Improve Employee Morale

Studies have shown that employee morale is directly tied to productivity – the more stressed and dissatisfied employees are the more productivity will plunge. On the contrary, happy employees mean more gets done in a healthy, fruitful work environment. So what are the best ways to boost employee morale?


  1. Realize that the first step begins with the employer. To recognize the value of your employees is key. Many business have the attitude that employees are a 'dime a dozen'. If one leaves, another can be found to take their place without much trouble on their part. While this maybe true to some extent, the cost of advertising, interviewing and training the new employee can be prohibitive.
  2. Let people know they are appreciated. Simply stating a few words of thanks or sincere admiration for a job well done will help increase morale among employees.
  3. Provide employee perks such as casual Friday, free lunches, and cash bonuses or gift certificates. Sponsor social events such as a softball team, barbecues for employees and their families, or office picnics.
  4. Offer bonuses, whether financial incentives, company cars, or other prizes. This gives employees a goal to work towards and can create enthusiasm which is often contagious among employees. Open the lines of communication with employees to find out what kind of things or programs would get them motivated. This will also help them feel like they are an important, contributing factor of the company.
  5. Understand that the work environment can greatly affect employee morale. A dreary office lacking light and color can cause depression and a lack of motivation. Brighten up the space with a soothing paint job, green plants, and tasteful artwork.
    • If it is not possible to fix up the environment (i.e. a warehouse or factory), make sure you offer adequate breaks and a break room where employees can relax, eat, and rest.
  6. Use 360 degree feedback surveys as a way to illustrate to employees that you support and encourage an atmosphere of continuous improvement and dedication to improving work conditions.
  7. Encourage communication between employees and management. Doing so will allow employees to feel comfortable to voice their opinions and make suggestions to improve conditions and work. Listen to the employees you do have. What are their concerns? Well, money probably ranks right up there at the top, but what other concerns do they have? Is it lack of recognition? Lack of perks? Lack of appreciation for the job they do?
  8. Revise the company mission statement to include all employees and departments to ensure each employee feels as though they are an integral part of the company’s future.
  9. Make sure the values and ethics of the company are of those employees can take pride in. Most employees in the work force want to work for a company they can trust and believe in.
  10. Find ways to make life more pleasant in general for employees. Offer flexible schedules, work-from home schedules, gym memberships, etc.
  11. Be loyal to your employees. If business starts to decline, find ways to keep employees without cut backs or lay offs. Be sure to offer promotions and pay raises to those who deserve it.
  12. Give employees a chance to help others. 'Wear a Hat to Work Day' can be turned into a chance to help a local charity. Employees pay a dollar or two for the privilege of looking silly and the money goes to charity.
  13. Change the atmosphere. Do you rule by intimidation? Surely not, but every atmosphere can be lightened up to a degree. Stop and think, "Will what I'm doing today have an impact a hundred years from now?"; or, "Will what I'm doing today hurt or harm someone if I don't act like a dictator?". If not, come out of the throne room and lighten up!
  14. Have fun! You don't have to dress in a clown's costume, but you can promote a feeling of happiness and satisfaction in the workplace. Go out and talk to your employees. Smile. Recognize what they do, for without them, you wouldn't have a business to start with.


  • Additionally, be fair across the board and live up to the policies and procedures that are set forth in the employee handbook. If a leader, boss or manager mediates a disagreement among staff members and both employees leave the meeting angry, you did not do your job. If you as a manager, do NOT investigate claims of harassment, insubordination or threats of any level, and simply dismiss it without an investigation, employee morale will plummet, employee retention will suffer and your credibility as a leader will be significantly damaged. The result of a conflict and how it is handled by management can be more detrimental and insidious to employee morale than the event itself.
  • Many employers treat their employees as if they are incarcerated. They punch in at a certain time. When the bell rings or the whistle blows, employees can trudge off to a small break room somewhere, then march back to work when the whistle blows again. While this is necessary in some situations, it is also robotic and boring. Why not allow flexible break times? Flexible lunch breaks?


  • Follow through. Do what you say you are going to do. One employer who promised an employee appreciation event, then cancelled it so he/she could go on vacation. How do you suppose that affected their employees? Morale plummeted even further because the employees realized the manager cared more about himself than them.

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