8 Simple Ways To Improve Employee Morale and Wellbeing
Creating a thriving work culture goes beyond just hiring the best talent. It involves fostering an environment that promotes creativity, productivity, and overall well-being.
Unfortunately, improving morale and well-being is often easier said than done.
A 2022 research by Future Forum found that 43% of managers say they're burned out at work and don't feel motivated enough. The overall number goes only higher as we include employees at all levels.
That's precisely why now is the time for organizations to use the voice of their employees to gather insights on how to boost morale and well-being.
In this blog, we'll be exploring eight simple ways to do just that!
The Impact of Positive Employee Morale
When the employee morale is high, they notice more positives at work and turn every negative into an opportunity to learn or improve things. As low engagement costs the global economy $7.8 trillion per year, high employee morale that leads to high engagement is critical for growth. This boosts their engagement rate with the organization, which eventually helps lead to growth.
There are five main aspects of employee well-being: social, emotional, financial, environmental, and physical. Let’s look at what each one of them mean for employees and what organizations can do:
1. Social well-being
Employees' social well-being is the capability to foster meaningful connections with others based on authentic, respectful communication. It is the capability for genuine, authentic, and mutually affirming interactions, allowing for positive experiences, trust, and respect in the workplace.
2. Financial well-being
Financial well-being is essential to your employee's mental and physical health. Whether you're trying to increase productivity or keep your employees happy and healthy, the ability to live without financial stressors is a key component of both.
The Wellness Barometer survey indicated that an increase in economic challenges influences employees' overall well-being, with financial stress impacting mental health (77% report an increase) and physical health (52% report an increase).
A financially secure employee can contribute to their work better, with increased focus and productivity. Employers should ensure that employees can meet their daily needs and plan for the future. This means having the financial resources available and giving them tools for budgeting, saving, and making wise investments to achieve financial well-being on their terms.
Suggested Article: Financial Wellness- An Issue in Overall Employee Wellness
3. Emotional well-being
Employees' emotional well-being is the ability to produce positive thoughts and emotions through daily experiences. It involves creating an environment where individuals feel safe, supported, and valued. Good emotional well-being leads to happier, healthier, and more productive employees.
A study by the Harvard Business Review analyzed the data of over 60 million people and found that emotional well-being is one of the essential factors in an individual's success at work. It also found that work environments with high levels of emotional well-being are associated with the following:
4. Environmental well-being
It encompasses a supportive and collaborative atmosphere focused on inclusion and respect. In this way, employees can build a strong sense of belonging and confidence, which is essential for a thriving work environment.
5. Physical wellbeing
Ensuring employees' physical well-being is vital. Providing resources, opportunities, and freedom to focus on health is essential. Healthy snacks, exercise classes, and flexible working hours can promote health and wellness.
As an employer, you can start addressing the issue of employee burnout by sharing helpful information, as many employees seem exhausted and may even doze off during meetings.
Different Ways to Improve Employee Morale and Well-being
Employees are any organization's lifeblood; hence, without happy and motivated employees, overall productivity and efficiency can suffer drastically over time. That's why it's essential to understand how to improve employee morale and well-being.
Here are 8 simple yet effective ways to ensure your employees are happy, motivated, and productive:
1. Promote a healthy work-life balance
Fitness rewards are non-monetary and monetary rewards designed to complement an employee's wellness journey.
For example, employers can use the wellness program to inspire employees to keep up with their wellness journey with badges and health reward points. The program makes it easy to increase the wellness program's effectiveness with a transparent rewarding process.
Employees can quickly redeem reward points as gift cards from within the app. Some other wellness activities for remote employees include:
Virtual yoga or exercise classes
Online meditation sessions
Virtual lunch & learns
Remote wellness challenges and a leaderboard
2. Support employee-led initiatives and offer employee growth
Employers must invest in employee-led initiatives to ensure employees feel supported and inspired. Encouraging employees to take the lead on projects and initiatives allows them to feel empowered and helps boost their morale and confidence.
Furthermore, employers should offer employees growth opportunities, such as providing access to training, mentoring opportunities, and further education. This allows employees to develop their skills and knowledge, leading to increased job satisfaction, improved job performance, and an overall sense of achievement.
Investing in employee growth ultimately leads to a more productive and successful workforce.
3. Don't ignore the power of small gestures
Small gestures can go a long way in improving employee morale and well-being. For example, something as simple as rewarding recognition and giving a shout out to the employee's contribution can be a great morale booster.
Other fun ways to incentivize employees and make them feel valued are: organizing a company picnic or outing, having an ice cream stall setup for a day, celebrating milestones with a cake, setting up an employee of the month award and recognition, providing free snacks, beverages, or company gifts like t-shirts, mugs, etc.
These small gestures help create a fun and encouraging work environment and motivate employees to give their best.
4. Communication is the key
Communication is essential when trying to boost employee morale and well-being. Regular face-to-face and online team meetings should be scheduled to discuss progress and allow team members to talk about any issues.
Hosting periodic mass town halls and strategic one-on-one meetings with proper agendas is essential to ensure that communication happens effectively.
It is also essential to ensure that communication is two-way - managers should listen to the team members and create an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions - having a workplace communication strategy defined can come in handy.
5. Let the teams set their own goals and workstyles
Giving teams the freedom to set their own goals and workstyles helps to create a more efficient and productive workplace. It allows employees to work according to their flow zone, tapping into their most productive times and maximizing their energy and creativity.
For example, some people prefer to work at night, while others prefer to get up early and start their day with a creative burst. Working on their terms can significantly improve employee well-being and help them stay motivated and productive.
6. Promote mental health awareness and counseling
A 2022 Forbes article cited mental health as among the biggest reasons that 56% of workers are looking for a new job today (compared to 40% of those polled four years ago).
Employers can promote mental health awareness and counseling by providing employees with resources such as mental health hotlines, employee assistance programs, and free counseling. They can also organize workshops and seminars for employees to learn about mental health issues and how to cope with them.
For example, you can set up a business phone app as a mental health hotline for employees. Provide mental health counseling and safe and secure access to mental health specialists. Employers can easily and quickly access the resources they need to take care of their employees and ensure their mental health and well-being.
All in all, employers can and must create an open, supportive environment in the workplace by encouraging conversations about mental health and providing employees with a safe space to talk about their issues.
7. Make sharing feedback a two-way process
Employers must ensure feedback is given and received to ensure positive employee morale. Employees must be encouraged to speak openly and honestly with their employers to ensure their concerns are heard.
Employers should also take the time to listen to their employees and take on board any suggestions they may have. This can be done by planning regular well-being surveys to probe insights on specific topics.
8. Routinely organize team-building activities
Employers must coordinate team-building activities for both remote and physically present employees. These activities can include online quiz nights, virtual coffee breaks, and online scavenger hunts.
Offline activities could include going for a lunch picnic, playing a game of cricket, or having a potluck dinner. As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, employers should consider offbeat activities that combine the virtual and physical realms, such as a virtual escape room or an online cooking class.
Ready to boost your employee’s morale and wellbeing?
Boosting employee well-being and morale is not a one-time thing.
It's an ongoing effort, and you'll need to learn from your employees as you go.
Invest in activities that motivate and challenge your staff, make sure they have strong relationships with their colleagues, provide them with the tools and resources they need, and ensure they're happy and healthy in their work environment.
The goal should always be making them feel comfortable and heard at the workplace.
If there's one thing you need to change at your workplace, it should be how you take care of your employees' well-being.
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