How to Boost Employee Morale During Tough Times

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employee morale

Every business should always be working to keep its employees’ spirits up. But when tough times hit, it’s more important than ever you look after your workforce. Here are our top tips for those who want to learn more about how to boost employee morale.


If your business is going through a difficult period, it can be easy to overlook your employees’ needs. You’ll probably be dedicating your time to everything from managing cash flow to keeping up to date with industry news – but don’t forget your workforce. Many bosses underestimate just how much of an effect team morale can have on their business’s performance.

Keeping spirits high will benefit the business in many ways. It’ll limit staff turnover, increase workers’ respect towards you and, ultimately, improve productivity and therefore, your income. On a personal level, you’ll also boost your employees’ wellbeing, which is always a positive.

So, if you’re wondering how to boost employee morale, don’t worry. Here are our top 10 tips for doing just that.

1. Hire the right people

You can create a calm, friendly atmosphere by making sure you build a team of lovely people. Look out for job candidates with a team spirit and fun attitude. And let go of people who are unkind or talk negatively about other employees behind their backs. This way, your staff will feel relaxed and are more likely to view their co-workers as friends.

2. Take an interest in your employees’ wellbeing

Your employees may feel overlooked or unimportant if you never check in with them. Taking the time to talk to workers individually and make sure they’re coping well will have a big impact, so try to keep in touch regularly. If a staff member has had a particularly busy week, why not fire off a quick email on the Friday to make sure they are happy?


3. Ask what you can do

One of the best lessons in how to be a good leader is to ask employees how you can help them. It’s all very well making assumptions and guesses, but you can get clear directions by simply asking your employees for their opinions. Find out what obstacles they’re facing and what you can do to ease them. There’s no shame in this – in fact, it’s the marker of a ‘switched-on’ boss.

4. Ask for feedback on business issues

Your employees will trust and respect you more if you ask for their input on problems facing the company. This is a win-win situation; not only do you boost employee morale, but you also generate fresh ideas for your business. And you can use this tip across all areas of the business. For example, collecting suggestions for your annual work party will help you create a perfect outing that all your employees will enjoy.

5. Recognise good performance

If a worker’s outstanding group presentation gets as much recognition as the completion of a coffee round, they might start to wonder, “What’s the point?”. So, make sure you praise positive performance and that staff members feel appreciated. For extra points, do it in front of their co-workers to ramp up the sense of achievement. And to really go the extra mile, why not post the accomplishment on social media and let your customers or clients see your business’s supportive culture?

6. Introduce an incentive or bonus scheme

There’s nothing like a little treat to boost employee morale. Whether you choose to reward everyone in your team or just the workers who reach set targets, you could offer anything from product discounts to free day trips. But on top of these exciting gifts, think about how you can make life easier for your staff members on a day-to-day basis. For instance, you could provide free food in meetings so people don’t have to bring their own packed lunches.

7. Invest in training and promote employees within the business

If you’re thinking about how to support employees, this is a great tip. Running training workshops and offering professional development sessions is a fantastic way to help your employees grow their skills. Not only will you benefit from the added expertise, but they’ll feel a greater sense of self-worth and achievement. Also, aim to promote people within the business, rather than hiring new employees whenever possible. If your workers can envisage a long and happy career at your business, you’ll save time onboarding and offboarding employees.

8. Encourage lunch breaks

Too many people skip their lunch break and eat in front of their computer. This is incredibly damaging for employee wellbeing and, therefore, employee morale. Once workers have left the building and got some fresh air, they’ll be healthier, happier and more productive in the afternoon. If taking a full lunch break results in staff members working extra hours at the end of the day, consider reviewing their productivity and, if necessary, their workload.


9. Introduce flexible working

Offering flexible working opportunities has a huge impact on employee morale. This isn’t possible with every business, but if you can, trust your staff members and give them the chance to work from home or switch up their working hours. This shows you respect their personal lives and individual preferences. It should also minimise stress among your workforce, as people will be able to cut out the commute, see more of their family and work when they feel most productive.

10. Cultivate a fun atmosphere

Some bosses want to be respected above all else. But you’ll gain a different kind of respect if you show you’re game for a laugh. This doesn’t mean becoming the office’s David Brent – instead, consider celebrating birthdays and other special events with your employees. From weddings to work anniversaries, there are plenty of opportunities to show your staff members you care about them. You could even inject fun into your meetings by ending with a quick game of bingo, Dingbats or Boggle!

Find out more

Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas for boosting employee morale during tough times. You can learn more about protecting your employees and developing your business with our extensive selection of informative articles.

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