Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits.

As you might guess, it’s a bigger quandary for business owners that don’t have enough cash flow for raises.

There are strategies you can implement if a valued employee wants a raise, and money’s tight

It’s also possible to sleep well and not worry about keeping your top employees.

What about the rest of the team?

What can be done to improve the morale of  employees to perform at their highest possible levels?

Employees, who otherwise have good attitudes, appreciate positive communication.

They like knowing they’re contributing to the welfare of their employer, and that they’re appreciated as an asset to the organization.

To boost your employees’ morale, here are some easy-to-follow strategies:

Start a listening campaign. If it’s not your style it will take some gumption to ask your employees what they want. For example, when planning a staff party ask your workers for their preferences. But you’re a courageous entrepreneur, right?

At the minimum on a indefinite basis, you should smilingly walk the floor twice a day to engage your workers. It’ll only take a minute with each employee. Ask them open-ended questions about their hobbies or how they’re doing. Wait for the answers – be attentive –  eespecially if they indicate they have a problem.

When’s the time to give feedback? You should always give feedback right away – whether a person performed a task well or poorly. Be specific. Make a note about the performance and slip it in the employee’s personnel file as a reminder at appraisal time.

A talented employee with a positive attitude will appreciate it.

Help your employees’ career growth. You can accomplish this without a big expense.For example, help them develop skills by giving them added duties. This will enhance their self confidence.

Besides, a good boss knows how to delegate.

Accommodate their schedule with flexibility. Flexibility is usually appreciated and is a great motivator. Sometimes employees need to leave work early to do an important errand. Perhaps they have a child playing in a championship Little League game.

Share information. Let the employees know how the business is doing – and how their work is contributing to any successes. They’d appreciate knowing if they’re making a difference — or how they can.

Moreover, share your vision for the direction of the company, what’s expected and how the performance of the workers will affect the outcome.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are recommendations for other workplace problems — from improving your teamwork to fixing your culture issues:

How You Can Eliminate Destructive Conflict for Better Teamwork — There are two types of conflict. For better teamwork and higher performance, it’s true that constructive conflict works. Usually, the best ideas evolve when ideas are discussed and debated. But when employees fail to exercise self control and their egos get in the way, emotions flare and cliques are formed in the workplace. That’s destructive conflict.

Workplace Bullies May Hurt Retention of All Employees, Not Just Victims — Victims of workplace bullies are less likely to quit than employees who observe the abuse, according to a study by a Canadian university. The 2012 research implies a costly threat to an organization’s teamwork and productivity.

Four Tips to Motivate Employees When You’re Facing Adversity — Effective bosses have antennas to alert them over looming challenges. If they don’t have such an antenna, it’s important for them to develop one for multiple credibility reasons. Even the bosses of small companies can suffer from image problems externally and internally. Either one or both will adversely affect profits.

Secrets in Motivating Employees to Offer Profitable Ideas — Savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace. Furthermore, there’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale. Proverbially speaking, employees are where the tire meets the road.

Is Your Company Underperforming in Marketing / Sales? Evaluate Your Culture — If you’re dissatisfied with your revenue, it’s time for an assessment of your culture’s operation. Why? Superior cultures drive business performance. Specifically, two key elements of culture – innovation and responsiveness – have a direct impact on your company’s sales success. You must be a top innovator to beat the competition, and your teams have to respond and execute strategic planning with cohesion.

Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.