Employee morale refers to the general outlook, employees’ attitude, satisfaction, and confidence that employees feel while at work (Kim, Leong, & Lee, 2005). If employees are positive about their working environment and believe that they can accomplish their most important needs at work, their morale is considered to be high. Where employees are either unhappy, have a negative feeling about their working place or feel unappreciated that they cannot meet their needs and goals, the employee morale is either negative or low. Faith in the employees and in their organization is a vital factor in considering employee morale positive. Solving the problem of low or negative employee morale helps in the attainment of a firm’s objectives, increased production, and better high performance.
Employee morale is considered as one of the key factors that affect productivity and general financial stability of any organization of firm. Low or negative employee morale in any organization leads to a decline in the concentration level of employees, which, in turn, leads to poor customer service and missed deadlines. Low morale can also lead to absenteeism and high turnover rate. Organizations with employees who have negative morale experience poor job performance and employee discontent. Low morale leads to a high price tag. The failure to address the issue of morale leads to increased rates of absenteeism, the associated costs, decreased productivity, increased conflicts among employees in the working environment, and increased complaints from customers or consumers.
Measurement and assessment of MAP implementation
The aim of MAP is to create high and positive employee morale so as to have a good and efficient communication system among employees. Another aim of positive employee morale is to ensure that the organization meets its goals and objectives. Measuring and assessing the employee morale in an organization can help realize employee issues and concerns before they grow to unresolvable problems. Communicating with employees who are considered to have negative morale can help solve their low morale (Landry & Vandenberghe, 2009). Moreover, there are different ways to measure and assess the employee morale. They include:
- Informing the employees that they are welcome at any time to discuss any issues they feel necessary with their managers or supervisors. The Human Resources department should be available to employees in case the employees are not comfortable discussing the issues they have with a department leader.
- The second step includes administering of an annual employee opinion survey to gather and collect information that will aid the Human Resource department in determining the level of their employees’ morale and other opinions the employees may be willing to share with ease. Result of the analysis and summary of the employee opinion survey analyzed by Human Resource department are presented to the company leadership. The leadership team addresses any issues resulting from the survey.
- Encouragement of employees to make any suggestions or any comments that improve productivity and efficiency. Placement of suggestion boxes around the work places to help get views and opinions from the staff. On a regular basis, the Human Resources department collects suggestions and comments and later presents them to the company leadership during the monthly meeting. The company’s newsletter addresses any issues and concerns reported so as to ensure that all the employees maintain high job level and high morale.
Through interviews the Human Resources department determines the level of turnover in the organization through exit interviews of employees who resign voluntarily. The exit interviews help determine the reasons why employees are resigning and seeking for employment in other places. The employees who resign willingly usually have a number of reasons that propel them to resign. Therefore, the fact that employee quit or resign from the company to other companies implies that there is a need to boost the level of morale among employees.
It is also necessary to determine the reasons for involuntary turnover. Despite the fact that employees resign for a number of reasons, there also exist reasons as to why employees fall in with performance and behavioral issues that lead them to being dismissed. One of the reasons leading to such dismissal includes low morale. When calculating turnover, the report should include each and every reason mentioned for the involuntary resignation and include specific reasons for dismissal.
The Human Resources department should always be there for employees, specifically for those employees who work outside the normal business hours. When it comes to accessing the Human Resources department, the employees who work swing shifts are often overlooked. This leads to employees feeling less important, which, in turn, affects the employee morale. There should be the implementation of a call-in number, where employees can ask questions and get answered during their shifts. The comments and suggestions help measure employee morale and job satisfaction of employees at any time.
Much time is required so as to effectively implement employee morale. The Human Resources department has to conduct surveys and interviews so as to collect information and opinions for a better assessment. The leadership team also has to spare time so as to discuss opinions of the survey. There should be money allocation for employees who will work in the call-in number that will be receiving complaints and suggestions from those working extra time.
Possible root causes of the OFI
Employees who try to do a good perfect job easily get exhausted by never-ending changing goals. It can be very discouraging for good workers, when they are informed that something is an important goal, and just after they have put all their energy and time to attaining that goal, to be informed that it is no longer that vital.
Confusion due to misunderstood expectations brings down morale. Employees lacking clear and proper guidance can spend much time on a job without the knowledge of what is expected from them to do (Branham, 2012). This situation tends to result to the workers giving poor performance according to the management’s standards and often experience low morale since they begin to think that they have been wasting their time.
Absence of open communication line to the management at a work place is risky to the staff morale. More often than not, employees have an insight into the ways to better procedures of their workplace or even the end product of the company. Employees may also have legitimate issues with the staff or problematic procedures. Once the employees feel uncomfortable to approach a boss with either ideas or problems, management runs the risk of lacking creative ideas.
Wasting potential or talent also results to low morale. People are hired for jobs according to their qualifications, skills or interests other than what the job requires. In such a situation employees easily get frustrated or even bored with the job or work and end up resigning or leaving the company. The results include lack of productivity and potential turnover bad for the business and deny a person the ability to reach his or her potential (Branham, 2012).
Some of the possible actions to improve the situation include recognizing employees’ birthdays and accomplishments, helping them to wake up, treating employees with respect, establishing an employee-recognition program, adding a personal touch, treating employees to lunch, checking in staff members, backing the employees up, training the employees communication, involvement, environment, appreciation, getting to know the employees better, proper outlined goals, proper understanding of their expectations, open line of communication, and proper utilization of their skills.
Efficient communication among the workers and managers is vital for positive morale. It is important for people’s opinion to be valued. A good communication strategy or protocol helps the employees express their problems they experience in the workplace. With good communication the Human Resources department can implement the necessary steps and actions to solve problems. Employees should also be encouraged to voice their concerns and ideas to the management without any consequences.
When an organization hires a new employee or when a new responsibility is assigned to an employee, the job requirements should be made clear by the hiring manager so as to ensure proper training on the correct procedures and deadlines. Good understanding of expectations of the organization and usefulness usually leads to high and positive morale resulting to an increase in productivity.
Necessary steps that are most likely to be effective in achieving the MAP goal
Step 1: Reviewing the managers. Poor leadership is the major cause of low morale in any work place.
Step 2: Appropriate delegation of work responsibilities. The mood of the office is majorly affected by the feeling of employees that they are being overworked. It is necessary to review workloads to find out whether any projects could be either put on the back burner or transfer work to another person with a less workload.
Step 3: Bringing fun and entertaining employees in the office. If the budget can allow it, treatment of the staff members is necessary. It could be done monthly by offering lunch to the staff.
Step 4: Recognizing efforts of the staff members. Lack of acknowledgment of employees’ contributions may lead to them feeling disgruntled. Appreciation of employees’ work at the completeness of any project aids in improvement of morale.
Step 5: Direct dealing with unhappy employees. This can be done through questioning them and finding out why they are unhappy and how to resolve the situation.
Step 6: Learning more on the strengths and weaknesses of employees. Rise of new challenges and opportunities could motivate them (Burkey, Coffing, Molyneaux, & Salomone, 2000).
Ways to measure success of the MAP and how to monitor ongoing performance
The measurement of the overall productivity of workforce helps give a wide range of options to compare performance of each employee. The employees who are satisfied and content with their work perform better, hence increasing the overall productivity. Any noticeable drop in the productivity level gives the impression that workers are not satisfied and unhappy with their work, hence low morale.
Low turnover rate signifies that employees are happy with their work and managers are doing an impressive work in keeping the morale high. High turnover rate, however, implies dissatisfaction among employees, which may lead them to moving to better jobs or other better working environments.
Low absence rate among employees is a sign of high morale among them and reveals that they enjoy their job. However, if employees do not enjoy the job they tend to be absent. Absenteeism reduces the productivity level.
Creation of the workplace with excellent employee morale is a long-term project that needs to be integrated within the daily operations of an organization. Highly motivated and occupied personnel are an important asset to any business. The development of well-motivated employees leads to higher sales and content customers, which, in turn, leads to greater employee motivation.
Branham, L. (2012). The 7 hidden reasons employees leave: How to recognize the subtle signs and act before it's too late. (2nd ed.). AMACOM.
Burkey, C., Coffing, M., Molyneaux, D. B., & Salomone, P. (2000). Kuskokwim River chinook salmon stock status and development of management/action plan options: A report to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. ADF&G Regional Information Report, 3A00-40, Regional Information Report 3A00-40. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries, Anchorage, Alaska.
Kim, W. G., Leong J. K., & Lee, Y. K. (2005). Effect of service orientation on job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intention of leaving in a casual dining chain restaurant. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 24(2), 171-193.
Landry, G., & Vandenberghe, C. (2009). Role of commitment to the supervisor, leader-member exchange, and supervisor-based self-esteem in employee-supervisor conflicts. The Journal of social psychology, 149(1), 5-27.