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Posted on 15 February 2022
How to overcome low employee morale
4 minute read

Many things can equate to low employee morale within a business; a lack of growth within the organisation, leadership issues or a complete lack of clarity and transparency. All these things can lead to your staff not performing to their optimum, or even worse, deciding to leave your company altogether.

So, what techniques can we use to motivate teams with low morale? We’ve put together five tips to boost the mood amongst employees and maximise their full potential in the workplace.

1. Find the root cause

One of the first steps you need to take is finding out what is causing the low morale in the first place. The best way to do this? Simply ask your employees!

Set up a meeting and confront the issue directly. You might be surprised by how forthcoming your employees are when they are given the opportunity to voice their concerns or displeasures.

Keep the tone relaxed and calm, bring up the topic of concern and ask your employees to think about why they may be experiencing low morale (or why they think their colleagues are unhappy). Don’t rush them – instead, tell them to come back to you on what may be causing a dip in their mood.

Once you have their feedback, you can begin to work with them to see their level of morale begin to rise. You could also look at utilising an employee engagement survey.

Employee engagement platforms like Rippl often include the functionality to produce surveys and monitor the results as they come in. Why is this handy? You can act on issues quickly and ensure that improvements are made in a relatively short space of time.

2. Reduce their stress levels

One of the biggest causes of low morale is working in a stressful environment.

Since the pandemic, stress and workplace wellbeing have been highlighted significantly. It’s very easy to hope that your employees aren’t stressed and they are just getting on with things. Think about the goals you are setting, are they realistic? Don’t be mistaken by thinking that stress brings success, it doesn’t.

Stress is a sign that your employees are taking on too much work in their roles and can be evidence of inefficient planning and ineffective workload distribution. This could be the reason for low morale. Remember, a stressed workforce can often be an unmotivated workforce.

Another way of reducing stress? Wellbeing sessions. We have a specially appointed Wellbeing Team at Rippl which is always on hand if we need them. If you have something like this in place, are you utilising it to its full potential?

3. Provide regular recognition

Everyone is motivated in different ways, some like a financial reward and others just like to receive a notification of a job well done. All employees are different!

Have you thought about what an employee engagement platform could do for your organisation? There are a vast array of platforms available, but imagine having everything in one place for employee incentives, recognition and reward. Even when times are tough in business, seeing positive content and ‘thank yous’ on an internal recognition and reward platform can really help to improve morale.

Putting employee recognition and reward into a public forum within your organisation can help supercharge the feeling of appreciation amongst your people. A digitised engagement platform can also help you cut down hours in admin time from managing manual reward distribution or spreadsheets keeping track of long-service milestones.

Whilst not all employees will engage on a digital platform (for demographic or access reasons) you should still aim to provide face-to-face feedback based on their performance to ensure they feel valued.

4. Promote from within

A major reason you might see your employees’ motivation levels drop off is when their progression is halted due to external recruitment rather than internal promotion.

If your employees see you looking outside the business when filling senior positions, they’ll begin to see no clear route for them to progress and they’ll lose motivation and their passion. Similar to the vision of the business, demonstrate the plan you have for them by promoting from within.

Talking with your teams is a key role, so try and get a feel for their passions about your business, where they may fit in and how they can progress.

5. Mix up the working week

It’s very easy to get bogged down in the Monday-Friday, 9-5. To combat this, many companies are starting to go beyond offering flexi-time by trialling four-day weeks.

Why are they doing this? Some businesses are finding the shorter week makes their employees more productive, but it also acts as a benefit and morale-booster.

A campaign group called “4 Day Week Global” is overseeing various trials and ten businesses have signed up in the UK to test out the short-working week theory. Some companies, such as Atom Bank and Landmark London have implemented a four-day week on their own accord.

In reality, there are very few businesses that could operate on a four-day week due to the requirement for customer support throughout the week. But it could give you food for thought about how you could offer more time back to your employees to focus on their work-life balance.

To conclude….

The issue you are facing is that every employee is different, and you need to be versatile and adapt your style for every team member as long as it doesn’t conflict with your core business values.

We’ve all suffered from low morale at some stage, so try to recall that time and identify what the cause was before you attempt to improve the situation you’re in now.