Recent developments have shown that employee morale has a profound impact on the productivity of a business. Generally speaking, happy workers work harder, and that undermines much of how employers have traditionally thought of productivity. This means that modern business owners have had to implement new policies aimed at improving morale in order to boost productivity. Here are just a few ways that you can boost morale in your business.
Insurance is an important part of a safe and financially sound lifestyle, but it can be prohibitively expensive for some. Medical insurance is particularly important, as is dental insurance. However, businesses are uniquely positioned to be able to provide insurance in whole or in part relatively easily. This means that insurance coverage can be extended to employees as an incentive for their hard work. This has long been standard practice in some fields, but broadening the scope of this kind of incentive can be a tremendous boon to a variety of workers in industries that have historically been left behind by this practice. Be sure to find the best insurance quotes online to minimize the cost of this practice for even better results, but any successful business with a small roster of employees can afford this kind of policy fairly easily.
A retirement fund is a necessary part of a person’s twilight years, as it allows a person to exit the workforce at a reasonable age without the fear of running out of funds and coming out of retirement. The ability to open a retirement fund isn’t dependent on employers, but they have been offered to some workers by their employers as an incentive. This can make a world of difference when one considers that there are many different kinds of retirement funds, and it can be difficult to weigh your options on your own. Having an employer offer you guidance and assistance in setting up a retirement fund can streamline and simplify the process, and incorporating it into the business itself all but forces your employees to take care of this important thing as early as possible. Having this kind of long term security can do wonders for the mind and boost productivity as a result.
Another important part of employee morale is that of maintaining the wages that your employees need in order to live. This naturally depends on the amount of time your employees spend at work or, in some cases, the amount of sales made. However, there is a growing demand for paid leave in emergency situations, as it avoids subjecting employees to lost wages as a result of circumstances beyond their control. Having the ability to take some much needed time off for medical purposes, for example, without the risk of coming up short on rent this month can help to put employees in a more relaxed state of mind. Likewise, paid vacation time can provide a more secure version of the existing vacation model. Giving your employees the ability to take vacation days without losing pay means that there’s no incentive to forego that valuable time to unwind in favor of overworking themselves, and the latter can be really bad for a given worker’s productivity.
Holiday bonuses are standard in many businesses as a sort of gift to employees during the season of giving, but that concept can be used more effectively by offering the ability to earn bonuses throughout the year. For example, offering bonuses for employees or even the company as a whole for meeting certain goals can be a powerful motivator. With the promise of a reward for making the company more money, it’s no longer a one way street. Typically, there is no incentive to give 100% to a job other than personal satisfaction, but when extra work translates to extra income, your employees can really surprise you. Holiday bonuses and regular bonuses aren’t mutually exclusive, and they can pair really nicely with each other to light a fire in the hearts of your employees. Nothing motivates more effectively than the desire to repay a kindness.
The rising concern for employee morale stands in opposition to the existing “tough love” style of running a business, and that style of leadership has created an environment that is at times conducive to reinforcing mistakes instead of correcting them. A solution to this is simply to make it clear to employees that trying to improve is more important than being afraid of getting in trouble for their mistakes. While mistakes may detract in part from the company’s profits, continuing to make mistakes out of fear is much more detrimental, and you should encourage employees to seek help when they need it. Likewise, it can sometimes be difficult to accurately convey what is expected of employees, and they should feel at ease asking for additional details when needed in order to effectively perform their jobs.
Some workplace policies are relics of the way businesses used to approach employee morale, and in light of a new understanding of the importance of worker psychology, they seem much more arbitrary. Employees are likely to notice this discrepancy, and that can negatively impact morale. For example, many businesses have a strict dress code that could be relaxed or even eliminated with no tangible difference to the operation of the company. For example, many companies require not only a uniform, but also a specific method of wearing the uniform. Many uniforms must be worn with a belt and have the shirt tucked into the belt, for example, and this is likely to be viewed as unnecessary and therefore degrading. Most workers are fine with respectful subordination, but it can be easy to feel like you have little value to your superiors when rules seem like they serve no purpose.
The modern work day is typically 8 hours in length, at least for full time employees. In some cases, an employee’s break is not figured into that estimate, and the full shift ends up being 9 hours in terms of the amount of time an employee spends at their workplace. Modern science says that this trend actually hurts morale and productivity, however, and change is welcome. There are a number of ways to address this problem, such as simply offering shorter shifts. However, a better solution is offering your employees options for their schedule. For example, one employee might desire to simply work shorter shifts, even if that means less work overall. On the other hand, an employee might like the 8 hour shift just fine with the exception of that extra hour for their break. Another employee still yet might like to work even longer shifts in order to get an extra day off each week. Furthermore, these preferences aren’t set in stone, and allowing employees to try different schedules periodically can be a great incentive.
Even with concerns of employee morale on the rise, the existing paradigm of strict and unapproachable bosses can create a miasma of doubt among employees. Making a concerted effort to undo that anxiety can transform your workforce for the better, and these tips can help you do just that.
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