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We spend a lot of time making sure our clients are satisfied, but it’s just as important, if not more so, to ensure our graduate hires are happy too. Employee morale is defined as 'the overall outlook, attitude, satisfaction, and confidence that employees feel at work' - and it's a vital part of employee retention. Plus, if you can improve morale in the workplace, this will boost motivation, collaboration and productivity across the board.
As a business owner, it's your job to ensure that your hires are happy - by setting in place the right activities and procedures, and encouraging a positive mentality within your team.
Knowing how to improve employee morale and job satisfaction is key to business success - here's how to improve morale in the workplace:
Creating a bright and comfortable office environment is crucial to keeping staff energised, improving employee morale and job satisfaction.
Having an open office floor will enable employees to work and talk together, welcome candid discussions, and create an environment where colleagues (of all management levels) can be approached with ease. Separating staff will only spread negativity and a lack of unity, and as a result, may be detrimental to employee morale and job satisfaction.
Positivity can stem from a strong team spirit and with that comes high energy levels and cooperation in abundance - building each other up will reinforce the importance of working together.
Business doesn’t always have to be serious, and you can have some fun with it. Try switching on the radio, making a group playlist, or starting weekly competitions to increase employee engagement and create an upbeat buzz - all these things will help to boost happiness and productivity - and improve your employee retention rates in the long run.
Rewarding your graduate hires for their hard work is crucial to improving employee morale and job satisfaction. If you can’t offer higher salaries, allowing more time off in the year could be a good compromise; birthday days off, or holiday over Christmas which isn’t deducted from the original allowance. These are all vital parts of the graduate recruitment and retention process.
Offering work perks, or organising regular team-bonding activities such as crazy golf, darts or Friday drinks will help keep the positivity flowing all year round. Making sure you acknowledge every employee’s birthday and work anniversary will show they’re valued in the company – additionally, you can celebrate the company’s birthday and include the team in your mission.
Especially in graduate recruitment, recognising staff achievements will show employees that their contribution is appreciated, and create a knock-on effect of proactivity. If regular feedback isn’t given, employees won’t have anything to work from, and they could start to lose direction and motivation.
When giving praise, make sure it’s detailed and provide examples of what they’ve excelled in as it will give their work a sense of purpose – tell them they’ve made a difference in a recent project, and why.
It might be easier to send an email to the person sitting next to you, but taking the time to engage in regular conversation will show you’re making the effort to connect with the team in-person, not just from behind a screen.
Encourage staff discussions and listen to everyone’s ideas with an open mind; allowing each staff member to have an input will reinforce their value and involve them in decision making where applicable. Engaging in clear communication will also eliminate the need to micro-manage and allow staff to take the lead in their roles - dramatically improving job satisfaction.
Being invested in staff progression and discussing career growth opportunities is a sure-fire way to keep graduate hires invigorated in their roles. Putting forward training programmes, setting clear goals and encouraging the team to learn new skills will not only be incredibly beneficial to employees and their job satisfaction, but also to your business, and keeping team morale high.
As part of your graduate recruitment strategy, set some time aside in the week for personal development, send employees to workshops, conferences, or networking events and engage with their feedback. Once you understand the importance of employee morale and job satisfaction, your employees' feedback can help you assess whether there is room for improvement in your company.