Employee morale, in human resources, is defined as the job satisfaction, outlook, and feelings of well-being an employee has within a workplace setting. Proven to have a direct effect on productivity, it is one of the corner stones of business.
Long used by the military as a "mission-critical" measure of the psychological readiness of troops, high morale has been shown to be a powerful driver of performance in all organizations. Extensive research demonstrates its benefits in productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction and worker health. By measuring morale with employee surveys many business owners and managers have long been aware of a direct, causative connection between that morale, (which includes job satisfaction, opinions of their management and many other aspects of the workplace culture) and the performance of their organization.
Importance and effects
Recognized as one of the major factors affecting productivity and overall financial stability of any business, low morale may lead to reduced concentration, which in turn can cause mistakes, poor customer service and missed deadlines. It also can contribute to a high turnover rate and absenteeism. Employee morale proves to be detrimental to the business in these respects. Morale can drive an organization forward or can lead to employee discontent, poor job performance, and absenteeism (Ewton, 2007). With low morale comes a high price tag. The Gallup Organization estimates that there are 22 million actively disengaged employees costing the American economy as much as $350 billion per year in lost productivity including absenteeism, illness, and other problems that result when employees are unhappy at work. Failing to address this issue lead to decreased productivity, increased rates of absenteeism and associated costs, increased conflicts in the work environment, increased customer or consumer complaints, and increased employee turnover rates and costs associated with selection and training replacement staff.
Advantages and disadvantages
The relationship between employee morale and organizational performance is straightforward. Here are a list of advantages and disadvantages:
- When employees are satisfied with their jobs, they are motivated to work harder and contribute the best of their abilities toward the achievement of organizational goals.
- They feel appreciated, important and significant members of the organizational chain and as such, they are ready to maintain a positive action with their colleagues, clients and anyone they come in contact with.
- By putting their best face forward, not only they are more attractive, but they are also able to complete their tasks more efficiently.
- Compared to employees who are motivated, disengaged workers are less efficient, miss more workdays and cost their employers thousands of dollars in lost productivity.
Keeping employee morale high is one of the best things can do to instill loyalty and maintain a productive workplace. In a study conducted at UC Davis, psychologists found that groups of people who kept a journal recording five things that they were grateful for each week were more optimistic, had fewer health problems, got more sleep, and felt better about themselves.
Methods of raising
Employees tend to lack motivation to perform their jobs when morale is low. A lack of motivation can also be circular in nature. Management and employees can help increase morale in the workplace by:
- Recognize employees
- Be a respectful manager
- Have one-on-one meetings with employees
- Invest in employees
- Get to know employees
While there are many more methods than what is listed above, each method is dependent on the workplace.
- "Employee Morale". BusinessDictionary.com.
- Business & Money, Time. "Happy Employees means Greater Profits". Time Magazine.
- Neely, Greg H. "The Relationship between Employee Morale and Employee Productivity" (PDF).
- FInk, Nicole. "The High Cost of Low Morale: How to Address Low Morale in the Workplace through Servant Leadership".
- "Counting Your Blessings: How Gratitude Improves Your Health". CFIDS and Fibromyalgia Self-Help. Retrieved Aug 4, 2015.
- Lorette, Kristie. "Methods to Increase Morale at the Workplace". Demand Media.