Tue, May 28, 2024

Coach Darin: Happy employees, happy business: Boosting morale

For many years, Darin Myers oversaw the operations of Plant Vogtle I and II. He is the local franchisee of TAB serving the CSRA. If you’d like more information on the peer-to-peer advisory boards that he leads, email darin@tabcsra.com or call 706.755.0606

Employee morale has a massive impact on the overall success of your business. When employees are happy, engaged, and thriving they are more productive, less likely to call in sick, and much less apt to quit their jobs. According to a recent Gallup poll, “highly engaged business units realize an 81% difference in absenteeism and a 14% difference in productivity.”

Quantitative data is important in understanding employee morale and workplace wellness dynamics. Many business owners mistakenly assess their employee morale on a feeling or general sense of their team’s perceived well-being and contentedness, which is often a mistake. Devoid of any measuring tactics, believing your people are happy and your company culture is thriving is merely a hunch. And nobody wants to run and grow a successful business based on just a guess.

How To Measure Employee Morale

There are a number of smart and effective ways to quantify employee morale. They all boil down to three basic concepts. Ask, listen, and measure. The following approaches are a great starting point.

  • Conduct an Employee Satisfaction Survey. Gaining sincere and insightful input from employees on their perspectives related to workplace wellness and culture can be invaluable. Request direct input from your team to assess their engagement, happiness, and other factors related to their jobs and work environment. You can opt to have respondents remain anonymous or not, just be sure to make them abundantly aware of it ahead of time. Some employees are less likely to be forthcoming if their names are attached. Then, analyze the data individually and as a whole. Leverage this newfound knowledge to identify opportunities for workplace wellness enhancements.
  • Suggestion Boxes. While arguably old school, a suggestion box allows employees to propose suggestions or share other insights anonymously, though they can choose to identify themselves if they prefer. To make a suggestion box something more than a gripe outlet, it is imperative that all input is recorded, analyzed, and acted upon as needed. Some comments will require immediate action, as with a potential threat or urgent matter. Other times, business owners may note long-term themes. Again, by receiving and recording these suggestions, you have a great glimpse at both singular and recurring issues.
  • Exit InterviewsEmployees leave a business for a lot of reasons, but resignations are much rarer for those who are happy and satisfied with their current employer. Exit interviews provide business owners with comprehensive insight into potential issues in wellness, culture, operations, management, and other workplace dynamics. And it is not all negative. These interviews also hopefully shed light on the business’s strengths as they relate to employee satisfaction and retention. As always, be sure to document the insight gleaned from exit interviews.

3 Effective Ways To Boost Employee Morale

Again, prioritizing workplace wellness and employee morale is just smart business. Here are some hands-on approaches that business owners can start executing almost immediately.

  1. Launch an Employee Recognition Program. It is just human nature. People like to be recognized for a job well done. Recognition programs offer several benefits. They celebrate high performers and star employees while setting the bar for others to work toward. They also demonstrate a business’s commitment to not just its own success, but that of the entire team. Recognition programs can take many forms, but should be implemented throughout an entire organization rather than just being limited to the sales team.
  2. Prioritize Workplace Wellness & Mental Health. According to researchers, up to 90% of employees report workplace stress has affected their mental health. But how do you gauge mental health in your own business? To get a meter on the stress levels and overall mental health in your business, consider a Wellness Survey or include mental health questions within a broader survey, like the Employee Satisfaction Survey discussed above. Particularly in high-stress industries or repetitious positions, promote connection among employees and offer downtime or emotional outlets beyond the mandatory breaks.
  3. Organize Team Building Activities. The way employees feel about their coworkers is directly related to how happy they are in their jobs. But connection can sometimes be elusive for even modest-sized teams. To enhance connectivity in your business, create and implement activities that foster engagement, teamwork, and relationship building. Consider monthly team lunches and be sure to invite both onsite and remote workers when feasible. If your crew is mostly remote in disparate locations, consider scheduling a monthly virtual social hour over video chat. Celebrate your employees’ birthdays and other important life events. Make community and engagement a key value in your company culture and vision.

Positive employee morale is as relevant to the success of your company as just about any other business driver. By taking steps now to foster a happy, healthy, and enriching environment, you position your business as a place where employees want to work and thrive.

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