Workplace morale can make or break a small business. Morale drives employee behavior and determines how well a company performs overall. In larger companies, low morale leads to decreased quality and high turnover rates. Companies that continually spend time training new employees lose valuable time and productivity. When employee morale drops, employees disengage, lack empowerment and don't care about their work product. When morale is high, production is good and the company makes a profit. Morale both good and bad – though individual in nature – spreads like a virus among employees.
You won't hear employers complaining about high morale in the workplace. It's because the effects of high morale are always positive. Employees are happy; they feel secure in their jobs and safe at work. They have a clean and stimulating work environment and they enjoy coming to work. Employees with a sense of ownership feel empowered, respected and valued. In this scenario, the company is productive and employees do their best work.
The effects of low morale can devastate a company. It increases the cost of doing business because employees make more mistakes, lose interest in their work and their output suffers. Quality decreases, productivity slows and customers exit like rats on a burning ship. Though not a tangible substance, morale is the glue that joins people together in the work environment. Low morale is the direct result of a management team that doesn't care or pay attention to its employees.
If you wait too long to change the causes of low morale, it might be too late. Morale-improving efforts need to be a part of everyday business activities. A company's managers or owners need to ensure a clean and stimulating work environment and create a climate that fosters employee input and innovation. When the company leadership provides job growth opportunities and encourages employee empowerment, morale will increase.
Job satisfaction leads to good or high morale in a company. Retaining good employees saves company money and improves the bottom line. Job enrichment programs, ongoing training and comfortable work environments go a long way in increasing company morale. A company that invests in its employees understands the value employees bring to the company; it understands that job satisfaction is what keeps employees interested, motivated and inspired.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.