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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. 

Low Employee MoraleAs 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 underappreciated, overworked, and de-valued, what is their motivation and incentive to excel? There is none. Low employee morale breeds employee disengagement.

In 2011, Ask Inc. employees compiled a list of tips to ward off winter blues after the holidays and curb the effects of low employee morale. Their suggestions included communication from upper management, recognizing special events of co-workers, and building a culture of trust. As a whole, these compiled answers helped management to understand the needs of employees and what employees needed to feel appreciated, thus understanding how to increase employee engagement during the holidays. By starting this conversation, and exploring feedback from employees, the discussion then turned from boosting employee morale to measuring the 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.

Total Recognition Request a Consultation

At C. A. Short, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform help you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here. 

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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