Beating Low Morale in the Workplace

Instead of handing employees a handbook and wishing them the best of luck, there’s a better way to get them informed and engaged. Employees who are given the proper material and training, engage and produce. It’s common sense, if companies facilitate the proper training of employees, those employees can do better at their job, leading to higher satisfaction. If training is poor or absent, this situation can lead to a ripple effect of frustration throughout the office.

The training method, sink or swim, isn’t really a training method at all. In fact, it’s the best way to impede the work of others and wind up with high turnover rates. In a infographic, 40% of respondents said that on the job training increased productivity, and 35% said it boosted employee morale.

Low morale is like the termite of the workplace. It’s not a glaring problem, it doesn’t break the office down right away, but you can be sure that it’s gnawing on the foundation of the organization. Low morale affects the bottom line in several ways. When workers aren’t happy, they aren’t engaged, and when they aren’t engaged, their productivity plummets. This is also related to the higher instance of absenteeism in low morale workplaces. When employees don’t like their job, sometimes they just won’t come. Low morale can also be blamed for increased employee conflict, as well as increased turnover rates.

One often-sited reason for low workplace morale is the lack of opportunity and growth. Employees don’t want to stay stagnant. Let me rephrase that, good employees don’t want to stay stagnant. Good employees want to learn, they want to advance and get better at their job. Yes, we learn a lot as we go through our daily tasks, but that will only get employees so far. I know several employees who know their job in and out, up and down. If companies want their staff to improve, they must provide training. There is a ceiling to what can be learned from work alone.

Investing in continuing training for employees makes them feel valued. Facilitating growth through training also helps the bottom line. Whenever an employee can move up in the company instead of adding a new hire, that saves sourcing, hiring and additional training costs.

Another common reason for low morale in the workplace is an unchallenging environment. Boredom can be an organization’s worst enemy. Key players don’t want easy, mundane jobs. That might be nice for a week or two while they catch up on Candy Crush, but it won’t keep people satisfied. The good ones want to be challenged, they want to use their brain, and they want to be recognized for that. Offering employees the chance to expand their knowledge through training is an exciting and smart way to boost morale and productivity while letting employees know that they are worth the investment.

Low morale can tear apart an organization. Training empowers and motivates employees out of their everyday rut. It’s all about getting better, getting motivated and showing employees that they’re worth the time and effort that training takes. The boost to morale that training provides will yield a far larger gain than the initial investment.

photo credit: Andrew Morrell Photography via photopin cc