Why High Employee Morale Equals Money in Your Pocket

Think about what happens when low morale infects your workforce.  Employees do the bare minimum to get by and it reflects in their productivity.  But according to studies, it also has an impact on customer satisfaction as well as profitability.  If you were faced with customer complaints about the price of your goods, you’d find a way to cut costs and pass on the savings to consumers.  Or if you had problems competing because there were other products on the market selling better than yours, you’d revamp your line of goods to be more appealing to the public.  The point is, you’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that the customers remain happy in order to increase earnings.  So when employee morale is low and it’s affecting your bottom line, it’s time to take action.

But job satisfaction isn’t just something you can throw money at.  Although most employees are ultimately working in exchange for monetary compensation, you can’t treat them like nameless, faceless numbers in your ledger and expect them to be grateful for it.  The truth is that while adults must work in order to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, the time they spend in your employ takes them away from the pursuits that make life worthwhile, such as family and friends, leisure activities, fitness, and pretty much any activity that brings joy and fulfillment to their lives.  That’s a lot to compete with.  But considering how little it takes to make most workers feel like their contributions are valued and that their working hours are spent on something meaningful, it’s surprising that more companies don’t make the effort.

So what can you do to raise employee morale?  There are many ways to effect changes in your work environment.  One option is to address any disparity in wages.  If you don’t pay competitively within your industry you could wind up with employees that have one foot out the door as they wait for a better offer.  Of course, small businesses may not be able to provide the same level of compensation as their corporate competitors, but money isn’t everything.  One of the biggest complaints that most employees have is that they are undervalued.  But how do you let your workforce know that their contributions are what keep your company in business?

You can start with management training.  A good boss is worth his/her weight in gold as far as employee morale goes, but manager training programs at most corporations are a joke; they teach supervisors how to micromanage, which accomplishes just the opposite by making employees feel like little kids being watched every minute by a ruler-wielding teacher.  Supervisors would be better served to take on the role of mentor so that employees not only feel like they have the support they need, but that the company trusts them to be competent in the positions they were hired for.  And their accomplishments should be rewarded with both emotional and monetary recognition.  They should get a pat on the back for their achievements and they should share in the financial successes of the company with yearly performance bonuses.

The idea is that your employees keep your company in operation, and the way they are treated (or that they perceive they are treated) has a definite impact on profitability.  So if you approach your employees like nothing so much as cogs in a machine and then end up scratching your head over falling profit margins, you may want to rethink your position on employee morale and what you can do to improve it.

Emma Martin writes for Midwest HR Illinois HR Outsourcing, managing all of your HR service needs.

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