About Employee Morale
Employee morale is a catch-all term for the general level of happiness employees feel at work, and their contentedness with their jobs. There is not necessarily a certain level of happiness that connotes good or bad morale, and measuring morale can be difficult since every person has a distinct personality. The conditions at a certain job might translate in to high morale for one person and low morale for another. Finding positions with responsibilities that fit with what employees like is a key to having high company morale.
Benefits of Employee Morale
The main benefit associated with high employee morale is higher productivity. If people are happy with their jobs, common wisdom suggests that they will work harder and work more efficiently. High morale also is important when dealing with clients and other businesses because maintaining a friendly, upbeat attitude is much more attractive than a monotone, bored or depressed attitude. Of course, most employees will be able to feign an upbeat attitude when necessary, but among their work group, they might complain. Low morale of one person can affect the morale of an entire work group, so it is important to ensure that every employee is happy.
Ways to Increase and Decrease Morale
There are many ways to increase and decrease morale. The most simple is an increase or decrease of pay or benefits. The theory is that if you pay someone enough, they will be happy doing almost any job, even if it is something they normally hate doing. This works to an extent, but at some point extra money may not overcome someone's natural distaste for certain tasks. The best way to have high morale is to give good compensation along with finding employees that genuinely like what they do and have an optimistic disposition.
Parties, events and team-building exercises also can be ways to build morale, while taking away traditions or events that were promised can decrease morale. Providing incentives like bonuses are a way to increase productivity, but sometimes such rewards do not increase morale, since they might pit employees against one another.