How Employee Morale Affects Employee Engagement

Employers have long described employee morale as the attitude, emotional connection, and satisfaction of employees while they're on the job. However, organizational leaders and management often monitored morale solely based on employee retention and productivity. 

Then, in 1999, Hollywood released Office Space, a satirical movie depicting the daily work-life disconnect of employees at a fictitious tech company. Office Space became a cult classic among millions, but not only because of the snarky comedy and notable one-liners.

As much as Office Space was based on fiction, movie-goers felt the real-life pangs of frustration that Peter Gibbons, Michael Bolton, and >Samir Nagheenanajar faced. Though the situations were outlandish, the emotions that the characters endured were completely relatable. They had a passion for their roles within their organization, but the day-to-day struggles they faced made their job absolutely unbearable. Their commute to work and the known frustrations they'd face during their workday started an avalanche of negative emotions that desecrated their work performance.  

One of the leading benefits that Office Space brought to organizations, aside from the comedic value, was the opportunity to have a conversation regarding employee engagement and employee morale. 

Boosting Morale to Create Effective Employee Engagement

Employee morale and employee engagement go hand-in-hand. The state of an employee's attitude directly relates to how they will perform on the job. If an employee feels under-appreciated, overworked, and de-valued, what is their motivation and incentive to excel? There is none. Low employee morale breeds employee disengagement.

Over the years, many articles and news sites including Forbes, SHRM, and HR Daily Advisor have discussed the benefits of boosting morale and inspiring your workforce. Their suggestions include communication from upper management, recognizing special events of co-workers, and building a culture of trust. While the writing style may vary between the different articles, the themes stay constant, even in 2020, showcasing that these factors should still be kept top of mind to upper management. 

As a whole, these compiled answers can help business owners and management to understand the needs of their employees, thus understanding how to increase employee engagement in the workforce. By starting this conversation, and exploring feedback from employees, the discussion can then be turned from boosting employee morale to measuring profitability based on an engaged workforce.

More than a buzz-word, employee engagement measures the effectiveness, impact, and influence of an engaged workforce, which directly impacts all facets of a business, including customer service. 

Making Measurements to Gauge Engagement and Morale

Measuring employee morale and its effect on employee engagement start at the core of an organization. 

For example, if a school system wants to ensure that students are engaged, administrators may explore the curriculum, paying special attention to students who are struggling. Is the morale of students struggling because they're not understanding the curriculum? Or are students not challenged enough and are becoming complacent? Is there a teaching style or practice that can be implemented to help students become engaged?

Start the process of gauging employee morale within your organization by having conversations with your employees. Ask them about their struggles and strengths, and ask for their feedback regarding how your organization can improve work processes to provide greater satisfaction for employees, and in turn, your customers. If your employees walk into the door for their shift feeling deflated and defeated, it's quite obvious that their disengagement will reflect their productivity and worse, rub off on other employees.

How would your employee's outlook be transformed if you took the steps to seek their input regarding how to make your organization better?

Not only would your employees feel like their opinions matter, they'd feel empowered to continue to provide feedback that could revolutionize business operations.

At C.A. Short Company, we are your partner for employee engagement solutions, helping you to grow your business and your bottom line. Our research-based, People Are Everything™ platform can help you motivate your staff, boost employee morale, and foster a culture of recognition and engagement. Discover how we can help transform your existing recognition programs and help engage and retain your top talent. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on June 9th, 2015 and has been recently updated. 

Topics: Employee Engagement

Kim Lancaster, CRP

About the Author
Kim Lancaster, CRP

Finance Manger
Kim Lancaster has been with C.A. Short Company for over 17 years & is our Director of Client Experience. She continually focuses on delighting our clients, embracing change & encouraging growth within the organization. Kim graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Management & loves being challenged with new opportunities...READ MORE


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