Boosting Remote Employee Morale & Defining Employee Purpose

How to Boost Employee Purpose & Remote Employee Morale

As companies around the world transition to a partial or fully remote workforce, leaders are working to find ways to support their employees and boost employee morale to keep them motivated, productive and engaged. With an ever-changing landscape, employers are asking how to boost morale at work, and are looking for strategies that meet their employees wherever they are, which might be in an office, in their home, or somewhere in between.

Dipti Sirisinahal, a Senior People Leader at Google, had this to say about supporting and engaging your employees when speaking to a global audience of HR Leaders

“I think humans are at the core of battling COVID when it comes to their organization teams, and from a personal perspective. Human beings are the shock absorbers of the system.”

It helps before diving fully into how to boost employee morale to first ask:

What is Employee Morale?

Employees work hard every day in pursuit of a company’s goals and overall mission. With teams now located around the country, there are various reasons and motivations employees have for continuing to show up every day and work hard. There’s never been a better time to focus on your employee’s morale to ensure you have a resilient culture.

  • Check in with your employees and establish effective lines of communication
  • Make sure you’re communicating company goals and values effectively
  • Understand your employees are navigating challenges in their personal and professional life

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Why Employee Morale & Purpose is Important

Motivated employees are proven to be more productive, engaged, and successful. Employees want to know they have a purpose, and as a result will develop stronger relationships and prove to be more productive. Employee morale is a self-propelling engine that keeps your workforce powering forward, no matter the obstacles they face, because they buy-in to your company’s mission, align with your values, and look forward to showing up to work every day.

Bob Ravener, the former CHRO of Dollar General spoke during a recent HR Leadership Webinar about Employee Resilience and had this to say about the importance of purpose in organizations.

It’s always critical that people start with something that is larger than themselves. And I think the initiatives that people always rally around are ‘what is the purpose of the organization’ and ‘what does the organization stand for beyond the profit and loss statement?’ And people will rally toward that and whether that’s creating tremendous growth and opportunity for people in service to others, to all the things that people may be interested in, that gives them a purpose for what they’re doing. And I think that helps energize organizations to kind of continue to manage through those challenges

Understanding Your Employee’s Morale

To get a sense of morale in your company, there’s really only one proven way: communicate with your employees. Without establishing a line of communication, whether through individual meetings with a manager or a company-wide survey, it is difficult to understand the state of employee morale.

  • Individual meetings and check-ins with a direct manager can be effective to get more detailed information
  • Company wide surveys can help understand broader trends and sentiments, especially if they’re designed effectively

5 Tips for Creating an Effective Employee Survey

Company surveys can be a great way to capture high level information from your team and ‘temperature check’ aspects of your company culture. These are five quick tips to establish an effective employee survey.

  1. Establish a clear survey and set internal goals up-front before designing the employee survey
  2. Identify the tools or methods of conducting the survey, making sure you design for anonymity
  3. It may help to bring in a third-party administrator to help anonymize the data
  4. When communicating the survey to your remote team, set the expectation that individual information won’t be shared
  5. Let your team know that your goal is to help the company improve their understanding of employee morale and sentiment

What Causes Low Employee Morale?

To understand low employee morale, it’s equally important to identify ways to boost employee morale. Later on, we will explore ways to improve employee morale with proven tactics and techniques, and explore how certain programs/benefits can help boost employee morale.

When employees have low employee morale, there are usually two root causes. The employee, or the company.

  • When the employee is the cause of low morale, it usually has to do with their feeling of connection within the company, as well as ‘buy-in’
  • Employees may not feel that same ‘buy-in’ with companies that have less transparent goals, or whose values and mission don’t align with their own.

Another way the company can cause low employee morale is by not developing strong levels of trust between the workforce and leadership, where the employees feel empowered to continue to work in pursuit of the company’s goals, and the leadership express trust and confidence in the team’s ability to do their jobs effectively. These two layers of trust and confidence, both intrinsic and given, can have significant impacts on employee morale. When employees feel they’re being micromanaged, and checked-in on constantly, with minimal trust given, then they are more susceptible to low employee morale. On the other hand, when leaders constantly express their trust and confidence within their team, the individual employee feels empowered and will have higher employee morale as a result.

How Does Employee Morale Affect Productivity?

Employees are the lifeblood of any organization. Without a well-motivated and maintained team, the organization’s goals will not be accomplished. That is why hiring is one of the most important things any company can do, and one of the other most important things a company can do is strive to improve their employee morale. When employees feel motivated in pursuit of their company’s greater purpose or mission, they will work better as a team, communicate better, and be more productive. A highly motivated team is more likely to be successful and work effectively together, so dedicating time and resources to improving employee morale is a priority for executives and leadership teams in any organization.

So What Do I Do Now?

Understanding Employee Morale is just Step 1 of the process. To understand the best ways to boost your employee morale, you can download our Definitive Guide to Boosting Employee Morale or speak to one of our Wellness Consultants.

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