Morale is contagious. Everyone has interacted with that one disgruntled colleague whose attitude slowly starts to influence (or heck – poison) the thoughts of everyone around them. Conversely, the good vibes that spread from a colleague who’s absolutely buzzing can uplift everyone’s spirits.
Morale is a combination of our attitude towards and outlook on our organisation. It’s highly determined by our reactions to events, so some parts of morale are out of the control of an HR or IC team. That said, morale is closely linked with wellbeing – and there’s a clear connection between wellbeing and productivity.
According to MetLife[i], healthy employees are:
First, are you measuring morale? Most engagement surveys miss the mark when it comes to measuring sentiment at work. Questions regarding morale include: ‘Am I proud of my team and our work?’ ‘Do I feel like a valuable member of the team?’ and ‘Do I feel enthusiastic and energetic about the work I’m doing?’.
Everyone wants to feel like they’re valued – and one of the best ways to demonstrate how much you value someone is with rewards. These can come in many forms, but public praise and monetary compensation rank high on the list. That said, we’ve got loads of recognition ideas!
With all the talk of quiet quitting, have you considered the more insidious threat of your people who are actively discontent? According to Gallup[ii], the number of disengaged people at work is 18 per cent. These negative emotions can spread like wildfire throughout a business. First, there’s much to be gained from listening to why they feel that way in case there are things that need to change. That said, sometimes a relationship between employee an employer reaches a toxic level that there’s no coming back from. Offering a supportive offboarding package to give someone the support and encouragement they need to find something that’s better suited for them can be a win-win for all parties.
Leaders who inspire, trust and are authentic are a huge boost to morale. Conversely, leaders who are pessimistic, bully or micro-manage might as well throw a bucket of cold water over the proverbial morale’s head.
[i] MetLife. (2023). U.S. Employee Benefits Trends Study
[ii] Gallup. (2023). State of the Global Workforce