With many teams now working remotely, due to the events and restrictions we’ve seen this year, employee morale has become the topic at the forefront of conversation within businesses. And with many offices now looking continue with more at-home working, it’s becoming ever more important to keep everyone connected and engaged.
Employee morale isn’t simply about how happy your team are; it incorporates your company culture, the way teams and management communicate and how invested your team are in your business. High morale can only be achieved when employees feel valued by their employer and when teams are dispersed and working remotely, it’s easy for vital communication to be missed and workers to feel isolated. With remote work on the rise and set to continue, ensuring everyone feels like part of the team is now more important than ever. Here are 6 ways you can achieve a positive effect on your bottom line by improving your team moral by Lorna Boyer at Eventurous.
Communication is key
Whether your team work together closely in an office or are based remotely, communication is one of the most important factors in keeping morale high. You should always strive to have transparent and open conversations between employees and the top level. Employees will feel more valued and have a more positive perception of the company if they feel aware of everything that’s happening in the business as opposed to only being included in updates solely relevant to them.
This is something that becomes harder to achieve when employees are working remotely. The information picked up naturally from hearing conversations in the office is easily missed and must be pro-actively distributed. A weekly meeting via video conference or an email newsletter can be great ways to send out updates across the company. Make sure that communication channels are open both ways though. Employees need to feel like they have some input rather than just being talked at. Leave time at the end of meetings for a Q&A session or ensure your contact details are clear in any email correspondence so employees know how to contribute.
Keep Up with On-going One-to-One Sessions
Leading on from this, one of the most powerful ways to boost morale is to have open and ongoing one-to-one sessions with employees. Making time to sit down with each of your employees on a regular basis may seem like an impossible task, but ensuring you have the right structure in place for these meetings can drastically improve efficiency and make certain you both get the best out of the meeting. Set clear goals for your conversation but also ensure there’s space for employees to voice their opinions too.
Make sure you leave yourself open to honest feedback and that employees know they will be listened to. It is crucial for employees to feel that they have an active role in your business and the easiest way to achieve this, is to simply listen to their needs and concerns. Don’t forget to recognise employees’ hard work and achievements too. A simple ‘Thank you’ or ‘good job’ goes a long way.
Host virtual team building activities to energise your employees
After years of cringe-worthy trust exercises, team building has been given a bad reputation, but it remains one of the most effective ways of re-energising, engaging, and connecting your employees. The move to remote working has seen team building companies around the world take their activities digital, and there are now more options than ever to get your employees working together in a fun and active way.
Not only does teambuilding improve morale by providing some fun and a break from the normal working day, but it also helps to develop key skills such as problem solving and communication skills. It’s an effective way to get colleagues working together more efficiently and to integrate new members into the team. Try to make teambuilding a regular part of your business plan, even if its only 2 or 3 times a year, to ensure the benefits are continued. You could even get your team to vote on their preferred teambuilding activity, giving them more input into the business.
Promote a healthy work-life balance
Employee burnout can be one of the biggest disasters for team morale and with employees now working from home more, people are finding it increasingly difficult to switch off. According to a report from CoSo Cloud, 23% of remote workers say they work longer hours than they would on-site and 53% of remote workers say they’re less likely to take time off. Although this sounds great for getting through workloads, a lack of breaks is shown to have a negative effect on productivity and quality of work.
Encourage staff to work within their hours where possible and try not to promote a culture of working overtime unnecessarily. There will always be busy periods where extra hours are unavoidable but try to contrast this with some flexibility in working hours and by encouraging employees to take proper breaks throughout the day. You could also consider some family friendly team fun, such as a Friday quiz hosted over video call, which your employees and those they live with can all take part in.
Support employees with their development
You can quickly boost team morale by giving your employees a sense of purpose whilst also supporting their personal growth and development. Offering ongoing training provides benefits on both sides; employees get to increase their skills and knowledge and your business reaps the benefits of this. Training and development are great ways to make your employees feel valued and to show that you are invested in them and their future.
It also helps to create a clear progression plan with your employees, providing a path to the next target. Its much easier to feel motivated when you know your goals than if you’re just muddling through. This is something that can be done in a monthly meeting or quarterly on-to-one video call.
The bottom line on team morale
As soon as you see morale start to drop, its time to take action. It’s something that can be quick to drop but takes time to increase again. By taking the steps above, you’re sure to see an increase in morale and motivation and the quicker you can implement these, the better. Communication and recognition are your key tools and by embracing these, you can positively benefit your company culture.