wikiHow to Raise the Morale of Employees

Four Methods:Understanding MoraleRaising Morale InterpersonallyPlying Pay and Traditional BenefitsUsing Fun to Boost Morale

When employee morale suffers, the whole company suffers: profits are down, employees hate their jobs and management loses control of the staff. As a manager or supervisor, it's up to you to handle the effects of low motivation. Boosting morale can improve performance, and it will reflect well on you. Research even shows that employee morale plays a key part in helping to prevent “freeloading” behavior.[1]

Method 1
Understanding Morale

  1. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 1
    Appreciate that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not the same. They can co-exist, independent of one another. By decreasing dissatisfaction, one does not necessarily increase satisfaction with a job. You might think of it as the presence or lack of rewards (satisfaction) versus the presence or lack of unpleasantness (dissatisfaction). You might grow to hate children, but still continue teaching grade school for the benefits.[2]
    • A job with a great benefits package can't change the fact that an employee still might not be satisfied with the actual profession itself, however much they may be satisfied by their position within that profession.
    • A person may be willing to suffer through very dissatisfying working conditions given a great satisfaction in the work they do.
  2. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 2
    Know that employee morale is directly connected to their work situation. While individual and group morale can vary, and not every morale problem stems directly from work, there are some qualities that play a large role in cultivating high morale in the workplace.
    • Credibility refers to the larger society's perception of the company and position itself.
    • Respect corresponds to level of respect among coworkers in the workplace.
    • Pride is a quality that a worker must have in the work and role they perform.
    • Fairness must exist between the employer and the employee.
    • Companionship must exist among coworkers in order to foster a workplace community.[3]
  3. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 3
    Attend to the factors at play. There is more than just one piece of the employee morale puzzle. If you attempt to solve a morale problem by thinking about it from just one angle, you won't have a clear picture of the problem. Think about the different elements that can contribute to employee morale.
    • Attitudes of executives and managers towards subordinates.
    • Working conditions, including pay hours of work and safety rules
    • Effective leadership and an intelligent distribution of authority and responsibility in the organization
    • The design of the organization’s structure which facilitates the flow of work
    • The size of the organization.
  4. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 4
    Look out for signs of low morale. These may not appear all at once, and they may not indicate low morale related to work. However, if you notice these patterns among many employees, you may have a morale problem. Pay close attention to:
    • High rates of absenteeism
    • Tardiness
    • High turnover
    • Strikes and sabotage
    • Lack of pride in work
    • Wastage and spoilage[4]

Method 2
Raising Morale Interpersonally

  1. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 5
    Communicate effectively. Research suggests that a lack of communication impacts employee morale more than differences in communication style and frequency. It matters less how you do it, so long as you do. The existence of a superior's effective communication with their employees is the single most influential factor in enhancing job satisfaction and group cohesiveness is superior-subordinate communication.[5]
    • Give clear expectations, by outlining employee roles exactly. Careful consideration should be put into training. Provide your employees with a means to understand where their job begins and ends.
    • Provide a vision. Let your employees see what you're progressing toward.
    • Don't feel you need to know everything.
  2. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 6
    Tell your employees what you think of them. Be forward. Employees can feel lost without feedback, and that can contribute to low morale. If an employee's job security relies on how you perceive them, it can make him very insecure, contributing to low morale.
    • Instate a regular performance review process.
    • Coach/mentor your staff by giving them your help and encouraging them. Be available and supportive. Take time to communicate and check in with each person.
    • Celebrate accomplishments. Revisit past progress. Let your employees know you appreciate them by saying it.[6]
  3. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 7
    Explain to your employees how to reduce stress in the workplace during times of duress. Ensure they take a 15-minute, paid break during the day. They can get some fresh air or chat on their cell phone in the break room to clear their heads. Standard diffusion of anger techniques can also work, such as walking away and counting to 10, before responding to a co-worker who is aggravating them. Learning how to deal with these situations can lower individual stress and raise morale in the workplace.
  4. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 8
    Give your employees something to feel good about. This can boost performance and increase output. By celebrating attainable goals, or by participating in an office fundraiser for a local charity, you offer employees an intangible benefit: a good feeling. This is called intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation uses the natural good feeling that comes with certain activities as a motivational tool.
  5. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 9
    Empower your employees. Many companies ask that their employees get a manager if there is a problem with a customer. By allowing employees to make some decisions, like price adjustments within reason, you empower them and give them a sense of independence. This can, in turn, improve loyalty.
  6. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 10
    Start an Employee Volunteer Program. “EVPs” are planned, managed efforts that receive funding and personnel from a business to motivate and enable employees to volunteer in their community. By contributing to employee satisfaction, volunteer opportunities have been shown to increase morale, improve employee recruitment and retention rates, enhance productivity, and ultimately positively impact profits. [7]

Method 3
Plying Pay and Traditional Benefits

  1. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 11
    Consider the benefits package your employees have, if you have any control over this. Offering a better retirement plan or health insurance can give them an extra incentive to work hard and keep their jobs. Giving dedicated individuals a way to earn extra vacation time can also boost employee morale.
  2. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 12
    Start a work at home policy. It doesn't have to be all the time. Utility costs can be cut down by having employees work from home. There is no commute, and you cut down on office social distractions.
  3. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 13
    Give out bonuses. Annual bonuses and bonuses based on goals can really give your team a morale boost. Bonuses aren't as much of a commitment as raises, given that they are one-time payments. This can feel like a raise, but it has only a temporary effect. Beware providing regular bonuses and then eliminating them. Employees may feel a morale boost leading up to getting a bonus, not just after. It can be very deflating to lose a bonus one was expecting. Also, research indicates that only substantial bonuses have any positive impact on employee behavior.[8]
  4. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 14
    Upgrade the health care packages. If there are none, offer them. Your employees will be healthy, increasing their morale. They will feel that their position has more worth. It can contribute to a feeling of security, especially when spouses and children are covered. It has been shown, for both the public and private sector, that employee satisfaction and productivity can be enhanced by providing health care benefits.[9]
  5. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 15
    Offer unlimited, paid vacation. This may seem like an excuse to slack off, but it reality it can result in productivity, as vacation improves health and focus.[10] It can also save money, as for some companies the average worker has an accumulated $2-4,000 in unused vacation.[11] It also fosters loyalty, as the perk is difficult to give up. Abuse is controlled by the employee's desire to keep their job and to appear diligent.
    • implemented this policy, and in the same year reported a 200% in growth.
    • Virgin Group, Netflix, BestBuy, Prezi, and Evernote all have implemented limitless vacation policies for employees.
  6. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 16
    Fund education. By giving employees the opportunity to better themselves through your company, you can improve morale. When an employee feels like he is not going anywhere, it is very demoralizing. In funding, even in part, education, you will get smarter, happier employees.
  7. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 17
    Give raises. This is the quickest way to increase morale. Consider setting scheduled, bi-annual raises, based on performance. Review employee records to see who may be overdue for a raise.

Method 4
Using Fun to Boost Morale

  1. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 18
    Change the environment. Companies, like Google, famously employ a fun, open, relaxed work space. Add a pool table. Build a bar for coffee or drinks. Take out that florescent lighting. Bring in a living wall. I has been found that the quality of the working environment outweighs professional experience as a predictor of the quality of client care and employee morale. Additionally, those in management positions are more likely to rate the environment positively than employees working under them.[12]
  2. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 19
    Break up the monotony. Reward your employees for a job well done. Pizza lunches, casual Fridays and half days may increase motivation if you offer these perks occasionally. Make some of these things regular, and make some of them a surprise. This way you can avoid the rewards becoming monotonous, too.
  3. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 20
    Set up games or contests for the employees. If part of their job duties includes sales, this can include sales goals. Having something to work toward can increase motivation, up-selling and profit potential. Give out a small prize or publicly recognize the winner for their accomplishment, however small. It's a win-win situation for the employees and the company.
  4. Image titled Raise the Morale of Employees Step 21
    Have a company outing or vacation. Don't make it mandatory, make it desirable. You won't know what your employees find worthwhile if you force them to do everything. Gauge your outing's success, not your employees' success, by the level of interest.
    • Go camping.
    • Have a bar crawl.
    • Go skydiving.


  • Avoid being autocratic, as this fear and control-driven management style rapidly demoralizes.
  • Avoid micro-managing.

Article Info

Categories: Improving Employee Morale