The pandemic has affected employee mental wellbeing and physical health. Apart from employee health and wellbeing, the situation has also affected employee engagement and morale, impacting their performance and workplace productivity. And so, employers are looking for ways to boost employee engagement, morale, confidence, and enthusiasm for their work.
In simple words, Employee Morale is the emotional condition of the workforce that reflects their confidence levels and passion for work. Employee morale affects their teamwork, impacting team morale and workplace engagement.
Even before the pandemic started, companies were concerned about the impact of employee engagement and morale on workplace productivity and loyalty. With the pandemic causing a lot of uncertainty to employees and employers, the entire world is facing low morale issues like never before.
In April 2020, The Society for Human Resource Management surveyed 2,278 HR professionals to understand the employee morale issues caused by the pandemic. According to the survey, 65% of the employers agreed that managing and keeping up employee morale was difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be attributed to the social distancing rules, remote working situations, or high workload.
Typically, employees who are not very happy with their employers or workplaces, who have issues with their workplace culture, working policies, facilities, workload, and have any other concerns about their workplaces, tend to have low employee morale.
Here are some simple ways to boost employee morale for better workplace productivity and employee engagement.
Empathizing with the Workforce
Empathy and sympathy influence emotional health. Empathy is the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions and manage them. Many studies have shown that empathy is often associated with employee morale and engagement. Employees who feel they are underappreciated or not respected enough at the workplace are likely to have low morale. On the other hand, organizations that empathize with the employees are more likely to make them feel respected and enthusiastic towards their workplaces. While 92% of employers felt they empathized with their employees, only 50% of employees agreed that their employers are empathetic. So, if you are looking to boost employee morale and engagement, start by empathizing with the workforce.
Improving Workplace Communications
Workplace communications play a huge role in influencing employee morale. As most employees are working remotely now, the need for proper workplace communications has become more important than ever. Employers must invest in the right digital resources to ensure proper and timely communication with and within the workforce. Almost 89% of the employees in a CITE research agreed that disordered or chaotic digital communication systems affected their employee engagement, morale, workplace productivity, and overall business. 92% of employees from the same study said having an integrated communications platform can boost employee engagement, customer experience, and overall business. 86% said having a robust communications platform can improve business profits and the employee retention probability of 83% of the employees.
Seek and Address Employee Feedback
One of the best ways to empathize with the employees is to listen to them and address their concerns. Seeking employee feedback and actively working on them is a great way of interacting with the workforce and making them a part of the workplace culture. Employers and managers must channel smooth interaction between all the working groups to encourage honest conversations. Feedback can be sought through one-on-one interactions or by conducting employee pulse surveys. When employees feel their opinions are heard and are taken seriously by their employers, it will boost their morale and engagement.
Encourage Virtual Bonding Amongst the Colleagues
According to a Buffer study, more than 30% of employees feel lonely due to the lack of communication and interaction, especially while working remotely. Also, 41% agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way they communicated and collaborated with their managers and colleagues. Employers must ensure virtual bonding between peers to ensure communication, better employee engagement, stronger teams, and overall better employee morale.
Focus on Employee Wellbeing and Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is probably one of the most crucial factors influencing employee engagement and team morale. However, the pandemic and its remote working situation have disturbed employee work-life balance. A Buffer study shows that 45% of employees were working overtime since the pandemic started. The multiple responsibilities, extra workload, and uncertainty of the global situation have affected work-life balance, impacting employee health and wellbeing. And so, employers have started implementing employee wellbeing programs with regular assessments, wellness challenges, and other wellbeing modules to make them feel valued and support through their tough times. This approach not only boosts employee morale and engagement, but also allows employers to understand the current state of their employees and address their concerns right away.
In addition to the above employee engagement strategies, employers must also recognize and appreciate employees for their accomplishments, at work or for achieving their employee wellbeing program targets.
As employees feel valued and recognized, they tend to contribute more towards workplace wellness. It also builds trust and maintains strong communication among peers, which can go a long way in boosting employee morale and engagement – all contributing to better workplace wellness and business growth.