The Importance of Boosting Morale in the Workplace Essay
A team is only as strong as their weakest link. The same can also be said for a company. It is often forgotten that it takes everyone in a company operating on all cylinders for it to be successful. However, it is no secret that humans tend to perform at the highest of their abilities when they are happy. It makes sense that a company would want their employees operating at a higher productivity rate. For the company higher productivity normally results in more income. The company will not get a high level of productivity from employees (legally) unless they boost morale.
Keeping employees involved, less stressed and motivated by presenting challenging but, attainable goals with appropriate rewards will result in an increase in morale within the company. Getting employees involved within the company is a great way to boost morale and create a sense of importance and belonging. Creating ways for employees to get involved relies heavily on participation and empowerment. Allowing employees the freedom to create their own work goals and giving them more responsibilities by letting them make important decisions are just a few ways employees can be involved (#17 Pg. 32).
By giving employees a chance to do their job their way not only gives them a sense of achievement when they successfully complete a task, it also can provide valuable input that can be used when training future employees (#18 pg 133). However, there are many ways to get employees involved. A simple survey or questionnaire regarding their jobs or the company can quickly find and correct things that may be lowering employee morale. Providing a suggestion boxes or conducting anonymous surveys not only give employees a voice it also provides security for them.
This will give the employees that might not usually provide input a chance to provide ideas and generate honest responses. Other ways of getting employees involved are allowing them the chance to form a board made of employees. This will allow them to gather information and problems and report them back to management. Not only will this help bridge the gap between the different layers in the work force it will provide valuable input on problems that might be hampering employee morale.
Rewarding employees appropriately for reaching various goals is an excellent ay to increase morale, motivation and production. Locke theorized “behavior is a result of conscious goals and intentions. Therefore, by setting goals for people a manager should be able to influence behavior” (#3 pg 151). This is an excellent way to alter morale. A great way to boost morale is to set a goal that is at the right difficulty level for the employee. The goal should be challenging but, not impossible to achieve. Providing employees with goals that are unrealistic will result in them not even trying or it may cause them to get stressed.
According to a study conducted by Weyerhaeuser, “When goals are set appropriately, one employee may be able to double their productivity” (#5 151). Goals should also be specific to the employee’s position. A goal cannot be reached if the employee does not fully understand it. Therefore, the goal should be narrowed down and explained with distinct specifications so that the employee has the ability to achieve the goal. Another important factor in setting goals is to make the rewards enticing.
In order for the employee to get motivated to try and reach his goal the reward must be something he would want to obtain. This is all explained by The Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation. The goal-setting theory model shows that goal-directed effort is composed of goal difficulty, goal specificity, goal acceptance and goal commitment. This means that a good goal is specific, achievable but challenging, while providing the employee with a sense that the goal is indeed theirs and that the employee is interested in achieving the goal.
The performance of the employee attempting to complete the goal is determined by the goal-directed effort, how much support the company offers and the employees own abilities and traits. When the goal is complete the model shows that intrinsic rewards and extrinsic rewards are followed by satisfaction. The goal-setting theory model proves that when goals are set appropriately the employees performance will ultimately lead to them attaining a reward that in turn will give the employee satisfaction and boost morale.
Stress is a major part of any job. Psychologists believe “stress is caused by a stimulus that is either physical or psychological that makes the individual respond to the stimulus in some way” (#2 pg 178). Stress can be brought on by a goal or daunting task that is unachievable or unpleasant. This is often called distress. However, not all stress is brought on by negative things. Pleasurable stress is called eustress. Eustress normally is experienced during pleasurable events.
Stress can be used to motivate employees to accomplish a goal or it may need to be lowered to help improve morale. The only way to deal with stress is to find what the stimulus is. Sometimes stress is triggered in an employee that holds a job that is too demanding or does not have enough resources to complete their job efficiently. In this case the employee’s stress could lead to medical or psychological consequences if not treated properly. Stress can be lowered by splitting or lowering the work load, allowing personal days and proper schedule management.
There are a couple things a company can do to help reduce stress levels and promote a healthy mental and physical state amongst its employees. One way is to offer a company gym or a discount to a nearby gym. Another way the company can help is by hiring a counselor so that employees can talk to when they feel overwhelmed. By keeping employees both physically and mentally healthy the company will maintain high productivity and positive morale. Stress management, employee involvement and setting goals an all work together to help keep morale high in a company.
If a goal is set too far out of reach it will cause the employee to be stressed. If the employee is stressed it may lead to burnout or attitudes which in return will hinder employee participation in the company. If appropriate goals are not presented as opportunities for the employees to better themselves they may become distressed and not want to be involved in the company. If not maintained these areas can lead to lower morale. It is important to manage all three of these areas in order for a company to achieve high production rates.