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In today’s cutthroat business world, smart organizations are finally starting to understand the power of investing in employee wellbeing. It turns out that when you take care of your employees, their morale skyrockets — and so does your bottom line.

Instead of just paying lip service to the idea, managers need to dig deep into the real impact of supporting employee wellbeing and see how it can transform their business. We spoke with Evone Phoo, a clinical psychologist with over ten years of experience, about how employee wellbeing and morale are deeply interconnected.

What harms employee morale?

There are a number of ways you’ll know when morale drops below dangerous levels:

  • Employees quit, one after the other
  • They show up late to meetings
  • They take more sick days than usual
  • They miss deadlines

More often than not, says Evone, there are a few primary causes:

  • Lack of meaning and recognition at work
  • Unclear job expectations and goals
  • A fear of repercussion after sharing feedback
  • Excessive micromanagement causing employees to feel stifled
  • Limited growth prospects and a lack of development opportunities

Evone points out that in the past, it was common for organizations to primarily compensate employees with a good salary. If they did well, their salary would increase. She says, “Nowadays things have changed. We have found that work is very, very important in people’s lives. Some are even willing to give up a small percentage of their salary in exchange for a more meaningful career or role.”

The bottom line: monetary compensation isn’t enough. Employees want to be heard. They want to feel supported. And they want to know that the work they do makes a positive impact.

Employees want to feel that they’re more than just cogs

Prioritizing employee well-being positively influences morale, leading to increased job satisfaction, engagement, productivity, and loyalty. It’s important to create a supportive work environment that addresses employees’ physical, emotional, and psychological needs.

When employers pay attention to how their employees feel, they’ll soon reap a whole number of other benefits.

Employees will be more motivated: When organizations prioritize their employees’ wellbeing, they’re sending a clear message that their physical, mental, and emotional health matter. This makes employees feel like they’re part of a team that’s got their back, leading to a stronger sense of belonging and morale. When employees know that their well-being is a priority, they’re motivated to bring their A-game to work.

Employees will experience less stress: By implementing initiatives that support employee wellbeing, like stress management programs, work-life balance policies, and mental health resources, organizations can help reduce stress levels. When employees feel less overwhelmed and more supported, their morale improves, leading to higher job satisfaction and engagement.

Employees will become more resilient: Organizations armed with counseling services, employee assistance programs, and mindfulness training are the superheroes of the workplace. They help employees manage stress, build resilience, and conquer unexpected challenges.

The effect of positive employee morale on the bottom line

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The well-being of employees directly influences their morale, and vice versa.

Lower absenteeism helps the company save costs: Positive employee morale leads to lower absenteeism rates as employees are more motivated to come to work. This reduces costs associated with hiring temporary staff or overtime payments, resulting in significant savings for the organization.

Reduced turnover leads to major savings: In a world where turnover rates can feel like a revolving door, high morale acts as the ultimate talent magnet. Retaining employees means reducing the hefty expenses of recruiting, onboarding, and training new faces — if not dodging them entirely. Why waste money on a revolving door when you can have a stable and dedicated workforce?

Increased engagement leads to a stronger bottom line: Positive morale fosters higher levels of employee engagement, which in turn helps to improve revenue thanks to increased productivity and innovation. The stats don’t lie – studies show that organizations with highly engaged employees are more profitable and resilient, in some cases seeing 26% higher revenue per employee.

Motivated employees accomplish more in less time: Happy and motivated employees don’t just meet expectations – they exceed them, resulting in increased operational efficiency.

Happier employees lead to happier customers: Positive employee morale has a direct impact on customer interactions. Satisfied and motivated employees are more likely to provide exceptional customer service, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. Increased customer loyalty then leads to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals, ultimately driving revenue growth.

Zappos, renowned for its exceptional customer service, places a strong emphasis on employee happiness. As a result, they have built a loyal customer base and achieved substantial business growth.

A positive workplace helps to attract the best talent: A positive work culture attracts top talent, slashing recruitment costs and helping you attract the crème de la crème in a tough market. Externally, a sterling employer brand boosts the organization’s reputation, attracting customers and partners alike.

How can organizations actually improve morale?

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Building a Positive Work Environment:

One way to support employee wellbeing is by creating a positive work environment that fosters job satisfaction, reduces stress, and promotes work-life balance. Let’s explore some practical examples:

Flexible work arrangements: Now that the restrictions from the pandemic are fading away, there’s been debate on LinkedIn and Facebook on whether the value of non-traditional work arrangements remains. We say yes: allowing employees to have flexible work hours or remote work options provides them with greater control over their schedules.

Team-building exercises: “Bonding and socialization are a huge factor in employee morale,” explains Evone. Though hybrid and remote arrangements helped work to continue, it’s true that many employees felt isolated and disconnected from the community.

She continues, “Companies who want to continue with a remote-first arrangement should spend some time reflecting about how they’ll continue to build culture and camaraderie during working hours.”

Wellness programs: Implementing wellness programs that promote physical and mental health can have a profound impact on morale. Google, for instance, offers a range of wellness initiatives, including yoga classes, meditation sessions, and access to healthy food options.employee retention.

Train managers well!

Managers also play a vital role in creating an environment that boosts morale. Here’s how their actions can make a difference:

Recognizing and appreciating employees: A simple message of recognition sent over Slack can go a long way. But have you ever entertained the idea of a formal appreciation and recognition program? A study conducted by the Aberdeen Group found that companies with employee recognition programs had a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate than companies without such programs.

Providing growth opportunities: Managers can boost morale by offering growth and development opportunities to their team members. Employees who feel that their careers are progressing are more likely to be engaged and motivated. Companies like LinkedIn prioritize internal promotions and provide learning and development resources to foster employee growth, resulting in higher morale and improved performance.

Mediating conflict at work: Many employees experience a drop in morale when they feel like they go unheard. A great manager is able to step forth in such a situation and ensure that the employee gets access to what they need. A poorly-trained manager, on the other hand, may exacerbate the conflict or cause the employee to feel so shut out that they seek employment elsewhere.

Employee wellbeing, employee morale, and healthy culture go hand in hand

Prioritizing employee wellbeing is not just a buzzword; it’s a strategic investment that fuels morale and drives positive business outcomes.

Evone says, “Understanding the human side of things is crucial for driving growth, not just within organizations but also in communities and individuals. These various dimensions of growth are interconnected and mutually influence each other. We rely on one another, forming a network of impact that allows us to work together towards shared development and progress.”

By creating a positive work environment, offering growth opportunities, and recognizing employee contributions, managers can boost morale and reap the rewards of increased productivity, reduced turnover costs, and enhanced customer satisfaction. Remember, real results are achieved when organizations prioritize the wellbeing of their most valuable asset—their employees.

When you’re ready to take concrete steps towards better employee wellbeing, MindFi is here. We’ve helped Fortune 500 companies and startups to launch full-fledged employee wellbeing programs that produce measurable results. Contact us today to get started!