How does low worker morale affect your profit margins in a small business?
Additionally, what are some tips to improve the morale of your workers?
Low morale hurts the business in several ways. The immediate impact is productivity, and creativity. As morale drops so too does motivation. This obviously will impact the bottom line over time. As importantly, the company will lose the ability to react as quickly. When the time comes for the company to count on its employees to dig in a pull out a win, they simply won't have it in them. It is like rust on a machine. Slowly but surely the machine slows, until finally it just locks up.
Quick answer for improving morale...
Find some quick win opportunities and celebrate those wins together.
Low morale in small business is a symptom of leadership problems, small businesses normally aren't able to compete on salary and benefits so they better be able to compete on culture and teamwork.
I suppose in some way it depends on how ethical your people are. Some people can do the job for its own sake whether they feel good about it or not, but some people have to buy into why they're doing the job before they can be productive. It also depends on how inspiring the boss is. Does that person set an example of positive productivity? Does that person go around making sure everyone has what they need to do their jobs well? Profitability depends on all of these things.
Did you know that presenteeism costs a company just as much as absenteeism, if not more? In my experience, most unhappy workers might as well work only a half day at a time, because the other half of the day is going to be spent complaining, playing games, or worrying about personal issues, so the same amount of work will get done either way.
How to improve morale? There isn't one right way to do it. It depends on your corporate culture, your individual employees, the type of business, etc. - different techniques work for different groups of people. I hope you get some good suggestions here, or you find one of those "1001 Ways to Motivate..." books and see something that is a "yes" for you!
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