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What influences employee morale?

Review these 6 considerations and learn how to improve employee morale.

Human Resource professionals understand employee engagement is important to morale for a happy, productive, and stable workforce. But how do you go about improving employee morale at your company? Here at SurveyMonkey, we recently conducted a study on the factors that influence employee morale for HR professionals and employees in other departments. By examining the results of these two groups across generations, we came up with some eye-opening answers.

Through the use of effective surveys, you can get a sense of employee morale. Surveys are a great way to gauge morale as your company implements different ways to improve it. You can use surveys to test what approaches work best and which ones need improvement. This article will provide 6 steps to help you boost employee morale and show you how these types of surveys are the marketing tool to help get you there. Ready to get started? Use our employee engagement survey template.

In our survey, a satisfactory work-life balance came out as the most important workplace element for both groups, with 53% of surveyed workers considering it extremely important and 60% of human resources employees agreeing. To ensure a satisfactory work-life balance at your organization, consider these tips:

  • Provide flexible schedules: Flexible scheduling can have a big impact on an employee’s decision to take a job and whether or not they choose to stay at a company. In fact, this ranks as the most important job perk among millennials, Generation-Xers, and baby boomers. And more than half of all employees say they would actually be willing to change jobs for flextime.

In the modern workplace, employees rank meaningful work as the second most important workplace element; HR representatives, on the other hand, rank it 12th. This indicates that Human Resource departments need to rethink their approach on soliciting new hires and keeping current employees happy. Giving your employees meaningful work has additional benefits as well. We’ve found companies that offer a strong sense of purpose and a values-driven culture are more likely to have a positive work culture and a lower rate of employee burnout. Here’s what the data tells us:

  • 94% of employees who feel their work is meaningful have not experienced work burnout within the last 6 months, while 75% of those who don’t feel they have meaningful work have.
  • 93% of workers who feel proud of the work they do haven’t experienced work burnout within the last 6 months, while 80% of those who aren’t proud of the work they do have.

Most HR workers rank workplace benefits as the second most important element for influencing employee morale while workers rank it third. This shows that when considering whether to take a new job or stay at an existing one, employer benefits still matter a great deal. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute:

  • Health insurance is most important. 
  • Retirement savings plans come in second. 
  • Dental and/or vision care comes in third.

Here, employees and HR representatives agree, both placing the compensation package as fourth in importance, with 54% of HR and 42% of employees ranking it as extremely important. Salary however, ranks as the most important factor overall when accepting a new job, with 33% of Generation-Xers and 34% of baby boomers placing it first. Only millennials rank it second, at 28%, with opportunities for career growth coming in first for them at 36%.

This came in fifth in importance among employees surveyed, with 39% ranking it as very important. For HR representatives, it came in third, with 56% ranking it as extremely important. While today’s workers want to have a voice at work, the previous factors mentioned above are currently more important in shaping their attitude toward their job.

Human Resource representatives clearly rank this fifth in importance, with 52% feeling it is extremely important. However, its overall rank among employees is 13th, with just 27% saying it is extremely important. This indicates that Human Resource staff need to consider other factors when it comes to keeping current employees and hiring new ones.

Human Resource professionals understand employee engagement is important to morale for a happy, productive, and stable workforce. 

The best way to gauge employee morale is by asking them how they feel about their work environment. Many of your employees might not feel comfortable confiding to management about the dynamics of their workplace with concerns that it may make their work environment uncomfortable. But if you submit a survey, their approach can allow for anonymity. Furthermore, you can compose questions to help you learn what needs to be done to boost employee morale. 

Here are 4 reasons using surveys can help to improve employee morale:

  • Regular surveys are the best way to monitor employee morale and engagement: Administering surveys regularly can help you keep track of any changes happening in your organization that might positively or negatively affect your employees. It's also a quick and efficient way to interview a large number of people in a short amount of time. Using the right Customer Experience AI-powered solutions, you can access feedback in minutes, allowing you to strategize ways to increase employee morale.
  • A happy and engaged workforce will work more effectively with less turnover: Surveys can provide insights that explain why employee morale is low or high. Even if your organization has great employee morale, submitting a survey is suggested to learn why and how you can sustain and build upon those positive aspects. It's best practice not to wait until there's a high turnover to ask employees why they think it's happening. Employee morale surveys can also serve as a preventative measure to retain happy employees and keep turnovers low. 
  • Surveys allow you to gain information on employee morale that might not otherwise be voiced unprompted: You can design online surveys so that respondents are anonymous. Telling your employees that they have anonymity can help relax any tension about getting their supervisor or colleagues in trouble. This approach can also provide you with information about your organization that you may not have been privy to.
  • Effective survey design can answer suspected issues while also leaving space for unknown issues: Through the use of a bank of questions provided by SurveyMonkey, you can custom design a questionnaire that can help you better understand your company's internal operations. You can create surveys for specific departments, leadership, and even customers to get a broader understanding of employee morale. 

If you are interested in improving employee morale, understanding how these factors influence your employees at work is crucial. While our survey results provide a starting point, you may want to create your own survey to evaluate the specific factors that your employees feel have the most impact on their morale in the workplace. Listening and taking action on this feedback ultimately puts you in the best position possible for improving morale and making your organization a desirable place to work.

Now that you know how to improve employee morale invest in a robust AI-platform that delivers real-time insights. Choose a plan that fits your budget. Need help getting started? Check out our employee survey templates and find the right questions to put in your questionnaire. Build your survey today.

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