of motivation and poor morale can lead to reduced retention, costing businesses time and money to rehire staff. Employees can become disillusioned for a number of reasons, and understanding the cause is the first step in overcoming it. There’s some surefire ways to destroy morale in your workplace – here’s what you need to avoid at all costs.
1. Poor communication
One of the most frustrating things in the workplace is poor communication. Whether it’s between individuals, teams, or different departments, a lack of awareness and understanding of what other parts of the business are doing leads to frustration and a feeling of disconnect. Employees who are well informed and kept in the loop will be happier and more productive, with a clearer sense of purpose.
If you’ve ever had a manager who’s constantly breathing down your neck and dictating how every minute detail should be handled, you’ll know how soul-destroying it can be. Micromanaging makes people feel as though they aren’t trusted or deemed competent enough to do their jobs, sending the message that the employee isn’t valued or respected. Encourage employees to take ownership over their roles and you’re more likely to see an improved output in their productivity.
3. Unrealistic workload
There will always be times when work is super busy and it seems like you’ll never finish everything on your to-do list. But there’s a difference between feeling a bit pressurised and being completely overwhelmed. If people are regularly putting in unpaid overtime, skipping breaks, or working in the evening or weekends, it’s likely they’ve got too much on their plate. Be aware of employee absences and change in people’s behaviour at work – if people who are usually smiley and outgoing start becoming withdrawn and not interacting with other employees, this could be an indicator of stress and needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
4. Eating into personal time
We all know how important having a healthy work-life balance is. If work starts impacting people’s home life or preventing them from spending time pursuing hobbies, this can make employees start to resent their. Don’t expect people to give up their down-time for work – if they choose to put in extra hours when it’s needed, that’s their decision to make, but putting pressure on people to forego spending time with their family, or doing things they’re passionate about outside of work will make employees feel demotivated and question whether the business cares about their wellbeing.
5. Lack of progression
A major factor for people leaving their jobs is lack of opportunity for development. People want to feel like they have options for the future, to be able to progress in their career. Communicate any training and development resources to current employees and as part of your hiring process – include it in the staff handbook, and ensure all managers discuss it with their direct reports, so employees know what is available to them and how to go about it.
6. Unclear objectives
When employees don’t have clear goals to work towards, it can feel like there’s little point to their work. Giving people realistic objectives gives them a sense of purpose, like they are making a difference, which helps to keep people motivated. Ensure everyone is clear on what the main business goals are, as well as individual goals for teams and employees. Stay consistent – don’t keep moving the goalpost, decide on your key objectives and stick with them, that way people will remain focused and be more motivated in meeting these goals.
7. Taking people for granted
Don’t assume people’s loyalty or that they’ll keep working for the greater good of the company. Take time to acknowledge and appreciate a job well done, not just giving people a pat on the back, but by thanking them for helping the business or meeting a certain goal.
Employee morale isn’t just some frilly HR nonsense; the mood and energy in your employees has a knock-on effect on your business. By being aware of what makes your employees feel demoralised you’ll be able to avoid the common pitfalls that lead to an unmotivated team. Treat employees with respect, promote a healthy work-life balance, communicate business goals clearly, and help people to feel like they are making a difference, to boost morale and create a positive work environment. When you invest time and resources into keeping your staff happy and motivated, the reward is increased productivity and improved retention, saving you time and money rehiring.
This entry was posted in Recruitment