‘Morale’ is a term we hear thrown around in many different environments from 20th-century battlefields to the modern-day workplace. In either setting, however similar or different, the meaning of morale remains the same. Throughout history morale referred to ‘the capacity of a group’s members to maintain belief in an institution or goal, particularly in the face of hardship’.
This definition applies to almost every corporate situation, and as a leader, it should be your top priority. Team morale is the foundation of a successful company, it’s directly related to productivity and efficiency, as well as reducing turnover. But more importantly, it’s the best way to grow and nurture a committed and healthy team who are confident, satisfied, and supportive of one another. Should the company fall on hard times, these are the characteristics you’re going to want milling around the office.
If you couldn’t tell from our name, we’re all about Morale here at Morale! Building team morale is such an important factor in developing a healthy workplace and it can have a direct impact on your colleague’s mental and physical wellbeing. If looking to improve team morale then you’re in the right place, we’ve put together some of our favourite Morale boosting ideas you can start right now.
Why is team morale so important?
Team morale isn’t something tangible that you can see or track, but a mixture of feelings and attitudes. That doesn’t mean its importance should be overlooked. Team morale can make or break a company’s success, particularly if it’s going through a rough patch.
A positive and well-supported team will ultimately lead to an increase in both productivity levels and efficiency, as well as turning out higher quality work too. When it comes to the team itself, like attracts like, so you’ll be able to attract (and more importantly retain) talented and dedicated employees. If your company is emitting good vibrations of satisfaction, positivity, and confidence you’re much more likely to attract like-minded people who will thrive in the environment you’ve created.
As times grow ever more uncertain, team morale can literally become your life raft should the company hit tricky times. The last thing you want is a team that will cut and run at the first sign of trouble, so having a team that you can rely on to stick around and support you. The company is much more likely to pull through and soldier on with a happy team behind it, working hard to keep it afloat. This kind of dedication and commitment cannot be fabricated but is, once again, a product of high team morale.
And on a more physical level, with team morale in abundance, your business costs will drop. Higher morale will reduce things like burnout, accidents, or ill health which ultimately will lead to fewer absences and less stress… sounds like a dream combo to us!
How to boost team morale
So, you’re probably thinking “that sounds amazing, sign me up!” and we’re going to tell you how. Building and keeping team morale doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s something you as a leader will need to be conscious of all the time and constantly work towards. Thankfully, boosting team morale can be done with just a few simple tweaks.
Positivity is the key
In a group working environment, positivity is currency. Creating a positive and uplifting workplace environment starts at the top, so as a leader, it’s your job to get the good vibes flowing. A positive attitude at the top of the corporate chain will filter down through the ranks and promote an upbeat and glass-half-full atmosphere throughout the business.
Positivity, just like negativity, is contagious. Have you ever had your good mood sucked out of you by someone moaning or complaining? Emotions are contagious, so to keep team morale up and negative energy down, radiating happiness and optimism and it will transfer onto the rest of your team.
Invest in the person, not the position
Another foolhardy way to boost team morale is to recognise the individual behind the role. People want to feel like they matter and that their work makes a difference, so take the time to show them they’re appreciated. This will bump up their self-worth and confidence, leading to a more efficient workforce. A few kind words cost nothing but could have a huge impact so remember to thank them for their hard work and show them the difference they’re making. In fact, employees that receive regular, positive recognition are actually more productive, engaged, and loyal to the company.
Take the time to offer 1:1 coaching for your team members and extra support for those who might be struggling. Showing that you care about their own development, rather than churning out the hard facts and figures, goes a long way to making someone feel valued and important. In larger corporations, it is so easy for employees to disappear and become just another number. A few kind words and a smile is a simple gesture but can make a massive impact on someone’s day, boost morale, and make the office a pleasant and personal place to be.
Prioritise your team’s wellbeing
The last thing you want when you’re just not feeling 110% is worrying about the consequences or backlash by asking for a bit of time off to rest and mend. Companies that put pressure on employees to be on their game at all hours of the day and night only harbour negativity and resentment- and it’s simply not possible! Everyone has off days, or days when they’re feeling a little under the weather. Creating an environment where it’s OK to say you’re just not feeling well today without fearing the worst or having a mountain of work and the cold shoulder once you return, is another way to foster a positive environment and boost team morale.
Showing employees that they feel heard and respected, as well as acknowledging when they’re not feeling great and need a day or two to get back to full health will go a long way. At the end of the day, compassion really is the bare minimum so make sure your employees feel that they can come to you and say, “I need a mental health day” or “I’m feeling really rough, I’m going to sit today out”. If they can do this, they’ll be much more likely to talk to you about any other problems as well.
Provide the right tools
Team morale is at its peak in an environment where everyone feels recognised and supported. Providing an outlet for communication where employees can ask for help, feedback, or guidance will not only create a more efficient and productive team but nurture the individual as well. As we mentioned before, emotions are infectious, and a team only needs one bad egg to create waves. Bad eggs usually originate from feeling neglected, unheard, or disrespected, so make the time to support each employee personally, find out what their pain points are and offer guidance, and congratulate hard work and good results.
An environment where people are comfortable with being vulnerable and asking for help is the mark of a job well done.
Practice team morale booster exercises
There are countless activities and exercises to help boost team morale and have a good laugh at the same time.
The classic team-building day out may seem a bit naff but trust us when we say they’re both fantastic and fun! There are a myriad of options these days so up the ante and choose something a little more exotic that will get your team members engaging with one another and the activity. Why not try your hand at an escape room, where teamwork and collaboration is vital to cracking the clues and making it out? Or how about challenging your team to some light-hearted fun on the pitch with a classic sports day? Roll up your sleeves and get the endorphins pumping. We guarantee you will all have a fabulous time and team morale will be flying high afterwards.
If the office is a little more relaxed than others, why not introduce themed office days? This is a hilarious way to break down some barriers and get people chatting with each other. When you’re all kitted out in fancy dress, ugly sweaters, or PJs, it becomes instantly easier to approach another team member and start a conversation. A boss will automatically seem a little less intimidating if they’re wearing a silly costume so it’s a great way to encourage the team to get a little more personal and show that even at the top of the ladder, you’re just human beings.
We’ve all seen top athletes huddle before a big game, so why not start this tradition in the office? We know it might sound a little cheesy but a good old huddle before the start of every day can get team members energised and engaged with the day ahead. It only takes a few minutes, but it serves as a powerful morale booster exercise. Take the opportunity to motivate and inspire your team with wise words and great leadership. If top sports teams still do it, it must be working!
Or, just download the Morale app and send out positive affirmations to your team every day. Improving team morale is really that simple, in just a few seconds you can elevate your entire team and help to boost their self-esteem and productivity. Remind your colleagues of their value and let them know they’re appreciated in a relaxed and genuine way. No forced words or fake praise, just the good old power of affirmation! Find us on Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
If you’re looking for some more tips and tricks, or you’ve got some feedback for us then send us an email to email@example.com, let’s chat!