Has COVID lowered employee morale?

Last year was a brutal year on all of us as we went through a global pandemic and experienced drastic changes to our typical lives. People’s lives changed, how we do work changed, and the way we see the world has changed. Specifically, the workplace has been changing continuously to fit the needs of safely working, so we would not spread the virus, while employees had to become more flexible and accommodating. Working from home has become more common, face covering mandates implemented, and social distancing are all situations we have become familiar with as a society. Now that we are almost halfway through 2021, we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel for COVID as we watch live events return, vaccines become readily available, and COVID cases lowering every day.

With this shift back to normalcy, we need to remember that we are overcoming a very difficult year and unique situation. As employers, we need to ensure our employees are staying committed, engaged, and satisfied in the workplace. Recently, we had a client express that her employee’s morale has been down since COVID began, and it would not be surprising if other companies have experienced the same thing. Have you noticed a morale change in your employees due to COVID?

What is employee morale and why is it important? Employee morale is the satisfaction, mindset, and the overall outlook of employees while they are working for your company.  Employee satisfaction increases their engagement at work, and high morale tends to lower turnover, increase productivity and create a comfortable working environment.

Here are some ideas to shake off COVID fatigue and boost employee moral:

  1. Give Employees a Voice

Make sure that you are listening to your employees with their comments, questions, and concerns. Boosting morale could be from simply letting them have decision making opportunities, like event planning for giving back to the community. Letting the employees take over holiday decorating, non-work fun events, or gathering food for a food drive is a perfect way to engage employees and have fun while doing so.

  1. Employee Recognition

Employees love to be recognized for their hard work and commitment. Treating employees to a surprise lunch, throwing an employee recognition party, or a simple shout out can brighten the mood. One of the main ways to appreciate your workers, that is often forgotten about, is to just say thank you! Saying thank you is a short and straightforward way to show your gratitude for their effort and dedication.

  1. Survey Your Employees

Employee surveys can be a beneficial way of finding out if there is something that is not working in your company. Seeking to measure employee satisfaction can help you figure out if you need to work on boosting morale. It also involves your employees and demonstrates that their voices are being heard.

  1. Be Creative!

Think outside of the box when you are trying to find ways to improve optimism and satisfaction at your workplace. Ideas can include creating custom crossword puzzles for employees, have a day where you allow the employees to dress casually, or create meetings where donuts and coffee are provided, and allowing the employees to speak about their favorite topics. It does not take much to make your employees smile!

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