People in full-time employment, more often than not, spend the majority of their weekdays at work. Of course, this will vary depending on the nature of the job (i.e. restaurant waiters will usually work on different hours and days to public sector office staff), but this tends to be the case for those of us who work in 9-to-5 jobs.
In many cases, your job is simply a means of picking up a salary so that you can finance the things that are most important to you in life, but there’s no reason why you cannot be happy in your working environment. At least not in an ideal world.
We’d all like to work with agreeable, dedicated colleagues under a management that appreciates the significance of keeping staff happy and motivated.
To some, this sounds highly fanciful, like a dream that is unattainable and doesn’t exist in the cold light of day. In truth, this is the way that a business should be run.
Employees are needed to carry out the nuts and bolts of business operations, so keeping them onside and incentivized to give their best is in the company’s best interests.
The mantra of ‘treat people as you would like to be treated’ rings true when it comes to workplace morale – respect staff and they’ll repay you with greater effort; treat them with scorn and you risk sparking a rebellion.
The key to ensuring a happy workplace is to recognize the factors that would create this positive environment.
Managers can often make the mistake of thinking that workers will be ecstatic simply because their wages have increased.
It certainly helps, but there’s a lot more to positive workplace morale than throwing money at employees. In many cases, what they crave more than anything else is recognition of their efforts through positive appraisal.
If an employee is made to feel that their efforts are indispensable in ensuring business success, they will receive a huge psychological lift and realize that their work is enormously appreciated. In other words, their endeavours are justified.
Compare that with a workplace where dissatisfaction and autocracy is rife.
Employees feel like mere minions who are seen as nothing more than robotic cogs in a wheel, and even when they give their all, they receive more criticism over imperfections than praise for doing a good job.
This can totally shatter a worker’s self-confidence and make them question why they invest so much effort into fulfilling an ungrateful employer’s ambitions. In turn, they are likely to flee to another workplace at the first opportunity, leaving their former employer no choice but to plunge resources into hiring and training new staff.
If you think that employee morale is a meaningless business buzzword, think again. One turn frequently does another, so make sure to find out what keeps your staff happy and deliver accordingly.
They will feed off that appreciation and respond by going above the call of duty to help your business succeed. After all, it is no coincidence that some of the most profitable companies in the world also boast the highest levels of workplace morale. The link between the two is indelible.
No company can succeed without a happy and motivated workforce.
Ensuring that your staff is happy is challenging and can take constant work but there are a few different strategies which should deliver noticeable effects. A raise is, of course, one of the most effective ways but this isn’t always feasible so read on for a few alternatives.
1. Positive Feedback
Regular positive feedback will help an employee to feel valued and a key part of the team. This feedback should always be genuine and given in public which can give an individual a huge confidence boost.
2. Listen to Their Input
It is important to create a team-based mentality in the workplace where everyone feels listened to. It is for this reason why it is a smart move to listen to their input regarding company strategy and development.
In addition to increasing morale, they might also have a great idea that you would not have thought of.
3. Flexible Working
The days of 9-5 are vanishing so it is important that you offer your staff flexible working. This can boost morale and show that you understand that they have a life outside of the office.
Flexible working might include remote working from time to time, late finishes, early starts etc.
4. Employee Loans
Money will have a direct impact on happiness. While it would be great to offer every employee a raise, this is simply not possible and not a smart use of company money.
Instead, benefits like employee loans can help to alleviate financial concerns and show that you care about your staff and their life outside of the office.
5. Support for Wellbeing
Staff should feel well supported at their job and if they are encountering any kind of difficulty then there should be support in place.
Mental health is a huge problem around the world and, although things are improving, there is still a stigma attached. Make your workplace supportive and open so that people feel that they can get support if it is needed at any time.
6. Exercise Opportunities
Additionally, encouraging staff to lead a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise can have a huge impact on morale.
Many people struggle to find the time to exercise after a day at the work so having your own gym, arranging a yoga teacher to come in or having group fitness classes can be a smart idea.
These are just a few effective strategies for helping your employees to be happy without offering them a raise. A happy workforce is a hardworking and motivated workforce, so it is an area that is always worth addressing.
When morale is high it can also create an enjoyable company culture, encourage employee loyalty and make coming into work each day much more enjoyable for everyone.