Maintaining a positive work environment has never been more important. According to the United States Department of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employee turnover rate across all industries has been hovering around 47% since 2021. Increased employment opportunities, particularly in remote and hybrid environments, could cause it to go even higher in 2023.
Retention isn’t the only reason to improve employee morale. Happy workers are more productive because they enjoy coming to work. Enthusiasm is contagious. Management can feed that spirit by building a positive culture the entire workforce can buy into. Here are seven ways you can do that to improve employee retention and morale.
1. Build trust between managers and employees
Distrust isn’t necessarily a personal thing. Employees often distrust a system or a management structure because there’s not enough transparency. That creates uncertainty around ongoing growth and development. Management can change that culturally by having more one-on-one meetings with employees and clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
2. Encourage a healthy work-life balance
Burnout is one of the leading causes of employee turnover. It can be avoided with a healthy work-life balance. Encourage your employees to take vacations, spend quality time with family, and recharge their batteries when needed. Management can help integrate these principles into their culture by following the same guidelines. Lead by example.
3. Institute a work-from-home program
The 2020 pandemic taught employees that they can be successful without leaving the comfort of their home. Your workers might leave to take advantage of one of those opportunities. Prevent that from happening by instituting a work-from-home program of your own, if it makes sense for your business. Many businesses have found hybrid or fully remote work environments to be both cost-effective and productive.
4. Support employee initiatives
Embracing and supporting the initiatives of your employees will help them develop a sense of ownership and belonging. Give them the tools they need to succeed. Listen to what they have to say. Employee-led resource groups can bring diverse voices together and create more of a team mentality. That’s one of the keys to building employee morale.
5. Listen to feedback
Employee retention is easy to track. Employee morale is something that you can’t measure without feedback. Successful companies listen to their employees. They collect employee feedback frequently and turn those responses into actionable policies that will increase retention and minimize employee dissatisfaction. Ask for their opinion and ask yourself what you can do better to improve the situation.
6. Show your appreciation
Throwing the occasional pizza party won’t keep employees coming to work every day if they’re underpaid and overworked. Compensation and benefits are important. It tells your workers how much they are valued. Openly recognizing someone for their achievements can also be helpful. Let the rest of the company know that effort will be rewarded.
7. Identify and eliminate toxicity
Toxic leaders or disgruntled employees can derail positive cultural changes. The previous steps on this list, like encouraging transparency and listening to employee feedback, can help you identify toxicity in your company. The next step is to replace toxic workers and management with more positive people. That’s not easy to do, but your employees will thank you for it.