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Are your team members happy and fulfilled with their jobs and work conditions? Do you feel their joie de vivre as you walk around the office or speak with them remotely? If not, perhaps you sense their frustrations or stress even if they don’t explicitly come out and talk to you about them.
Here, we’ll talk about ways to tap into your team’s feelings and get their feedback so you can help shape improved morale through your leadership.
How to boost employee morale
Workplace morale refers to your employees’ overall attitude and outlook. A central component of what you feel is the “vibe” at work.
Undeniably, most people want to work in places where they feel valued and challenged — and they’ll actively seek opportunities to build a career in these types of conditions. Who wouldn’t want these people on their team? Highly motivated employees are more engaged.
Engaged employees are great collaborators and positively influence the behaviors of those around them. They are the ones who actively contribute to creating a positive, healthy, and safe place where everyone feels valued and included.The State of Employee Experience, from Here on Out
In contrast, suppressed morale leads employees to “check out” emotionally and may only do the bare minimum to get the job done, often while actively seeking another job. Companies with lower morale face higher turnover, taxing organizational performance and profitability.
Many internal and external factors can affect whether your team members are engaged or not.
Some common internal factors that can lower morale include:
Some external challenges may be more present in some industries than others. For example, people working in call centers face more negativity while interacting with the public than ever before, while those in tech feel increasingly isolated due to new ways of working remotely.
Morale goes beyond individual attitudes or personalities. Keeping a close eye on employee morale can help managers identify shifts in employee satisfaction. Once the leadership understands the issues, you can take actions to curb negativity, enhance positivity, or both.
Keeping collective morale high in a workplace is more challenging today than ever before, but it’s also become essential for a well-functioning organization. High morale leads to many tangible benefits, so it’s up to every manager to find ways to measure employee satisfaction.
The good news is that even taking the initiative to ask for their feedback may be enough to make employees feel like there’s an improvement in communication with the management. At the very least, this can be the first step leading to high-morale workplace culture.
Asking employees for input about their experiences and feelings can help managers identify potential concerns. By asking questions, you gain invaluable insight into what’s working and what’s not and which areas need improvement to boost team engagement and morale.
Employees want to feel valued and heard, so having leaders who actively solicit advice can proactively show your team that the corporate culture is shifting to a more open and honest one.
Employee satisfaction survey questions measure how happy employees are in their current workplace. Here at Officevibe, questions on satisfaction focus on the perception of fair pay, performance practices, work environment, and role.
So while asking straight-out asking, “Are you happy with your job?” may not bring honest answers, you have plenty of ways to get a general sense of workforce satisfaction from your team.
Begin with positively framed questions to find out what people like (rather than soliciting complaints). Find out what is working well!
Some employee satisfaction questions to start with might include:
💡Tip: Asking about their workload, salary, and development can all provide hints to employee satisfaction. These answers can identify areas of weakness and signs of employee attrition. They can also identify what works, and it’s vital to amplify these aspects to promote a happy workplace.
Engagement questions help identify what makes employees feel motivated and connected at work. In many cases, engagement is a better metric to measure than satisfaction, as it correlates more strongly with employees who are willing to go above and beyond their standard work performance.
Understanding what makes the work engaging can help managers identify ways to get staff more passionate about their day-to-day functions.
Here are some employee engagement questions to get the creative juices flowing:
💡 Tip: Try to identify trends in your team based on the answers you get and amplify the aspects that most employees like. If you get a lot of negative responses about specific topics, consider ways to address these issues to improve low morale.
Want more concrete ways to up organizational morale? Use any of these 35 employee survey questions to boost engagement.
A company with a positive feedback culture encourages the exchange of feedback between employees, managers, and employers. The transition to this type of culture can be challenging, but it helps companies identify challenges and streamline operations while improving employee experience.
Questions to ask to get a feel about the current company culture:
💡 Tip: Company culture can take a lot of effort to shift and requires buy-in from everyone in the company. It’s not enough to pay lip service to inputs and recommendations from employees — it requires management to engage fully with employees to build a better work environment for all.
Many companies are starting to note that while the work environment plays a significant role in employee job satisfaction, and an even greater predictor is the employee’s work-life balance. If you want employees to be happy and productive in the workplace, you need to give them enough time to recover and focus on their happiness outside the office.
It’s hard for employees to regulate their balance between work and play. Almost half (48%) of American employees call themselves “workaholics.”
Some questions to identify whether you might need to address potential work-life balance concerns among your staff include:
💡 Tip: Burnout can linger for months and make employees less productive. Having a healthy balance between work and life is an investment toward the future. Such a balance helps employees stay engaged and motivated for longer.
While managed conflict can be great for finding novel solutions and bringing teams closer together, unmanaged conflict can create massive problems within a workplace. Conflicts that take attention away from work and focus mainly on the conflict itself can dramatically impact workplace morale.
How you as a manager handle conflict can also affect morale. Improperly managed situations can escalate or lead to festering resentment that poisons the work environment.
Here are some questions to find out what your team members think about conflict resolution in your company:
💡 Tip: Conflict resolution is a common managerial concern, and asking employees about their experiences can help identify potential areas of improvement.
If you’ve noticed a decline in employee morale, the best thing to do is talk to the affected employees. As many employees may be reluctant to answer questions with negative answers, it’s vital to approach the questions delicately and clarify that they will face no repercussions for answering honestly.
Some indirect questions may also help ease the tension, such as:
💡 Tip: Employees who feel their voice being heard are more likely to provide valuable and honest answers to questions. Since external factors can also influence employee work experience, touching base like this can identify potential methods for improving employee satisfaction.
Many employees start their new job feeling engaged and motivated but lose this motivation as time goes on. A large factor is feeling stagnant in one’s job, an emotion that affects personal engagement and satisfaction.
Some questions to find out how employees feel about their opportunities in the company include:
💡 Tip: Understanding how your employees feel about their development is essential in gauging how employees feel about their job. Showing concern about their growth is an excellent way to improve employee morale, especially if you follow through with new opportunities for advancement.
Monitoring employee morale is essential to discovering concerns before they escalate into full-blown problems. It can also help reveal positive aspects of your workplace environment, which your management can leverage to keep morale high.
Unfortunately, getting honest responses can be challenging, especially if your organization hasn’t pivoted to a positive feedback culture. It’s vital to use several methods to assess employee morale in the workplace and get a clear picture of the current mood.
Employee Pulse Surveys are an excellent way to get honest, useful feedback if you develop them correctly.
Engagement surveys offer several benefits over other forms of employee questioning, including:
Communication survey template
Get your team’s honest feedback on communication in the workplace and find out how to make it better.
While it’s possible to construct questionnaires manually, many managers find better success with an employee experience platform like Officevibe. This platform has a variety of survey and employee feedback options that cater to various corporate cultures and environments. The Officevibe platform also captures information from previous sessions, allowing managers to track employee morale over time.
Group sessions allow employees to provide their opinions without the intense focus of one-on-one meetings. While some people may be intimidated to speak up in a group environment, group meetings can enhance the feeling of camaraderie between coworkers.
Morale may improve as employees discover that others share their grievances or hopes for their teams. Group meetings also encourage brainstorming to find solutions to potential happiness or growth concerns. They’re also a perfect place to recognize outstanding achievements and encourage teams to exceed expectations.
One-on-one meetings between a manager and employee remain the gold standard for providing and receiving useful information about morale. These meetings become increasingly valuable as the company fosters a culture of open discussion between employees and managers.
Some employees may feel more comfortable discussing their feelings online. Sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor provide valuable insight into employees’ honest feelings about their work environment.
Ultimately, the best way to boost morale starts by keeping your pulse on it. If you’re sensing a drop in team spirit, that’s your cue for a vibe check. The sooner you can identify any triggers causing the concerns, the quicker you can address them!
Need a hand getting these insights? Consider using one of our helpful templates like the discussion on team communication or team spirit assessment for your next one-on-one meeting.
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