- Decreased communication. This includes communication regarding business matters, as well as personal conversations. Decreased communication regarding business matters is a huge red flag, as this could end up taking a toll on the employee’s quality of work very quickly. While personal conversations aren’t necessarily a requirement for successful employment, it may certainly be a sign of low employee morale as well.
- Rare personal initiative. If you find that your employees are not taking initiative to better the company as much as they may have in the past, this could be a sign that they simply don’t care about the business as much as they used to. In essence, if an employee doesn’t care about the company or business as a whole, it is most likely because of low employee morale.
- Lack of cooperation. You may see this if one of your employees becomes resentful about something, or simply becomes uninterested in the job. Be on the lookout for employees that are less likely to work well together and perhaps even less willing to accept tasks from higher up on the corporate ladder. No matter what the cause or what form it takes, lack of cooperation is typically another sign of low employee morale.
- Poor performance. Poor performance is somewhat easy to overlook as the changes here may be gradual. An employee’s morale may start to decrease over time, causing his or her performance to decrease or worsen over time as well. Try to take note of any employees that are doing less than they used to, or just not performing to the best of their abilities anymore.
- Negative attitude. If you notice that someone seems to have an overall poor attitude lately, this could be another sign of low employee morale. Remember: employees that are happy and positive at work are said to have a higher employee morale. So if someone seems to be negative about just about everything, it could very well mean that they are suffering from low employee morale.
Now that we’ve gone over how to best identify low employee morale among team members, let’s take a look at how to boost employee morale, and in turn, increase overall productivity throughout the workplace:
1. Change up the regular routine. Employee morale can plummet when a work day starts to feel robotic, boring, and uneventful. Simply changing up the schedule or routine - even if the changes are subtle and temporary - can have a surprisingly positive effect on the morale of your employees.
2. Inspire positivity by being positive. The absolute best way to encourage positive attitudes in others is to demonstrate a positive attitude yourself. Positivity is contagious, so make it a point to make positive comments often, personally greet your employees when you see them, and always walk around with a smile on your face.
3. Encourage and value the opinions of others. This is one of the biggest morale boosters, both inside and outside the workplace. Letting people know that their voices are heard and that their opinions are valued and respected is essential to increasing positive emotions and overall morale. Take the time to ask your employees how they feel about certain topics and encourage them to speak their minds and share their opinions as often as possible.
4. Recognize achievements and reward them when necessary. This applies to individuals and the team as a whole. It is natural for employees to seek approval and acceptance from their employers. Therefore, it is not out of the ordinary for their morale to decrease when they feel that their work is going unnoticed or unappreciated. Take the time to let your employees know when they do a good job, and consider offering a small reward or even a promotion when deserved. >> Read more about this here.
5. Don’t be afraid to have some fun in the office. Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit of fun every once in awhile. You’d be surprised at what breaking up the workday can do for everybody’s attitude and overall morale. An extra break here and there, or even just a few minutes away from the desk, can greatly improve productivity. Consider offering fun contests, games, or team-building events on occasion as well.
If there is only one thing you take away from this post, let it be that employee morale has a direct impact on productivity within the workplace. In other words, employees that are happy with their work environment tend to have higher employee morale and therefore demonstrate increased productivity. If that doesn’t make you want to put these tips to action, then I don’t know what will!