How your employees feel about their job, their responsibilities, and your organization as a whole can have a huge impact on your company. If your team has high employee morale and a sense of real satisfaction with their work, your organization will thrive—and if they don’t, your organization will suffer.
So, if you want your company to continue to improve, you need to make improving employee morale and job satisfaction a priority.
Let’s take a look at exactly how to boost employee morale and make sure your team members are satisfied with their jobs (and make your company the kind of place top talent wants to work for in the process).
Why is improving employee morale and job satisfaction so important?
First things first—before we jump into how to improve employee morale and job satisfaction, let’s quickly cover why keeping morale and job satisfaction high is so important in the first place.
There are a number of reasons companies need to focus on boosting employee morale and job satisfaction, including:
- Retention. When you have employees who are satisfied with their work, they’re more likely to stay with your organization, which can keep retention high and hiring costs low.
- Engagement. When morale is high and your employees are satisfied with their jobs, they’re going to be more engaged with their work—and that engagement can have an incredible impact on your business. According to the 2017 Gallup State of the American Workplace Report, engaged employees are 17 percent more productive, have 10 percent higher customer satisfaction metrics, and have a whopping 41 percent lower rate of absenteeism than disengaged employees.
- Better work environment. If you have a company full of people that hate their jobs, it’s not going to make for a pleasant work environment. But on the flip side, if you have a team that’s excited about their work and shows up every day with a positive attitude, it’s going to make for a much better work environment—for both employees and leadership.
Clearly, improving employee morale and job satisfaction is a must if you want to build a thriving, successful organization. But how, exactly, do you do that?
Make sure you’re providing the basics
Before you make steps to drive high morale and job satisfaction, you need to make sure you’re providing your employees with the basics they need to feel happy, satisfied, and engaged with their jobs. This includes:
- Fair wages and on-time, accurate payment
- A safe, supportive work environment
- Competent leadership and/or management
- The tools necessary to do their job
If you don’t have these basics in place, it doesn’t matter what else you do to improve morale and job satisfaction; your employees are very unlikely to be happy or satisfied with their job—and are very likely to look elsewhere for a better opportunity. So, make sure you’re giving your employees the wages, tools, environment, and leadership they need to feel meaningfully engaged with their work.
Go straight to the source
You might think you know how you can boost morale and job satisfaction with your team. But the truth is, the only people who really know what’s going to drive employee morale and job satisfaction are your employees.
So why not go straight to the source and ask them?
Getting direct employee feedback can be an extremely effective way to improve morale and job satisfaction within your organization. Ask your employees what you can do to increase their job satisfaction and boost morale within the team, either through employee surveys, team check-ins, or one-on-one’s with your direct reports.
Your employees know exactly what they need to feel more satisfied with their jobs, more engaged at work, and have an overall higher morale. So, if you want to know how to improve morale and job satisfaction, just ask them.
Identify what might be causing low employee morale—and address it immediately
You can take a ton of steps to improve employee morale—but if there’s something within your organization that’s bringing your team down, you’re not going to see significant improvements.
That’s why it’s so important to identify anything that might be causing low employee morale within your company—and take immediate steps to fix the situation.
There are a number of factors that could be dragging down employee morale, including:
- Inefficient management. If your team feels like they’re not getting the support they need from management, it could have a negative impact on productivity, employee performance, and overall morale.
- Toxic co-workers or managers. If there’s someone within your organization who has a seriously negative or toxic attitude (for example, an employee who is constantly gossipping about their co-workers or a team member who refuses to do their work), it can have a ripple effect, bringing down the morale of the rest of your team.
- Lack of resources. If your team doesn’t have the resources they need to be successful in their role (whether that’s the right software, equipment, mentorship, or access to leadership), it can bring down morale.
If you find there’s something within your organization that’s dragging down your team (and their morale and job satisfaction along with it), it’s important to take swift action. If your employees feel like management is inefficient, call an all-hands brainstorm to figure out what your team needs from their direct managers and leadership to feel empowered to succeed. If you have a negative or toxic employee or manager in your midst, schedule a meeting to address the behavior (and, depending on the situation, take disciplinary action as necessary). If your team lacks resources, ask them directly what they need to be successful—and then make sure you deliver.
The point is, if there’s something causing low morale within your company, you need to address it immediately; otherwise, your efforts to improve employee morale and job satisfaction will be wasted.
Invest in your employees
If you want your team to be invested in their jobs (and your company), you need to show them you’re also invested in them—which is why investing in your team can go a long way in boosting employee morale and job satisfaction.
Investing in your employees shows them you care about them, their professional development, and the role they play in your organization. And when your employees feel seen, appreciated, and supported in their career growth, their overall job satisfaction will increase (and their morale right along with it).
There are a number of ways you can invest in your employees, including:
- Team building events
- Corporate wellness programs
- Performance-based bonuses
- Professional development programs to build employee skill-sets
- Educational opportunities
- Generous benefits packages
The more you invest in your employees, the more they’ll be invested in their jobs and your organization—and the happier and more satisfied they’ll be at work as a result.
Weave work-life balance into your corporate culture
If your employees feel overwhelmed with too much work—and like they don’t have enough time or energy to devote to their personal life—they’re going to feel disengaged, depleted, and burnt out, which isn’t exactly a recipe for high morale and job satisfaction.
Work-life balance is an integral part of well-being—and if you want your employees to feel happy, satisfied, and engaged with their work, you need to make that balance a non-negotiable part of your company culture. (So, for example, you might make it a company policy not to respond to emails after 7pm or on weekends, offer flexible remote work schedules, or offer employees an extra personal PTO day each year.)
The point: your employees are more than just workers—they’re human beings. And in order for them to have high morale and job satisfaction, you need to treat them as such and make sure that their time at work isn’t stopping them from enjoying or engaging in their personal life.
Use these tips to keep your employees happy, satisfied, and engaged at work
Driving employee morale and job satisfaction are important parts of running a successful business. And with these tips, you can work towards keeping morale and job satisfaction high, retaining top talent, and transforming your workplace into a place people truly want to work.