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3 Warning Signs of Declining Employee Morale
3 Warning Signs of Declining Employee Morale
Your employees power your business, and ensuring employee morale is high is critical for helping workers maintain their productivity. Running a successful business means viewing your employees as a core asset, and morale serves as a measure of their satisfaction with their work. Experienced managers know what studies have consistently shown: Satisfied employees are more productive than those who dread coming to work. It can be easy to miss out on early warning signs that morale is dropping, and failing to take steps early on can lead to more difficult problems in the future. Here are three signs employee morale is dropping and a few tips for fixing the problem early.

Negativity

Work almost always causes a bit of stress for workers, and it's common for employees to feel frustrated on occasion. However, studies have consistently shown that it only takes a single employee to cause this frustration to spread throughout the workplace, and these negative feelings can quickly lead to drained morale in the workplace. Make sure to provide ways for employees to leave feedback and criticism for management, and let them know your company takes this feedback seriously. If the negativity is caused by poor management, make sure to address these issues with employees and find out if you're doing enough to solve the problem. It is very important to promote a positive and motivating workplace atmosphere as much as possible. Always make sure that everyone involved has a complete understanding of the overall vision of the organization, while trying to accomplish their individual goals.

Confusion

A major part of running a business successfully is ensuring everyone is on the same page. Workers need to have consistent access to job-related information and feedback, and it's important to deliver information in a timely manner. When this order begins to break down, it's common for employees to feel drained, and this lack of energy can lead to even more confusion, creating a self-sustaining problem. Look for signs that employees are having trouble navigating their day-to-day activities, and find out if overall productivity is starting to drop. It's common to find confusion in the office when bringing in new employees or when hiring new people in management positions. If your business operates seasonally, workers might become confused when demand picks up. One of the keys for fighting confusion and maintaining your office morale is to focus on your hierarchy in the workplace. Ensure everyone knows their roles, and make sure your managers feel empowered to make decisions and delegate to others. If productivity has dropped, spend some time with your workers to find out where the bottleneck is. Small problems can snowball into confusion easily, so keep an eye out for warning signs.

Exhaustion

Those in management positions want their workers being productive at all times, and many try to find ways to increase employee productivity. However, too much work can cause workers unneeded stress on the job, which can lower productivity and cause them to make mistakes. Even worse, being overworked and stressed out can affect workers' personal lives, which can lead to poor sleep, health issues and distractions while on the job. Poor sleep has been shown to have a profound effect on work performance and lead to negative attitudes, which are clear signs of poor office morale. Work-related stress can also lead to high turnover, resulting in a less experienced workforce. The key to preventing overworking on the job is encouraging employees to take breaks. Some workers try to minimize their break time to impress managers, so ensure your employees know they're encouraged to take a break and refresh, and consider making breaks mandatory. Small breaks can be helpful as well; a five-minute breather after completing certain tasks, for example, can help your employees stay refreshed throughout their shifts. If your employees work alone, finding ways to help them take breaks together can help them remain focused. Another factor to consider is vacation time. While paid time off is a significant expense, providing vacation time also lets employees recharge away from the office, which can result in higher overall productivity. Workplace morale is key for ensuring your employees are productive, but it can be more difficult to maintain good morale once it starts to slip. Make sure your business regularly measures office morale, and include employees on these conversations. Encourage employees to be honest; workers are sometimes reluctant to report problems, so assure them you're interested in their feedback. View maintaining your morale as part of running a successful business, and feel free to make investments if it will lead to a happier and more productive workforce. Guaranteed you’ll see the return.

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