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How to Boost the Morale of Burned-out Employees?

How to improve morale at work? Well, it's no longer about gift bags anymore. Check out the systematic approach.

Employee Motivation
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10 Min read
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Last Updated on
March 26, 2021

Morale. It’s that extra little kick that employees feel within them, that brings a smile on to their face, and it’s that factor that helps them showing up at the workplace each morning - not looking like zombies. Forbes defines employee morale as “...the job satisfaction, attitude, and outlook that employees have while at your business.

Every business survives on its employees to survive, succeed and expand. And when employee attitudes and outlooks suffer, so will your business. That is why building and maintaining high & positive employee morale within the organization should be a major concern for any team manager or business leader. When employees are feeling burned-out and indifferent, their productivity levels will suffer and the entire organization will feel the effect of it.

A recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes. That means about two-thirds of full-time workers experience burnout on the job.

How to Improve Employee Morale and Motivation?

If you want to avoid this, here are some tips on how to improve morale at work, restore enthusiasm and engagement amongst your workforce quickly and efficiently.

1. Provide care packages to remote workers

The current circumstances faced by many businesses worldwide, with remote work made unavoidable as shared office spaces are taken out of action, means that a whole new kind of employee burn-out is occurring.

A Glint survey of more than 700,000 employees worldwide found that comments related to burnout doubled from March 2020 (pre-lockdown) to April 2020 (during the lockdown, working remotely), increasing from 2.7% to 5.4%

Thankfully you can revive the spirits of team members who are working from home by sending out care packages that will breathe new life into their domestic setup.

There are lots of ideas for care packages to consider, ranging from tasty snack boxes to sustain appetites throughout the day, to custom combinations that are tailored to the specific personality and hobbies of individual workers.

The implied message of any care package is this; remember to take a break. It will also show employees that you are attuned to their needs and sympathetic to their struggles.

2. Show recognition for achievements

Morale can dip if team members feel like they are putting their all into a project and making a success of it, only for their efforts to go unrecognized.

You can remedy this by making sure that you show your appreciation both one-to-one and in a group setting. Recognizing the efforts and achievements of employees, no matter how big or small is what makes a leader truly inspirational.

Likewise, it is sensible to invest in a rewards and recognition platform through which encourage other team members to single out the successes of their colleagues, and you can even formalize this process if you wish, creating a self-perpetuating approach to the recognition that will help with team bonding and boosting employee morale.

A screenshot from Xoxoday Empuls demonstrates how recognition can be made social and more engaging by sharing it with the entire organization.

3. Don’t communicate outside of office hours

One of the guaranteed ways to stress out employees and leave them feeling dissatisfied is to foster a workplace culture that expects out-of-hours availability to be the norm. Even if you do not explicitly say that workers should be on-call to respond to emails, calls, and instant messages when they are not at their desks, the simple act of communicating outside of their contracted hours can pile on this pressure anyway.

It is better to go in the opposite direction altogether and create a policy for all forms of work-related communication which discourages direct interaction between colleagues and managers during the evening, for example. This is all about establishing a healthy work-life balance, and not just paying lip service to it.

You might think that this could hamper productivity, but in reality, if workers are happier and more content, they will be more productive during office hours than they would if they were burning the candle at both ends. This is not ideal for every employee, although it is better than the alternative of total inaction.

Also Read: "How to Prevent Employee Burnout due to Over Communication?"

4. Actively ask for feedback

Plenty of managers think that it is enough to simply say to their team members that they can come to them with any issues or sticking points that they want to raise. Unfortunately, this relies on employees being proactive and confident enough to tackle potentially tricky subjects with a superior on their own initiative.

The solution is to make sure that seeking feedback is part of your normal responsibilities, whether you integrate it with the one-to-one catch-ups you have with staff, or whether you go a step further and schedule interviews specifically to find out what is keeping workers with the company, and what improvements could be made to strengthen their loyalty further, or set up anonymous surveys, like the ones offered by Xoxoday Empuls, to encourage employees to share their honest feedback.

This will also pinpoint problems that you may not even know about, and allow you to make positive changes that benefit all workers, leading to that sought-after moral improvement.

5. Keep the Communication Coming

Communication is the key to building great teams and organizations. Employees of today are extremely fast-paced and expect to keep a tab on everything that is happening around them - be it success or failure. Not communicating something or keeping the employees uninformed about the happenings can be demoralizing and pull them down.

Using a powerful social intranet platform, like Xoxoday Empuls, is a great solution to address this. The intranet platform creates a communication hub for all employees to come together like a community while establishing a strong two-way communication between the organization and the employees. While the leaders can keep everyone in the organization up to date about the organizational happenings, employees can react to the shared communication, share their viewpoints and thoughts.

6. Demonstrate the wider impact they have

One final way to make workers more engaged with the organization they represent and less prone to becoming disillusioned is to make sure they understand what their contribution goes towards. The simplest way to do this is to regularly share updates on how the company is faring, where it is gaining traction, and what difference their department is making in this context. Feeling like you are part of a wider whole and have a key role to play will encourage anyone to keep on trucking, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

Build a people first culture and great employee experience with continuous employee feedback & continuous improvement. Not sure how to do that? Xoxoday Empuls has got you covered and made this easy for you. Book a demo or start a free trial.


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What is a blog post?

Blog posts allow you and your business to publish insights, thoughts, and stories on your website about any topic. They can help you boost traffic, brand awareness, credibility, conversions, and revenue.
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