Key Factors That Negatively Impact Employees Morale And Productivity
Employee morale is essentially a build-up of the attitude, satisfaction and overall outlook of employees during their association with an organization or a business. An employee that is satisfied and motivated at the workplace usually tend to have higher morale than their counterparts.
Employee engagement and employee satisfaction play an important role for employees to be happy in their workplace. On the contrary, employees who are not happy in their workplace, who constantly complain about the various attributes in an organization, like employee policies, workplace culture or facilities at work tend to have low employee morale. And this is quite evident in their behaviour.
Satisfied employees are productive employees. It is expected from every effective leader or concerned organization to keep them that way. People who are engaged and enthusiastic at work are 21% more productive than those who are not, meaning that poor morale doesn’t just feel bad, it can also really affect the bottom line.
Employee morale and motivation are related but different. Morale reflects an employee’s attitude toward their work, while motivation is an energy that comes from inner space to satisfy the demands of the job. Motivation is drive and morale is a sentiment. Employers should be cognizant of the fact that there exists a synergy between the two. Maintaining this delicate balance is tricky but also important as they share a direct correlation and the absence of one is bound to affect the other.
Review the following factors that can directly impact morale to determine how you can best improve productivity within your organization:
1. GOAL CLARITY
It’s simple logic that people fail to meet productivity goals if they don’t even know what the expectations of them are. Yet only half of the employees say they know what’s expected of them at work. Make expectations for performance clear for every team member by providing specific, measurable markers of productivity, and check-in frequently to make sure employees stay on track. Many times, organizations themselves are unclear about their vision, values and processes. Therefore, they fail to communicate the purpose of the organization to employees.
For example, sometimes some start-ups skyrocket their way to success, because of their product or service and acumen of an able leader. However, they place less importance in drafting and establishing vision and company values as they see it as a time-consuming activity. What they fail to realize is that without value or vision in place it is difficult to draft clear goals for the people working for them. The employees will fail to see a purpose in their actions and feel left out from the bigger picture. Thus will lose the will to work as they are unable to see a link between actions, outcomes and efforts being rendered.
2. TEAM MANAGEMENT:
The level and type of supervision received by an employee have a tremendous influence on his morale. A high rate of employee turnover indicates that leadership is ineffective. On one hand, employees cannot survive in an overly supervised environment and on the other hand there also cannot be complete autonomy. Agreed, if employees are given the freedom to do the job, their morale will be high and nobody likes to be supervised all the time. But organizations must strive to strike a balance here! This is because too much intervention makes disheartens employees making them feel less confident about themselves. At the same time, little to none supervision may make them feel lost and they begin to feel the lack of growth and learning. In both cases, the employee quickly loses morale and loses motivation to perform at work. This increases the employee turnover thus affecting the profitability of the organization.
Also, nearly 1/3 of employees think their current boss is a bad manager, and nearly half have left a job because of a bad boss. That’s a huge problem for companies looking to retain their best employees. Poor leadership warrants low morale and allows unproductive employees to stagnate. At the same time, good employees become discouraged and stop giving good effort to their work. In sum, everyone suffers from poor team management and inefficient leadership. Some traits that are clear indicators of ineffective management are inadequate learning or growth opportunities, the inability of the manager to connect and get along with the team members, existence of polarizing personalities in the team or the inability of the manager to keep a growth mindset. Due to these factors, employee morale drops rapidly and they no longer feel enthusiastic about work. However, poor leadership is reversible. If you train your managers to be better people managers, this will have a positive impact on the performance of those around them. In short, good leaders inspire other good leaders. And that will have a trickle-down effect on employee morale and productivity.
3. EFFORT TO REWARD RATIO:
The effort to reward imbalance and over commitment among employees is prevalent in many organization and is a great contributor towards decreasing morale. Efforts at work is a part of an unsaid agreement between employer and employee. Efforts are supposed to be reciprocated with adequate rewards like compensation and benefits, opportunities, job security or even rewards. Failed reciprocity between efforts and rewards may lead to an imbalance and eventually deter the morale of a working employee.
The worker’s perception of past rewards and future opportunities for rewards affect their morale to a substantial extent. If the workers regard the rewards as fair and satisfactory, their morale will tend to be higher. Moreover, if the rewards and opportunities for the future tend to be bleak. Sometimes, employee efforts are not rewarded appropriately. For example, an employee working hard to earn a promotion might quickly lose morale of not receiving one year after year. Managers need to be sensitive to the efforts and expectations of employees and reward them appropriately. An employee working hard for a promotion cannot be rewarded with a vacation. There will be an expectation mismatch eventually, obliterating his/her morale and eventually affect the bottom-line.
Fortunately, managers can now keep tabs on employee growth and appreciate them regularly using platforms like Buzzz. It is an exceptional employee engagement platform that not only allows managers to reward employees but also records and tracks employee moods daily. This nudges managers to take action the moment they identify a dissatisfaction and address these issues, thus retaining their best talent.
4. PUBLIC IMAGE:
In today’s digital world, this factor affects employee morale even at the peer level – the organization itself. The organization influences the worker’s attitudes to their jobs. For Example, the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, in a paradigm-shifting, Covid-19 inspired move, told his employees that they can continue working from home “perpetually” of course while subjecting it to certain terms and conditions. The point being, a powerful move like that not only speaks volumes about the organization and leadership team but also makes the employees proud to be a part of such an organization. It enhances the public image of the company and makes employees proud of being part of such a culture. The public reputation of an organization may build-up employees attitudes towards the organization, for better or worse.
It may seem like a dramatic consequence of company reputation, but the damage is spread far and wide. When employees don’t agree with a particular action or the overall business conduct of the organization they work with, it affects their morale and the smallest incident could trigger a negative sentiment in them, thus making them actively disengaged. For example, a certain organization indulges in false marketing gimmicks or misrepresentation to sell a product. However, on consumption, the user feedback is a dissatisfied one as they fell for a honey trap. This activity may seem potentially harmless but has the potential to not just dent the company’s public image but also cause social embarrassment to the people working for it. Thus dragging down the morale of the company. It is the responsibility of the organization to maintain a good public reputation to manage this sentiment among employees.
Having a platform like Buzzz helps organizations convert company values into actionable behaviours and offers an option for managers and peers to attain social recognition in demonstrating these values. This also makes it easier for employees to ensure that their efforts are aligned to the bigger picture and keeps them actively engaged. Keeping employees engaged is now simple with Buzzz >> click here for a demo!