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.
Methods of raising morale
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 the following means.
- Recognize employees
- Be a respectful manager
- Have one-on-one meetings with employees
- Invest in employees
- Get to know employees
- Pay and reward systems
- Job autonomy and discretion
- Support services
- "Happy Employees means Greater Profits". Time. January 9, 2013.
- Neely, Greg H. (July 1999). "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". Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- Lorette, Kristie. "Methods to Increase Morale at the Workplace". Demand Media.