Would Your Company Get an “F” for Morale?

OfficeMoraleI’m sure you know good company morale is important but do you know how it’s affecting your bottom line? Do you know the signs? Research provided by Gallup proves disengaged, low-morale behavior costs the economy more than $450 billion each year in lost productivity due to absences, illness, theft, and failure to perform up to standards. As a leader in human resources you are in a position to set the tone of morale in the workplace. In the next few editions of CBI News, we’ll explore the subject of morale in the workplace. And I’m not talking about how to make everyone giggle or plan for the next pizza party. I’m talking about real-world and research-proven ways to keep employees truly happy – and why this is something you cannot ignore without it bleeding money from your company.

We’ll explore the facts demonstrating the high costs of poor morale, visible and invisible costs, causes and signs, and the no-cost, low-cost and cost-effective ways to improve morale.

Do you recognize the signs of a demoralized staff?

  • Absenteeism – Employees who don’t like work will find excuses not to go to work
  • Tardiness – Effort will not be made to arrive on time or return from breaks on time.
  • Procrastination – When there is no joy in doing work it will be avoided with delays.
  • Missed deadlines and goals – Where desire is lacking failure to do what’s required will occur and no consideration made for doing anything more than necessary to get by.
  • Whispers and increased ‘water cooler’ activity – Those who think badly of their boss and employer will gossip.
  • Drop in customer satisfaction – Service declines as customers dislike dealing with disgruntled employees.
  • Conflicts – Petty arguments, rude behavior increases as tolerance for the workplace, bosses and co-workers decreases.
  • Decreased productivity – Unhappy people spend more time fussing than working.
  • Disorganized and unkempt work spaces – Caring about outward appearances isn’t on the radar for unhappy employees.
  • Increased complaints – Seemingly insignificant issues get channeled into bigger and bigger complaints when employees are dissatisfied with their workplace.

Do you think these are just signs of lazy, irresponsible employees? In most cases, this just is not so. Employees who aren’t happy at work crave an outlet from it all. Even if they are short lived like daydreaming, taking longer lunches, and calling in sick when they’re well, or gossiping about what and whom they don’t like.

Compare this to happy, motivated and appreciated employees who exceed goals, encourage others to excel and help managers and the company reach their financial goals. Employee’s with high morale produce results. They work better, faster, and produce higher caliber quality than those who are not happy or satisfied in their jobs. They often perform at a higher level without putting in longer hours, working harder or overextending themselves.

Morale is influenced from the top down, not from the bottom up. As goes the leader/manager, so goes the pack.

Ouch, right? But it’s the where the rubber meets the road. Please don’t fret. I’ve got your back. Once you see what this is REALLY costing you, I’ll also provide innovative solutions you’ll be jazzed about. And they won’t break the bank – but ignoring this subject absolutely will.

Next month we’ll look at the high cost of low morale; specifically, the visible and invisible costs. Stay tuned!

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