How to Build Team Morale
Happy workers are 13% more productive, while many remote workers report dissatisfaction with their work-life balance and a lack of belonging in their virtual teams.
This is an issue that team leaders need to overcome. If positive employee morale is key to company success, and remote work is a threat to workplace morale, leaders need to find a solution and understand how to boost morale.
What is Employee Morale?
Employee or team morale is more than just the workplace mood. Employee morale is the outlook, satisfaction, attitude, and confidence that team members have at work and reflects the company culture.
Though there are sometimes personal issues that can lead to low morale, generally speaking, a business can have a large effect on its company morale.
Why is Employee Morale Important?
Where there is high morale in a company, teams feel like they can accomplish anything. Happy employees feel valued, collaborate with their co-workers, and pursue their personal milestones, leading to higher productivity and more employee engagement with the company’s mission.
High employee morale is crucial for organisations because it improves several things, including:
- Employee retention – low employee morale means people eventually leave, leading to high turnover. Higher morale means team members tend to stay in their roles and invest in the company’s future.
- Performance – High office morale leads to higher productivity levels. Happy employees work harder in their day-to-day work, develop their professional skills, and contribute more to their team. Though this is not just about racking up work hours, it’s more about the positive effects of a healthy work environment on productivity.
- Communication – When workers are happy, employees feel connected with senior leadership. They are comfortable sharing their creative thinking and their feedback and thoughts on company direction. This open and honest communication between senior management and their employees is beneficial to the company.
- Employee engagement – High morale encourages employees to feel more present and engaged with the work in front of them. Disengaged employees feel overwhelmed by the overarching objectives of the team – a harmful dynamic for the well-being of your business.
- Collaboration – low company morale leads to a reluctance to work with other team members. High staff morale is contagious, allowing employees to feed off each other’s positivity as employees experience a collective mindset in pursuit of team goals. In short, employee satisfaction leads to better teamwork.
These reasons show why you need to make an ongoing effort to find ways to boost employee morale.
How to Boost Employee Morale
1. Measure morale
A first step is to actually take the time to measure morale in the workplace. You could conduct a morale survey to collect feedback, conduct one on ones with team members, check employee history, and observe employees at work.
As you investigate workplace morale and gather employee feedback, you are already giving employees a voice – let it be known their opinions are valued. It’s important to back this up by taking action using the information you gather.
2. Understand what makes each employee tick
You need to build a personal connection with each of your employees and understand their personal lives and individual motivations and interests.
This will probably not be a one-size-fits-all picture. Boosting team morale means making everybody happy, and job satisfaction may look different from one employee to another. As a team leader, it’s your responsibility to understand your employees.
3. Recognise and celebrate successes
We humans aren’t that complicated. We like to celebrate good things, so recognising work-related success is an excellent way to boost workplace morale.
Encourage employees to celebrate successes together. You should give public recognition to a high-performing team member and show understanding by expressing gratitude for team effort toward achieved goals. A company culture based on employee recognition is a surefire way to boost workplace morale.
4. Provide tools
You must provide all the tools necessary for employees to do their jobs well. Nothing frustrates employees more than not having the right equipment on hand to fulfill their role’s responsibilities. For remote teams, especially, this means investing in technology that improves workflow and aids collaboration.
Whichever industry you work in, boost morale by ensuring the right tools are available and keep them up to date.
5. Provide a pleasant environment
The workplace must be a pleasant environment in which to work.
For physical workplaces, that means spacious, clean offices, a big break room to take real lunch breaks, and access to bathrooms and other amenities.
However, ‘environment’ also refers to the general vibe of the workplace, which is especially relevant for remote employees whose workplace is virtual.
Build positive employee morale in remote teams by creating a supportive environment that prioritises emotional intelligence. To ensure high morale, you need to pay particular attention to encouraging employee engagement among remote workers. This should be ingrained into any remote company culture so that remote workers do not become disengaged and dissatisfied.
6. Give opportunities to learn
Team members want to feel like their careers are progressing, and office morale is greatly improved when there is the notion that opportunities are there to grow and even earn a promotion.
Boost employee morale by providing training opportunities, giving employees permission to engage in external courses, hiring for leadership positions from within, and establishing for new hires that your company is a place to stay and develop their careers.
Generally, generating a growth mindset for all team members is a great way to boost company morale.
7. Balance independence and accountability
Managers tend to find it challenging to find the right balance between independence and accountability. They need to give workers space to perform their duties but also want to ensure productivity.
A heavy-handed manager will lead to low morale since this betrays a lack of trust. Yet, many employees feel overwhelmed by too much independence on tasks and need some leadership and guidance to get things done.
This is where your established relationships with each employee should help you find the right balance. Develop an understanding of each employee’s needs and try to support them as necessary.
Again, this is based on communication, so even if you don’t get it right all the time, you can still boost employee morale by showing you value employee feedback and will take it on board for future interactions.
Boost Morale in Remote Teams
Ensuring high staff morale in your remote team provides an extra challenge for leaders and managers.
Of course, the above list is all still directly relevant to remote employees – you need to recognise success, give opportunities to learn, and understand your employees just as you would if you were managing the team in person.
The added complication for remote teams is that you need to pay particular attention to building a team mentality in the first place. Employee interpersonal connections can be harder to develop within remote teams without regular interaction.
Since collaboration and cooperation are key to staff morale, you need to make an effort to establish relationships within your team.
There are many ways to do this, one of which is virtual team-building workshops.
Virtual Team Building
At Making Teams, the developers understand the value of remote team-building exercises that are fun and meaningful.
By meaningful, we mean that these virtual exercises help build trust, develop skillsets, and provide a morale boost for your remote employees.
There are plenty of fully customisable activities to suit your team, from virtual escape rooms to virtual amazing races and treasure hunts.
Of all the ways to boost employee morale, virtual team-building exercises are a quick and easy win for leaders as we’ll do all the work for you. Just turn up at your next meeting and let us help combat that low employee morale.
Reach out to see how we can boost employee morale in your remote team.