Measuring employee morale is an important part of managing a successful workforce; 89% of HR executives agreed that checking in with employees and conducting peer reviews increase workplace productivity and employee growth.

A study also shows that employees who feel their opinions are heard are 4.6 times more likely to have high morale to do their job. So, measuring employee morale not only helps you check on employee well-being; it also helps your bottom line by boosting productivity.

Another thing to keep in mind is that employee morale isn’t a physical quantity that can be measured easily, so you’ll need to gauge it through methods such as surveys, interviews, attitude observation, and more.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to defining employee morale, assessing it, and improving it. 

What Is Employee Morale?

Employee morale means how people feel about their roles, the company culture, and their career as a whole. In most cases, employees’ attitudes and commitment to their jobs indicate the level of their morale.

Although most people believe that employees are hesitant to express their dissatisfaction with their job, it’s not true. According to studies, 63% of Gen Z employees want timely and two-way constructive performance feedback throughout the year, while 42% of Millennial employees want feedback on their work every week.

Also, the majority of today’s employees have no problem leaving a job where they are unhappy. So, if your employees’ morale is low, you’ll have retention difficulty in addition to employee dissatisfaction and low productivity.

Read: Employee Happiness: Definition, Measurements & Optimization

Measuring employee morale successfully requires more than just observing people’s facial expressions at work. Most people are polite to HR and their bosses at work, so you need a proven method for getting most people to express how they feel about their jobs.

Also, rather than simply measuring employee morale as a task, go through their responses and look for innovative ways to meet their needs. If you just collect responses as a routine, employees will stop expressing how they feel because you don’t care, and it shows.

Importance of Employee Morale in the Workplace

Employee morale is important because it is connected to your organization’s productivity, employee satisfaction, retention, and motivation to do their job. Employees who have high morale are more motivated to do their jobs and are more likely to want to advance their careers within your organization.

Free Template: Career Development Survey Template

Your employees also become voluntary advocates for your company, which makes your company look good as a brand, and attracts people to join your workforce. If it’s the other way around, you won’t just lose your current employees; your chances of attracting committed members to your team are slim.

Why would anyone apply to a team that has been flagged by its own employees? The few that do apply are most likely doing so only because you’re offering a great incentive; they couldn’t care less about your company’s mission and values.

Employees with high morale are also more proactive and are more likely to go above and beyond to achieve the company’s goals and objectives.

In short, the higher the morale of your employees, the more likely they are to be motivated to do their job and loyal to your company.

Factors Affecting Employee Morale

Company Culture

Before assessing employee morale, you should evaluate your company’s work culture. Your company’s mode of operation could be what’s causing your employees’ morale to plummet.

Use this: Company Culture Survey Template

Your company’s culture is an integral part of employee morale; if the company’s culture does not encourage work-life balance or drowns employees in work, employees will eventually burn out, and their morale will suffer.

Employee’s Team

Employee morale is boosted by well-structured teams because it allows them to interact with people in their field, resolve task blocks, and share workload within the team.

Another upside of fostering a teamwork environment is that teammates can easily detect when a team member is dissatisfied or exhausted.

So, cultivating team spirit among employees allows them to cross-collaborate, be more productive, and actually enjoy their time at work.

Workload

The chances of an employee with a huge workload having high morale are pretty low. You can’t expect someone drowning in work to be happy and motivated to do more work.

Yes, every organization has times when they have a lot on their plates and employees must take on more responsibility. However, the added workload should be realistic; otherwise, it will backfire because your employees will become burnt out and have little to no motivation to work.

Well-Being

Employees’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being heavily influences how they approach work. Happy employees are more likely to accept constructive criticism positively than anxious employees.

They also have a positive attitude toward work, which makes them more productive and satisfied with their jobs.

Employee’s Work-Life Balance

Only a small percentage of employees are content with having no personal life outside of work; the majority of employees want a work-life balance. It’s not just about organizing team-building activities and spending time in the sun.

Employee work hours, for example, should be reasonable, and meetings should be kept within the specified work hours. Create a schedule for your employees that encourages them to unwind at home and return to work refreshed.

Communication and Recognition

People prefer two-way communication; a one-way performance review does not help you improve your workplace culture or policies to better suit your employees.

Instead of only evaluating employees’ performance, conduct an employee satisfaction survey as well, so that feedback goes both ways.

Recognizing employees for their hard work and unique contributions also motivates them to do more and makes them feel valued in your organization.

Signs and Implications of Low Employee Morale

Unengaged Workforce

When employees do their jobs with low morale, it becomes more about completing tasks and less about developing the company. They are not interested in thinking out of the box or even at all to accomplish company goals; they simply want to work and be paid.

You’ll usually notice that employees with low morale contribute far less to meetings, and become less punctual or completely miss meetings. A report by Gallup shows that companies with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable than companies with unengaged employees.

Implication: Low productivity and Low Profitability.

Frequent Day Off

In organizations where employees are constantly swamped with work, employees get overstretched at some point and request days off. The main issue with frequent days off is that you’d have to either distribute the employee’s work to other teammates or wait for them to return. 

If you distribute to teammates, they will likely become overwhelmed and request time off as well. But if you wait until the employee returns, their tasks will take longer to complete.

Low Work Quality

Employee morale affects not only the quantity but also the quality of work produced. Employees who are dissatisfied, exhausted, or engaged are less likely to pay attention to their tasks, resulting in more errors than before.

Uncommunicative Employees

Communication is a two-way street; when employee morale continues to deteriorate, and you fail to monitor or improve your workplace culture, employees become uninterested in providing feedback because… what difference would it make?

If this uncommunicative culture continues, HR will be inundated with resignations. Also, constantly recruiting for the same positions is not a good look for your brand; it raises doubts about your company culture.

Try for Free: Employee Satisfaction Survey Template

New Ideas are Scarce

A good way to observe employee morale at your company is how innovative employees are with their tasks. Dissatisfied employees are not proactive; they just go through the motions.

If your company keeps pushing the same ideas or simply replicates what’s trendy, your customers will notice and may churn because you’re not providing them with any unique value for their money.

High Turnover

When one or two employees resign, it is usually not a problem, but when the majority of your workforce keeps turning in their resignations, you should be concerned. A major reason employees quit is because they are consistently unmotivated and have a sense of dissatisfaction with their jobs.

Signs and Implications of High Employee Morale

The signs and implications of high employee morale are essentially the opposite of low morale:

  • High Productivity
  • High Employee Retention
  • Team Spirit
  • Proactive and Innovative Workforce
  • Good Communication

Methods Used to Evaluate Morale

Motivation and Satisfaction Surveys and Questionnaires

One of the best ways to determine employee morale is to ask them; no one knows how employees feel about their role or their level of satisfaction in an organization better than they do.

Your employee morale questionnaire should ask employees if they enjoy their work and if they feel valued and fairly compensated. It should also ask what you can do to improve their motivation to do their job.

Use this: Employee Motivation Questionnaire Template

Interviews

Interviews are another method for measuring employee morale and the reason for it. There are two approaches to conducting employee morale interviews: guided or conversational.

Most employees prefer conversational interviews about their morale to formal one-on-one interviews about their morale. When conducting an employee morale interview, don’t just focus on how they feel about their job; find out why they feel that way, so you have a roadmap to improving it.

Performance Reviews

Performance reviews from managers are an effective way of assessing employee morale. Ask managers to evaluate employees’ enthusiasm for completing tasks, the quality of their work, and their attitude during meetings and team-related activities.

Exit Surveys

When you notice a significant number of resignations in your company, it’s time to conduct exit surveys. Find out what is causing your staff to quit; this will provide you with a road map for how to improve your employee retention rate.

Team Evaluation Surveys

Conducting peer reviews allows you to get honest feedback about employee attitudes from the people who work with them every day. Team members can evaluate one another using team evaluation forms based on the attitude they observe team members exhibiting toward their work, task delivery, and participation in team-related activities.

Grievance Reporting

Allowing employees to use grievance forms to express their displeasure with company policies, or workplace incidents opens the door to communication. It enables them to voice their unhappiness with their jobs or the organization.

This allows you to change policies that make the workplace unpleasant for employees and devise strategies to prevent similar incidents in the future.

How to Build up Employee Morale

Encourage Feedback

Most times if you don’t ask employees about how they feel, they won’t tell you. You’ll end up finding out by declining profitability and waves of resignation.

So, have an open door policy that allows employees to express their displeasure, satisfaction, and suggestions.

Fair Compensation and Recognition

Most employees are motivated by a good salary first and a positive workplace culture second. Ensure that the compensation your employees are receiving for their positions is equitable with their worth.

It is also important to recognize and reward hardworking employees because it makes them feel valued and motivates them to perform even better.

Excellent Workplace Culture

A positive workplace culture boosts employee morale because it shows that organizations care about their well-being and satisfaction. 

Employees in organizations with good company policies are more likely to inform management rather than quit if they are unhappy at some point.

Well-Structured Teams and Workload Distribution

Burnout is a major cause of low morale, so having a well-structured team that allows you to distribute among employees is an great solution for increasing employee morale.

Career Development Opportunities

Employees who can advance within their organization have a more positive attitude toward work than those who cannot. 

Offering employees opportunities to advance in their careers shows that you value their professional development; most employees appreciate this, which boosts their morale.

Employee Morale Questionnaire (sample questions to ask)

According to a Keka report, 90% of performance reviews are painful and ineffective. As a result, when investigating employee morale, your questionnaire should include questions that allow employees to effectively voice their opinions and offer suggestions for improving the company’s policies.

Here are 10 effective questions to include in your next employee morale questionnaire.

  • On a scale of 1-10, how much do you enjoy the company’s culture?
  • My manager is genuinely interested in my career growth (strongly agree-strongly disagree)
  • How is your job affecting your personal life? (positively-negatively)
  • My voice is heard in my workplace (strongly agree – strongly disagree)
  • On a scale of 1-5, rate your satisfaction with our compensation for your role
  • My company values and recognizes my contributions to achieving its goals
  • My job description is fluid (it’s constantly changing)
  • The resources I have to do my job are suitable and efficient.
  • My company values my feedback and uses it to improve its operation
  • I enjoy working with my teammates and supervisors.

Build and customize your employee morale questionnaire here.

Conclusion

Evaluating your employees’ morale regularly enables you to understand what motivates them to do their jobs. It also allows employees to voice their opinions on the company’s culture and how it can be improved.

Also, it’s not enough to collect opinions and review employees’ performance to effectively boost employee morale. You need to implement those suggestions and resolve their grievances to make your organization more enjoyable for your employees.



  • Moradeke Owa
  • on 11 min read

Formplus

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