August 18, 2010
One thing that many employers overlook in these times is their employees’ morale. Can you as a business owner, or manager even honestly say that your employees are happy? Or can you feel the temperature fall when you walk around? How about this one, can you name four of your employees spouses’ name? If these questions brought out a question in your mind of not being able to confidently answer them, then maybe there is a morale issue at your business.
Let us get a couple words defined quickly before we go on, first of all, there is a big difference between “Morale”, and “Moral”. One little ‘e’ changes the entire meaning, that is why the English language is one of the most miss-understood languages in the world. For instance the spoken word (phonetically, tŭ) this could mean a number (two), and addition to time (too), and even as a preposition (to). But back to Morale, and Moral, Moral is the personal belief in something right and wrong to where Morale is a general personal feeling of happiness or sadness.
If you have not watched the news lately, there has been a big story about a certain Flight Attendant who was suffering from poor morale, and just lost it and freaked at work. Is this a perfect example, no, but it is something to keep in the back of the mind while reading this post. When an employee starts feeling as if they are not wanted, or are treated in a way that THEY PERCIEVE as poor, then their morale falls. You as a business owner/manager could take two employees at random and ask them how they like their jobs, both most likely will say “Yes”. Guess what, one of them is most likely fibbing. Why? You are an authoritative figure, and people watch the news about people losing jobs left and right, they may fear saying the truth, therefore they say “Yes”. Ever think of that take on the matter?
Employee Morale can be a sensitive and cautious subject to deal with, but every employer MUST deal with it. Those out there that cook, or have tried to cook, know that if you are boiling a simple dish like pasta, and leave the heat on too high, and put a lid on the pot know that it will boil over. Is this meant to scare you? No, it is meant to make you visualize through the eyes of your employees. Janet Jackson had a great song in the 80’s whose lyrics included the phrase “What have you done for me lately?” Your employees are seeing increased need for production with less resources (time), this resource is keeping employees from seeing more and more of little Johnny or little Jackie as they grow up, and that is causing sadness and in some cases anger. Time off from work is being cut back, wages are being reduced, work hours increased at times, these are the things that affect employee morale. Notice the word affect, that is another word that has a close cousin, effect, which has a wholly different meaning. Once again the English language working for us.
We all know that this recessionary period that we are in is tough, and your employees are also well aware of it. You as the business owner/manager are watching your budgets shrink, but one part of your budget that should really never be touched and that is a part that many people do not think of, employee benefits. This does not mean Health Insurance or any other staple, it means what can you do as a business owner/manager to reward your employees for the hard work that they do. Did you know that there are extremely inexpensive ways to reward your employees to raise employee morale? Simple things, as long as there is a consistent pattern of delivery, could not only raise employee morale, but even make it sky-rocket. Here is an example, businesses are partnering with other local businesses through Chamber of Commerces to off their employees discounts on items. One very good example would be partnering with a local massage therapy office, a back massage is a great stress reliever, and an inexpensive ‘treat’ given to employees while off the clock. Ever think of that?
This is something that People Wise can investigate for you and set up as a EAP (Employee Assistance Program) option for your company. Day one, hour one of any business class at any reputable learning institution, you learn that minimal investment that returns maximum return is the best business decision. That is what we do for you as our clients, and yes you are our client as you read this! Contact us today, and tomorrow you could be seeing more and more true smiles around your workplace, and not the concrete “fear – smiles” that happen so much today in business.